When school started this year the previous afterschool activities that would normally fill my time in the afternoons were postponed. Just a few weeks ago, we had our first full Reefkeepers meeting with our new members.
Prior to the service sign-ups, Talia and I (the service leaders) met with Ms. Clover and Mr. Poulus to go over our ideas for this year as well as plan Talia’s and I task of recording a presentation as an introduction to Reefkeepers to inspire new members to join us. The video can be seen here.
Our video must have done the trick because we had our first full meeting with our new group with many new members from 7th to 12th grade. Meeting over zoom, we first introduced ourselves to each other to get to know the group and the possible skills that we have that could be helpful to the group. We went over the mission of our service group, the history of the group, and past projects that we carried out to educate our new members of what we accomplished so far and inspire new ideas for action.
In order to brainstorm for new actions we could take this year we organized Padlets to share issues each member cares about and the main reasons they joined Reefkeepers. After each of us posting the issues that lie closest to our hearts we found connections between them to see what issues we hope to take action against together. After organizing these ideas into a couple of main categories we each posted questions relating to the specific topics. Using these questions to guide us, we individually researched these issues and share the information we gathered with the group.
Inspired by these topics, we then brainstormed different possible actions we could take this year. This is especially difficult because this year our actions will have to be done remotely. Some ideas include: online documentary screenings and a discussion over Zoom about the documentary afterward, publishing Rosie the Reefkeeper (Talia and I’s plan for our CAS project), organizing online education programs about environmental sustainability, and continuing to raise awareness through the bulletin, social media, and newsletter.
Another action we hope to begin this year is becoming an “EcoSchool” and achieving “green flag status,” however this process will not be solely dependent on Reefkeepers as we will collaborate with other groups at school. We started this long process with a Zoom meeting together with the Recycling and Sustainability service group and Mr. Poulus, who helped his previous school through the process. He explained the steps required to start the authorization. The process will take around three years to complete therefore we must set things in motion in a way for this to continue years after I leave OSC.
Although the current situation makes it more difficult to organize ourselves to follow our mission, I think we did a great job so far of planning our meetings to continue to be interactive even though they are virtual and I am confident that we will be able to overcome this new challenge. Even during the few meetings we have had so far, our new group seems very interested and passionate about this issue of global importance. So far we have worked collaboratively very well during the brainstorming process and I am excited to see what we will accomplish this year!