The Centipede

Spring Break Trip Recommendation: Best Friends Trip

Ashley Kim '19

It all started in Kem Morehead’s math class last fall when she showed the class a picture of a cute black dog named Calle. She had adopted Calle from Best Friends, an animal shelter in Kanab, Utah. She then told our class about potentially organizing a spring break service trip to Best Friends.The trip sounded exciting, so I signed up eagerly. Over March break 2017, I traveled to Utah with 15 other Concord Academy students.

Best Friends Service Trip was the first spring break trip I participated in. Although the activities sounded fun, I was admittedly nervous about the overall experience. We gathered a couple of times before the trip, but I wasn’t close with most of the students who are attending. Despite my anticipation of an awkward trip, that week in Utah is one of my favorite memories from my time at CA.

Once we arrived at Best Friends, we split into two groups and worked at different headquarters to maximize the help. Both groups visited all five headquarters–Dogtown, Cat World, Bunny House, Marshall’s Pig Paradise, and Horse Haven.

My group started at Cat World. We cleaned the rooms while playing with the cats housed at the shelter. I was amazed when a staff member told us that Cat World takes care of more than 700 cats. After cleaning the area, we walked cats in strollers and on leashes, which was a whole new experience for me.

Next, we visited Bunny House, which housed 130 rabbits and a few guinea pigs. The caretaker said that many of the rabbits were abused by the fur industry before coming to the shelter. He told us that rabbits are a fecund animals because a female rabbits can have babies starting just 4 months after she is born and can become pregnant again within 24 hours after giving birth. Considering that the gestation period of a rabbit is approximately a month, rabbits can multiply their numbers within a short amount of time. The fur industry exploited their productivity by making female bunnies pregnant as soon as they give birth to produce more bunnies for more fur. At Bunny House, we cleaned the cages and fed the rabbits fresh lettuce. Some students read storybooks to the rabbits.

Not only did we help Best Friends take care of the animals, we also visited local attractions like Coral Pink Sand Dunes States Park. I had never been to a sand dune before the trip, so it was a fun experience to run around and spend time there. We were able to see beautiful pink and purple sunsets at the sand dune.

To the students who are considering going on a CA-hosted spring break trip, I highly recommend signing up for the Best Friends trip. If you love animals or are interested in exploring a completely new environment, Best Friends Service Trip is perfect for you. I know, first-hand, that it will be an experience you’ll never forget.

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