Oct. 24 event to benefit summer mission trip

Trail of Terror offers both scary, not-so-scary times

Scares were provided during last year's Trail of Terror, as will be the case this year.

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Scares were provided during last year’s Trail of Terror, as will be the case this year.

Ava Amos, Reporter

Students participate in many service opportunities throughout the year, and for this year’s summer mission trip the students are going to Tanzania. On Oct. 24, they will get another chance to participate in service when they host the annual Trail of Terror, which helps provide funding for their mission. 

Tanzania is located in East Africa and has a population of 49.6 million. It is a poor country in terms of income, health care, education and other factors, and many of Tanzania’s people live below the World Bank poverty line. Even though it is a poor country, it is still considered a very beautiful one. 

Once again this year Mrs. Liz Browning, English department co-chair, and students from her class are taking an opportunity to help people in need in Tanzania. They plan to leave on June 11 and return 10 days later. 

“We’re going to go work with a secondary school in the foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater,” Browning said. The group has completed many different tasks in the past in Tanzania such as installing solar panels at the top of the school so students and teachers could have electricity in their classrooms and installing electrical wires going into the rooms. 

This year they will work with the locals to install gutters on roofs and connect them to rain barrels. This is so the locals will be able to collect water to help with their gardening. “It’s a service learning course, so it’s connected to a curriculum where we study ourselves and we study Tanzania,” Browning said. “It solidifies those connections we make in the classroom,” she said. 

Twenty students are enrolled in the class this semester and there is a waiting list of those who would like to go on the trip as well, so in total there will be about 22 to 26 students who actually make the trek to Tanzania. The students will also have free time while there, as every evening is left pretty much unscheduled. 

“We are in Tanzania, and no matter what our skin color is we look different, so we’re not going many places alone. We’re staying in a group,” Browning said. 

For her, every experience is different. “It’s like with any service work. Sometimes you feel a really deep connection and you can see when you’ve made a difference. Other times you don’t necessarily know if you’ve made a difference,” she said. 

Browning also said she feels confident that the people there know who they are, and she feels that the people do have expectations about what they can bring to them. 

“The kids remember us. There’s a little girl there named Jessica, who the first time we went she was 6. She’s 16 now and every time we go I want to bring her home,” Browning said. “What I’ve learned about service is that the things I think are important may not be the things they think are important, I let them tell me what they need,” she said. 

She encourages students who are thinking about participating in any of the mission trips to find time and at least do it once. “I know my kids have done them and it’s changed their lives,” she said. 

Browning and her class are using the Trail of Terror as a fundraiser to help raise money for their trip. It will take place Oct. 24 and the event involves a trail walk with scary music that goes from Cunningham to the gazebo stairs. There will also be people there who will “haunt.” It’s a no-touch trail so they won’t touch or chase anyone. Instead, the “haunters” will just jump out and scare. 

Browning said, “We have frightless hours, and then we’ll have frightening hours,” she said. Frightless hours will take place from 6 to 7 p.m. and frightening hours are scheduled from 7 to 9. The trail is free, but donations will be accepted and are encouraged. 

“It’s just fun, good old fashioned fun. You can come and you can go as many times as you want because it’s free,” she said. All the money goes to the projects the class works on during the trip. “I’d like to raise $500 to $700, so if everyone who comes through gives us two or three bucks we’ll make that goal,” Browning said. 

To prepare for the trail the students are sorting through the decorations that they have used from previous years, figuring out what they need to add to it and what they need to buy.

 Browning said, “Anybody can volunteer. Anyone in the Service Learning Council can volunteer, anybody in the class can volunteer and last year we offered National Honor Society points for volunteering