The words "college spring break" normally bring to mind things like beaches and beer parties. But a growing number of groups are offering students more productive alternatives.
Some three dozen students from Tennessee Tech are spending their spring break in Long Beach, with hammers and paint brushes in hand. They're spending the week as part of a "work party".
The students from Tennessee Tech are involved in a Christian ministry at their school. For the past six years, the campus ministry team has traveled to different churches to volunteer their services during spring break.
This year, the team is visiting Long Beach.
"It definitely draws attention because it's different than what the average college student does," said ministry director, Duane Dixon.
The volunteers from Tennessee Tech are your typical college kids. They're glad to get a break from classes. The difference is how they'll spend their time.
These students are helping the Cleveland Avenue Church of Christ with a variety of fix up projects. They're renovating a small house near the church.
Student, Todd Layne, says the work is very much worthwhile.
"It's fun to come down and see people smile and see people have a good time from this whenever we're done. And see what it means to them. And it helps re build us too, in our Christian life."
The work team from Cookeville, Tennessee chose Long Beach because someone had a connection with the local church.
Stephanie Ford says the destination doesn't matter. It's the work that's most rewarding.\
"A lot of painting, cleaning up. We've done a lot of cleaning. Leaf raking. Just whatever they want us to do. They're just sending us out in directions and we're going."
"They enjoy it. It's a chance for them to have a vacation from school. and it's serving others. It's a great opportunity to help other people," said Duane Dixon.
As much as the students enjoy the fellowship of this project, this week is not all work and no play. They're looking forward to taking Friday off, and enjoying a little free time.
The students are planning a trip to New Orleans and the beach once the work's done. But until then, they don't mind breaking a sweat during spring break