Alternative Break Citizenship schools (ABCs)

National conferences for student and staff leaders in the Alternative Break movement

The highly regarded Alternative Break Citizenship schools, originally called "Boot Camps" when they debuted in 1993, are Break Away's signature experiential leadership training sessions that combine interactive best practice workshops and activities with an intensive 6-day alternative break experience. Break Away offers four of these national trainings throughout the summer (June and July), with the locations and issues advertised and registration opened in mid-March. Advantage membership includes a free registration to an ABCs of choice.

Campus Leadership + Program Development

Strategic Planning, Regional Trainings, One-Day Events, and retreats for student and staff leaders

Break Away conducts one or two-day trainings tailored to the specific needs of individual or multiple campuses. Break Away works directly with a host school (or schools) to develop an agenda and training session that will give participants the tools they need to be effective community leaders and facilitators of lifelong active citizenship.

Agendas are tailored to each institution's unique needs and desired audience. Training options include strategic planning, foundations for effective community-engaged learning, specialized workshops, program consultation and evaluation, and train the trainer workshops.

Workshop Descriptions Training Interest Form

Professional Development

Institution staff and grad assistant leadership development opportunities

Twice a year, typically in the fall (Staff Development Summit) and during the summer at an ABCs (Staff Track), Break Away will partner with a campus to host a 1 - 2 day event for 25 - 35 campus and nonprofit staff. Sessions are led by the host campus, Break Away staff, and outside authorities on subjects of interest. Past summits have included sessions on fundraising, collective work (compacts), program policy and liability, training student leaders, assessment, and community partnership development.

2019 Staff Development Summit Information 2019 ABCs Staff Track Information

Nonprofit + Community Organization Training

Strategic Planning, Regional Trainings, One-Day Events, and retreats specifically for nonprofits, community partners, and intermediary organizations

While Break Away is most known for supporting alternative break programs on college campuses, we’re primarily a training and resource organization for folks involved with community-based learning in all forms. Over the past 30 years, we’ve developed a unique and interactive training style and a suite of curriculum to support the growth and development of nonprofit and community-based organizations and their work with volunteers. 

Workshops and Retreats

Break Away works with organizations from the idea stage, crafting agenda and training session that gives participants the tools they need to be effective community leaders, volunteer managers, and supporters of thoughtful community impact.

Topics include: Diversity + Social Justice; Facilitation + ‘Train-the-Trainer’; as well as all the nitty gritty of building or scaling a volunteer program. Check out our sample workshop descriptions below.

Curious about something not listed? Try us. We’ll be honest if it’s too much of a stretch.  

Strategic Planning + Meeting Facilitation

Taking time to dream big and plan a roadmap to get there is crucial to actualizing values and goals. We know that capacity limitations can often make it difficult for small organizations to execute effective strategic planning processes with their staff and board.  

Break Away staff are ready to help develop agendas and facilitate strategic planning processes - working to support your leadership team in collective brainstorming and development of goals, objectives, action steps, and timelines.

Keynote + Guest Speakers

We’d love to speak at your conference, present at your event, or join a panel discussion and share our experience working with hundreds of colleges and nonprofits for nearly 30 years.  


Informally, we’re always ready to chat with your team to offer advice and resources in any way we can. More formally, Break Away is able to support programming evaluation processes and develop a tailored agenda to support your leadership  in articulating and actualizing goals.

Community Organization Workshop Descriptions Training Interest Form