We live together as a group in the high school, centrally located in Tetlin Village. There are bathrooms, showers, and kitchen facilities, and VISIONS provides a thick floor mattress for each person.
Service projects take place five days per week, starting after breakfast and wrapping up in mid- or late afternoon. You typically get to choose between three different worksites each day, most involving construction and building. We take a lunch break and water breaks as needed, and work at a steady, productive pace.
One day a week you will be on “homebase crew” with a few other participants and a leader. The crew gets up a bit early to make a big breakfast for everyone, runs errands and buys food for the next meals, does laundry, helps prepare dinner, and takes in a fun “day in the life.”
After work there is time for activities in the community, a nearby excursion or short hike, or some downtime before dinner. Dinners include meat and vegetarian options with plenty of variety and always enough for seconds. There also are healthy snacks available throughout the day.
A few evenings a week, we have group meetings that last about an hour and are a time to reflect on the volunteer and cultural experience. Other nights we’ll hang out as a group, prepare for the next day’s projects, or have get-togethers with local friends. In addition to after work and evening activities, you’ll take part in exciting full-day excursions.
VISIONS is not a teen tour with a day-to-day travel itinerary. Instead we settle in to our home base and are part of daily life. In this place so far removed in location and attitude from the “lower 48” that Alaskans refer to everywhere else as simply “outside,” you soon will feel like an insider in your temporary home. The itinerary provides highlights of some of our activities in Alaska.