MCCARR, Kentucky. – Seven Rosemont College student-athletes traded in their bathing suits and sunglasses for hammers and nails as they spent their spring break a little differently than most. Joining 14 other Rosemont students and staff members, the group packed into two vans and headed down to McCarr, Kentucky to help the Phelps Area Habitat for Humanity.
The trip, sponsored by Rosemont College Campus Ministry, was from February 28th to March 6th. Athletic Director Lynn Rothenhoefer along with lacrosse players Elizabeth Kemp (Williamstown, N.J.), Lauren Lombardo (Philadelphia, Pa.), Chelsea Reeve (Pennsuaken, N.J.), and Nicole Schilk (Rockledge, Pa.), softball players Gina Donnelly (Horsham, Pa.) and Marissa Meyers (Philadelphia, Pa.), and volleyball player Jessica DeMaskey (West Chester, Pa.) all took part in the trip.
After a nine hour van drive, the group settled into its home away from home, a special house for volunteers of the Phelps Area Habitat for Humanity. The group was briefed on their schedule for the trip. Over the course of the week they would be going to three different sites helping clear some land for a house to be built, updating and refurbishing another house, and helping with updates to the Phelps Area Volunteer Center.
“During the week, I got the chance to cut and chainsaw trees in order to clear a lot for a house,” Kemp said. “Other days, I was painting and caulking. I made sure that the door jams we worked on fit properly in the rooms.”
The groups schedule for the week consisted of an early wake up call at 7am so they could be out the door and to the site at 8am. The group would work until 4pm, with a lunch break of course, and then head back to the center for dinner and reflections.
It wasn’t all work and no play though; the group was able to explore a local coal mining area and partake in a bowling night. Nights were also filled with bonding either through games or just hanging out.
“On nights when we didn't have anything planned, everyone found something fun to do,” said DeMaskey. “It was either playing card games, mafia, pool, foosball or just talking.”
The group may have brought back some blisters and a couple scrapes, but even more important were the life lessons and experiences.
“This trip for me was an amazing experience and I learned so much about myself and others as well,” added Donnelly. “I was helping in making someone else's life better and a little bit happier. It felt good.”
“I learned a lot about a new culture I have never seen before,” DeMaskey added. “It made me realize how lucky I am for everything I have. I also learned how much work it takes to build a house and that every little part is a lot of work.”