With finals looming ahead, summer plans can be the only thing that keeps you sane. I spoke with four Milligan women about their plans for this summer break.

Sarah Collie, a graduating senior, plans on hiking the Appalachian Trail this summer. The 2,190-mile trail extends from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, and it goes through the well-known Roan Mountain near Milligan.

“I have always known I was going to hike the Appalachian Trail,” Collie said. “I bought my first piece of gear when I was in middle school.”

Collie plans on starting her hike June 1. To complete the the trail will take approximately five to six months.

Instead of going straight into graduate school, Collie hopes that hiking the trail will serve as its own kind of educational experience.

“I have a lot left to learn about myself and about the world,” she said. “What really excites me is the idea of carrying everything I need for six months on my back. My life is so busy and cluttered right now–it will be a relief to be in a place where I can live in simplicity.”

Collie plans on hiking the trail alone but will meet with friends along the way who will hike with her for small portions of the trail.

She has received both support and caution from friends and family about her solo adventure.

“Some people have cautioned me against my solo hike, but I think everyone should feel empowered to travel alone, especially women!” she said. “The AT is no more dangerous than anywhere else. And you can’t let fear stop you from doing the things you want to do.”

Abby Weinberger, a junior, plans on traveling to Jamaica for a mission trip this summer. She will take a trip to Old Harbor, Jamaica, a place she has regularly visited since she was in seventh grade.

“We see a lot of the same kids every year,” she said. “It’s like going back to family now.”

Weinberger will be working with a basketball camp to
help the children and teenagers in Jamaica have a safe place to go and get off the streets.
“My favorite part about doing ministry in Jamaica is building relationships with the kids and leveraging those relationships to bring them to Christ,” Weinberger said.

In this week-long trip, Weinberger hopes to build lasting relationships with the teenagers on a basketball court and help bring them closer to Christ with devotions and vacation Bible schools.

Junior Haley Greenwell plans on visiting New Orleans, La., for a mission trip this summer. She is traveling with a team called Get Real and they will be doing street ministry as well as visiting and ministering at rehab facilities and women’s shelters. They are also open to any other doors opened to them while they are there.

“I have a passion for inner city ministry,” Greenwell said. “I feel a calling to serve and help inner-city kids and feel like this trip will help me in my ministry back home.”

She will be going to New Orleans for five days at the beginning of June.

Freshman Kaitlyn Carringer will be traveling to Maryland with her family over the break. She plans to visit Annapolis, the U.S. Naval Academy and the Chesapeake Bay lighthouses and hopes to take a boat tour of Chesapeake Bay.

“I’m excited, especially for Annapolis,” Carringer  said. “Downtown seems to be pretty cool and getting to see Chesapeake Bay! Not to mention it’ll be cool to see the battlefield from the Civil War, because that is my favorite thing to study in history!”


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