Each spring ninth grade students at St. Anne’s-Belfield School engage in Doug’s Trip, a week of service in an area of the country in need of assistance.
Named in memory of alumnus Douglas Robert Wardle ‘08, the destination has recently been southeastern Kentucky. Working with Christian Appalachian Project, students complete home improvements for those in need. In the past students have built ramps, replaced windows and siding, installed drywall, and painted.
In addition to serving others, Doug’s Trip allows students to work together and experience a culture different from day-to-day life in Charlottesville. In order to prepare for the week, students participate in hammer camp for basic training with hand tools, and undertake fundraising activities to support the trip.
Begun in 2009, Doug’s Trip was a gift from the Class of 2008 to recognize their classmate. Among Doug Wardle’s contributions to the School was advocacy for service learning. He realized that these efforts help build the School community as well as assist others. In celebration of his contributions, his senior classmates dedicated their class gift to his memory and directed it to a service trip for the ninth grade to travel as a group to a location where their energy and empathy would have a genuine impact.
In 2009, the inaugural year of Doug’s Trip, the ninth grade traveled to Pass Christian, Mississippi to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina. Over the years students have returned to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, as well as traveled to the Appalachian Mountains in Kentucky.