Sun, Sand, and Service

As I start to think about settling in for the winter, my mind immediately darts to one thing – VACATION! I dream of warmth, sunshine, and beaches. I think about relaxing, reconnecting with my family, and focusing on some down time – away from computers, Facebook, and perhaps even my Blackberry (although I make no promises there).

What exactly is it about vacations that make us feel so good? Stress starts to filter out of our bodies and we begin to focus on the things that truly matter. With that thought in mind, have you ever considered a “Volunteer Vacation?”

“Volunteer Vacations” are characterized by “travel with the intention to offer volunteer services for a charitable cause.” These vacations can be a great opportunity to experience different cultures home or abroad. Travel can be by yourself, with a group, or with your family. There are so many options!

The American Hiking Society, for example, uses volunteer vacations to build and maintain hiking trails throughout the country. All you need is your camping gear and a willingness to get dirty – how easy is that? In a book authored by Pam Grout, The 100 Best Volunteer Vacations to Enrich Your Life, she lists opportunities that include producing the news in Bolivia, excavating ancient stone tools in Colorado, and bottle-feeding orphaned lion cubs in Victoria Falls.

Got you thinking? Visit the Volunteer Center website at and click on the “Volunteer Vacations” link. Volunteer Vacations are trips that keep on giving, to you and to those who are helped by your work. What a great opportunity to gain a renewed sense of energy and purpose. Who couldn’t use a vacation?

The Volunteer Center is located at 62 S. Third Avenue in Sturgeon Bay. For more information call 920.746.7704 or email [email protected].