By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer
After two years of not being able to plan the traditional trip, on March 5 Phi Kappa Chi will be returning to Tennessee for its annual mission trip.
According to Little Rock, Ark., junior and chapter president Luke Hankins, the Christian fraternity has organized this trip every spring break since 1999, with the exception of 2021 given there was no spring break.
The organization will visit and stay at Camp Living Stones, a Christian summer camp located in Englewood, Tenn., that was founded in 1998.
“What we do is we help them prepare for the summer,” Hankins said. “So each week throughout the summer they have about 100 kids that come and stay there for the week and get to have fun and also learn about Jesus.”
Houston junior and Phi Kappa Chi member Trent Smith said he had the opportunity to go on this trip once before.
Smith said those who are attending the trip go through a 14-hour drive to get to Tennessee and members volunteer their cars to get there.
“While we’re there we’ll go to church with the camp, we’ll do some hiking trails and, most importantly, we have the opportunity to serve them and help them in any way,” Smith said.
One thing both Hankins and Smith emphasized on the importance of this trip is the strong bond it creates among the brothers.
Smith said in his experience, he got to learn how amazing the brotherhood is while focusing on two major aspects: the founding of being brothers of Christ and their Christ-like service.
Hankins said in the past, Phi Kappa Chi has helped with some of the camp’s projects, including building decks, pavilions, cabins and more.
According to Smith, members will bring some tools with them but Camp Living Stones will provide most of the supplies and material they need to build the amenities.
This year, 30 Phi Kappa Chi members will be attending this trip for the entirety of spring break. They will be taking off on March 5 and will return on March 12.
Hankins said he looks forward to getting to know his brothers better throughout this trip. He said he has heard stories from former brothers about how they get closer during the trip because they get to serve together.
“They always come back way better friends than they were before, and I’m really excited for that,” Hankins said.
After having to skip a year for the first time since its start due to the pandemic, Hankins said this is a tradition the fraternity is trying to restart.