The Merry Green Marvel creates personal and community transformation through adventure and service learning.


 
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Who’s that Driver?  Long time experiential educator and Community Collaborations project coordinator, Steve Lawless is fulfilling his dream of commandeering a 40 ft coach bus, "The Merry Green Marvel" to create a rolling community of service and adventure!  Steve has an M.A. in Education and has taught in many settings including as a traditional writing and literature teacher, on Native American reservations, farm schools, alternative middle and high schools and a Waldorf school.  From his many years of teaching Steve has an infectious enthusiasm for taking learning outside the classroom. “Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. It’s the sleeves-rolled-up interaction in communities and landscapes that brings the learning alive and affirms the best of our humanity,” he says. With a strong work ethic and deep love of the land inspired by his farming roots, Steve believes in the power of nature and community to push students to stretch their minds, bodies, and hearts. “We aim to create learning experiences where participants can enter a community and learn first-hand from local leaders what it means to be a positive force of change in your community.”

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What is a Sleeper Coach Adventure Bus? To step up on the Merry Green Marvel and see that this will be your home for your trip will make your adventurous heart smile.  There are no traditional bus seats. The bus has been converted into a sleeper coach that allows volunteers to sleep in it as if it were a big tent.  We are affectionately known as the sardine can bus! The bus can sleep up to 32 people with a toilet on the bus and portable, quick set up showers available.  And the magic continues with food coolers and a whole kitchen underneath the bus that we pull out with all volunteers helping prepare their own meals. This portability lets us sleep and eat at or close to our work sites maximizing our availability to work.

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Trips Available to Book Now

New Orleans, LA New Awlins!  Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! (Let the Good Times Roll!)  Starting in December 2017 the Merry Green Marvel will be available to be booked for service projects within a 70 mile radius of New Orleans. Our work will primarily focus on wetland restoration along with poverty and homelessness and youth support. This may include work planting trees and wetland grasses, erosion mitigation, habitat restoration including invasive plant and debris removal, home building and rebuilds, food banks and shelters, Boys and Girls Clubs. Our service weeks run from arrival on Sunday afternoon or eve (the bus can pick you up at the New Orleans airport or other transportation hub) and work Monday through Thursday with Friday as a day to explore the culture of New Orleans through Food (cooking class taught by New Orleans), Architecture (walking tour through the French Quarter), and Music ( Immersion into the street music and the relevance of New Orleans and the Delta as the tap root of the American musical tree).  Upon request we can also put together a cypress swamp paddle with canoes and/or kayaks.   Drop off/Departure on Saturday morning.  

We welcome smaller groups and can combine a variety of volunteers to create a full bus crew of 32.  This combination of volunteers from different places and backgrounds often adds to the richness of the experience.  An advantage of getting on the bus for your service week is that you get transportation, housing, food, project, participant insurance, cultural and social awareness sessions with a guest speaker from the community we serve, reflection time through journaling and personal growth sharing sessions facilitated by Merry Green Marvel staff all on one bus for  $324 or $54/night.

Hurricane Harvey Relief  The Merry Green Marvel will be reaching out with its offering of hard working and merry hearted volunteers to the flood victims of Texas.  With our mobile volunteer hostel  we will make efforts to roll the bus out to smaller communities that are underserved.  Volunteers can expect to work on home rebuilds and help with after school programs.

Just like the New Orleans trip you get transportation, housing, food, project, participant insurance, cultural and social awareness sessions with a guest speaker from the community we serve, reflection time through journaling and personal growth sharing sessions facilitated by Merry Green Marvel staff all on one bus for  $324 or $54/night! Smaller groups can be combined with other groups to get a full bus crew of 32. Your group can be picked up at the Houston airport or other Houston area travel hub on Sunday and dropped off on Saturday morning.

Food is lovingly prepared by participants.  We use locally sourced fresh food when we can as well as organic when we can.  Meals are mostly vegetarian.  We recycle and compost and strive to be mindful of the footprint we leave behind

For New Orleans and Hurricane Harvey Relief Trips A $200 non-refundable deposit is due upon reservation; the balance of $112 is due one month before project start.

For more information contact us 608 632 6325 or merrygreenmarvel@communitycollaborations.org 

Let’s Design Your Trip Together!  Because it is a rolling community of volunteer merriment the bus can be chartered and configured to fit your group’s goals and interests.  For example the bus can be used not only to create a dynamic service week during a school break, but also can be chartered to create a field study for course work in conjunction with your school. Imagine a class being enhanced or even built around adventure and service learning whereby course concepts are taught through immersion and sleeves rolled up interaction in communities and landscapes that bring the learning alive! Think of the endless possibilities for study: civil rights history tour, watershed studies, Native American culture, homelessness, wetland restoration, sustainability studies, community supported agriculture, traveling theater, singing or dance troupe, how to create community dialogue, storytelling around America, architectural wonders, National Park Odyssey, creating protected lands.....Think of the initiative you as an instructor or student or community/group  leader could take to create a course through the rolling classroom.  But trips are not limited to just students. Imagine a family reunion, great American road trip or faith based group or company/team building trip created through the mission of adventure and service!

Western Odyssey    Our summer 2018 schedule will include an extended trip of around two weeks that starts in Denver and takes in natural splendors on our way up to the Canadian border along the Rocky Mountains and then back down through the Red Rock country of Utah before returning to Denver.  Mountain hikes, camping under the stars, horseback riding, hot springs!  This trip is in formation. Sign up now to get mailed the trip details when they are announced.

Food is lovingly prepared by participants.  We use locally sourced fresh food when we can as well as organic when we can.  Meals are mostly vegetarian.  We recycle and compost and strive to be mindful of the footprint we leave behind.

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What are you doing with the pulse of your marvelous life?!? Get on the Bus!