Article By: Sarah Kim
ISM has upgraded the diversity of its service trips by making them take place in a more enriching environment, therefore making the trips more fun. Many service clubs and councils are now hosting trips that do not take place within ISM; rather, they take their service partners into trips ranging from Active Fun, which is very near our school, to the Enchanted Kingdom, which is around an hour away!
Bernice Delos Reyes, the current president of SLC, initially thought of the idea of “making service more fun and exciting for both our ISM students and our service partners,” by coming up with the extraordinary idea of having a trip to the Enchanted Kingdom in 2013. At the time, SPECS and other service clubs joined Bernice with this idea to make this unique service trip happen. She also claims that there are “a lot of places in Manila that we haven’t explored… these outside of school trips combine fun, service learning, and a greater knowledge of Manila all in one trip”.
Sami Um, the president of Junior Council said that during their Active Fun trips “ISM students are able to more easily interact with and look after the Young Focus kids, our service partner, as Active fun is more of a closed off area. Often in school it is hard to always keep track of your buddy as the kids are always running around the school, even during meal time!” She clearly illustrates one of the benefits of having trips outside of school. One can clearly see that the benefits of these outside-of-school Saturday service trips have been a great success, making Saturday services creative, enjoyable, and memorable learning experiences.
Although there are many benefits to this new system, there are a few drawbacks as well. “It’s more complicated to plan since we have to coordinate with more people and there are higher security risks, because we’re going out of the school, but if you give a big leeway for planning, the security office will do security checks in that area,” mentioned Bernice. Sami also mentions some concerns about how the “service kids can’t go to Active Fun at the same time as our ISM volunteers, making it extremely difficult to pick the kids that get to go,” showing that while it is a fantastic idea, the inclusivity goes down. Though there are a few disadvantages, it is still unequivocal that service trips outside of school is incredibly enjoyable for both ISM students and their service partners.