Wheeling Jesuit Woodchopping Immersion Trip

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A group of Wheeling Jesuit students traveled to Kermit, WV for an immersion trip to chop wood for the Big Laurel Learning Center. This trip provided firewood for everyone that lives in the mountain area for the winter to keep their homes warm.

Since the only way for those individuals to heat their buildings and homes is by wood fire, the students spent five days chopping wood and delivering it to various places on the mountain. A lot of these people rely on the students because they are unable to chop very much wood themselves.

Kristen Shimko. a senior communications major and student leader of the trip said, “This trip truly allows us, as students, to be men and women for others. We work together to help the two Sisters, the Americorps Volunteers, the director of Big Laurel, and a few other individuals who live on the mountain to provide them heat in the winter.”

Men and women for others is a huge part of the mission here at Wheeling Jesuit. These students lived this mission for five days straight to provide as much wood as possible for everyone that lives on this mountain to stay warm this winter.

“Part of the school’s mission is service with and among others. While we are chopping wood, the main part of the trip is to learn about and experience life in rural Appalachia. This consists of living simply as running water is limited to whatever is collected via rain, no cell reception, and simply entertaining by company. It is truly a time to slow down and work with those and learn about their lives,” said Brett Dipuma a Senior Literature and Theology major.

These students had the opportunity to not only provide for the people of the Appalachia but learn about their way of life. Disconnecting from cell phones allows the students to connect on a more personal level that is hard to get when technology plays such a big role in our everyday lives.

“This trip is really a touching experience and highly recommend anyone and everyone to be a part of it,” said Benny Corral a sophomore Business Management major.

This is a life changing experience that more students should certainly take part in. The immersion trip provides many life lessons for every student to cherish.

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