Volunteering is very good way to learn about life and mix with other people. I see that there is a great need for volunteering itself in local communities. Lot of kids are involved in the efforts and communities benefit from them. Lots of kids go and volunteer abroad just for one or two years. However when the same kid return home, they have very few hours to volunteer in their own communities where they live. Does ad-comm can not see that these trips are designed to add hours rather than believe in community service itself?
In my opinion if someone is doing volunteer work from 6-8 years is more impressive (eg. Girl scouting, boy scouting, 4-H etc.) than say from last two years of high school as they are just doing if for the sake of college admissions.
The longer period that starts during garde school shows passion when one put hundredes of hours spread on a very long and sustained period. I was wondering if colleges take a note of this passion or they are just catering to the need of wealthy and connected again and ignore the facts.