An ‘Experience Unlike Any Other’: Langan ’25 Reflects on Montana Service Trip
February 5, 2024
Junior Shane Langan reflected in his own words about his week spent in Browning, Montana at the De La Salle Blackfeet School. This is one of multiple service immersion trips that CBA students take throughout each school year.
Traveling to the De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana was not my first service trip at CBA, but the experience was unlike any other and I am forever grateful that I decided to sign up.
Going into the trip, I knew that I would be leaving my comfort zone and facing issues that I was not familiar with. However, the thing that I did not realize was the profound effect that these issues would have on the way I viewed my life as a whole. The kids I met, the stories I heard, and the way of life in Browning itself all caused me to rethink my own life, as well as the decisions I have made up until this point.
On the bus ride from the airport to our bunkhouse, I was in awe of the natural landscape and the expansiveness of the state, from its wide plains to its snowy peaks; it was quite different from the industrial cities and densely populated towns of New Jersey. We eventually reached the bunk house, which was nearly 20 minutes away from the nearest grocery store and lacked cell service, something all of the students – including myself – groaned about. Despite this, we went on hikes through the beautiful landscape, crossing rivers, climbing hills, and even snow-shoeing in the Glacier National Park. These trips, along with late night card games and fruitful discussions, allowed us to completely immerse ourselves in the present moment and forget about our cell phones.
More importantly, however, the trip allowed us to connect with the community of the De La Salle Blackfeet School as a whole, through welcoming us into their Church for Mass, students confiding in us with their prayer intentions, teachers trusting in us to lead the students in the right direction, and basketball players inviting us to the cheer them on at their games. Each of these factors made me truly fulfilled by this service trip, and caused me to be grateful for the experiences that I have been blessed with in my life.