Honduras trip transitions to all-male students


Photo courtesy Jake Hollin

A coed group of students pose with children from Sandy Bay Lighthouse Ministry Children’s Home on the annual Honduras service trip in 2016. While the trip was held for all females last year, it will be held for exclusively males this year.

This year, the annual service trip to Sandy Bay, Honduras will be held for male students exclusively. The trip will be run by social studies teacher and Department Chair Jake Hollin and Director of Enrollment Edward Maynard.

Last year, the trip was run by Hollin and his wife, Amy, for a group of female students only, however, in years prior, the trip was held for a coed group of students.

Hollin and Maynard decided to hold an all-male trip this year due to the positive outcomes of last year’s all-female trip. “Last year, it was so successful, and it really worked out well, and the girls were fantastic, and so we thought let’s try it with guys … We thought it would be kind of neat to challenge those guys and give them a fun trip, but also make them really focus in on leadership, serving, and that sort of thing,” Hollin said.

While Hollin believes that the dynamics of the two groups may be different, he doesn’t expect their work ethic to change. “The girls were strong and willing to serve,” Hollin said, “but I think we have a really great group of guys, [who are also] strong and willing to serve.”

Senior Zach Vest, who plans to attend the trip, believes that the all male aspect will bring those attending closer together. “It really never mattered to me if it was all male or all female, but … I’m sure all the guys are going to have a lot more in common, if it was boy or girl, it might be separate groups, but now we are all going to be together because it’s all male.”

Each year, the group of students attending the service trip work together to complete a community service project while in Honduras. This year, the males will be continuing the project that the women began last year, building a new school. “They did a lot of physical labor. They were super strong, so they really worked hard so we were building the foundation for a new school building,” Hollin said.

This year, the males will continue with the construction of the school at Sandy Bay Lighthouse Ministry Children’s Home. Hollin believes that this is one of the best aspects of the trip. “It’s like this continuation. You know, you get to see ‘Oh it’s this far, now it’s this far,’ ” he said.

Vest agrees that continuing the project from last year is an interesting aspect of the trip. “I think it’s awesome,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who started it, as long as it gets done.”

In addition to continuing construction of the school, the men will also be holding night events for the adolescents in the children’s home. According to Hollin, this charity is home for about 24 children that range in age from 2-15 years old.

Last year the female students connected with the children by holding activities like a movie night, a science night, and a music night for them. Hollin believes that the men will continue to hold similar activities as the women, but encourages all students participating to make the trip their own.

Regardless of the trip being all male or female, Hollin believes it is up to the individual student to actively enjoy their experience. “One of the things I try to tell everyone on the trip is it’s their trip. There is a foundation, but then they also can make it whatever it is that they would like and be able to share their gifts and their talents because that’s part of it. They have to own part of it. They are involved in the planning, and the process, and the creation of it,” Hollin said.

Taylor Bynion is the Copy Chief for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.