Spring break for Hamilton County schools will take place the final week of March.
Students and teachers are making big plans for their time away from school. Some will go to the beach while others might go snow skiing. Still others will just stay at home, kick back and relax as they await those final weeks before the summer vacation arrives.
And there's a group of high school coaches who are planning a week-long mission trip to Costa Rica.
E.K. Slaughter, the head football coach at Red Bank, has been on three such trips to Honduras.
He knows from his own experience what a wonderful time these trips are and he's hoping to encourage others to join him.
Drew Lyness, an assistant football coach at Soddy Daisy, is one who has committed to the trip, in addition to Red Bank assistants Jake Ledbetter and Chuck Janow. Hayden Clark is another Soddy Daisy coach who is making plans to go.
Working with a fine organization called SCORE International, this group will travel to Costa Rica, where they will be part of an effort that includes football clinics, various kinds of construction, working with kids at an orphanage and just about anything else that might be needed at the time.
"It will be time away from our families as we give up our spring break, but we're going to serve God and it's important that we go," Slaughter said one after recently.
"It's nice to build relationships as we'll meet a wide range of people, but we'll get to see just how God works in their lives and we'll get to hear their stories. Their attitudes rub off on you," Slaughter added.
This is not a cheap trip. The cost is $700 plus air fare, so it's a financial commitment as much as anything else.
Slaughter and Lyness have sent emails and flyers to coaches across Tennessee and Georgia. There is space for about 50 individuals. While local coaches have been the main target, the trip is not limited to coaches alone.
"It's important to open people's eyes to this opportunity, but we're open to anyone interested in going. It's a life-changing experience. I've been on three trips like this to Honduras, but I have no idea what to expect on this one. Whatever they need us to do, that's what we'll do," Slaughter added.
Lyness has never been on a trip like this, but he's heard Slaughter talking about it and he chomping at the bit for the trip to begin.
"I can't wait. We've talked about it since last summer and I'm looking forward to it. This is my first go-round. They wanted me to take that last trip to Honduras, but it just didn't work out. I've read a couple of books and I'm really looking forward to such a wonderful opportunity," Lyness said.
There will be another organizational meeting on Jan. 16 to further discuss the trip. Anyone interesting in going should contact coach Slaughter at Slaughter_E@HCDE.org or Lyness at Lyness_A@HCDE.org.
(Email John Hunt at email@example.com)