Another successful trip for Ruskin missionaries


Ruskin Mission Trip 2014

Sarah Elliott, Copy Editor

Once again, 24 Academy students headed out to Ruskin, Florida for the annual mission trip during mini-course week. Four vans of excited missionaries and a U-Haul full of donations made the 45 minute drive to Camp Dorothy Thomas on Sunday, March 9th.

The girls stayed in the cabin CIT at Camp Dorothy Thomas and commuted to different centers throughout the Ruskin area during the day. This year, Academy’s mini-course week corresponded with Ruskin Elementary’s spring break. Unfortunately this meant that the girls couldn’t volunteer at the school. However, this allowed the missionaries to put in more time at the RCMA daycare centers.

The girls painted murals, planted gardens, put on puppet shows, and did arts and crafts with the children at the centers. Interacting with the kids was an especially rewarding part of the week according to senior Alana Adams. “Even just little things, like helping them put together a puzzle or playing tag with them on the playground, would make the kids so happy. I loved getting to see their faces light up when we got to the RCMAs every morning.”

On Monday, the girls took a tour of the Ruskin area and got to see the living and working conditions of the migrant workers. The missionaries also had the opportunity to see the strawberry fields and pick their own berries. In the hot Florida weather, this task was more exhausting than anticipated. It was hard to imagine that the migrant workers spend countless hours in those fields each day. The experience helped give the girls a more realistic perspective.

After learning about the lives of migrant workers, the girls were even more inspired to put in hard work for the rest of the week. After days spent helping at the RCMAs, the girls returned to camp and sorted donations that were later given to families in the area. There was also time set aside for team-building activities like manhunt and a scavenger hunt. The nightly prayer services allowed the girls to reflect on the day and grow closer with one another.