Jack's CAS Journey

An Odyssey of the Diploma Programme

Gecko Inc. – Making a Splash

Restarting Gecko INc.

We’re Back!

(A Gecko Inc. Service Session Last Year) Credit: Phillip VanHorn

Gecko Inc. Is officially back! After about 8 months during which service was impossible, my co-leaders and I have managed to find a way to restart weekly meetings online to plan for the future and devise creative ways to teach the kids from a distance.

Initial Sessions

Throughout the first few sessions, we have come up with an extensive action plan for the next semester and beyond which mainly focuses on increasing our social media outreach, fundraising, and creating online and print programs that would allow us to connect with the kids without working face-to-face. The full action plan entails:

    • Making online video courses that provide water safety tips for the students – Youtube?
      • Creating supplemental booklets for those who don’t have internet access
        • Potentially employing the style of a children’s book with hand-drawn images, etc. 
    • Fundraising projects/ideas
      • T-shirts
      • Zoom-a-thon with Sri Lankan athletes to promote Gecko Inc – Swim-a-thon?
  • Donations:
        • Donating old swimsuits, goggles, gear…
      • Decathlon: (out of date or swimsuits that aren’t being sold). 
    • Videos: (Charlie to Edit – Gecko Net experience)
      • For beginners: being able to flip onto their backs and float, blowing bubbles (simple activities to feel comfortable in the water)
      • For Intermediate: swimming without a board (learning to rely on themselves)
      • For Advanced: teach them techniques
  • Social Media: 
    • Instagram Account (to reach OSC audience in case of fundraisers, donations)
    • Youtube channel – videos
    • GeckoInc email

We also revised our service group description as well as our mission and vision statements to reflect our current state and the trajectory of our service. They are as follows:

  • Service Description

The Gecko Inc. service group focuses on helping disadvantaged Sri Lankan children to develop basic water safety skills. Considering the fact that Sri Lanka is an island, a child’s ability to feel safe around water is critical to preventing drownings. 

  • Mission Statement

The Gecko Inc. service group focuses on helping disadvantaged Sri Lankan children to develop basic water safety skills.

  • Vision Statement

To ensure all children can feel safe around water.


General Reflection

Ultimately, I feel confident in the work that we have done over the course of our first few sessions back and am equally confident in the trajectory of Gecko Inc. I look forward eagerly to seeing what the rest of the year holds, and, I must admit, I look forward to seeing what becomes of Gecko Inc. in future years under future leaders given the foundation for success that we are laying now.

(One of our members, Seb, with a leader, Giulia) Credit: Phillip VanHorn

Learning Outcomes Reflection
  • Identify own strengths and develop areas for growth
    • As a service leader, I have been required to partake in introspection to determine what strengths I can best use to lead, as well as what areas I must grow in (so that, with my co-leaders, we are able to use all of our respective strengths to further the mission of Gecko Inc.).
  • Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
    • As I’m sure is evident, restarting a service group during a pandemic is no mean feat. Luckily, OSC provided us with an amazing support system that allowed us to work to the best of our abilities, but effectively getting Gecko Inc. up and running (with trying to gain new service members, preserve the spots of old service members, and devise a plan of action) was a challenge.
  • Show commitment to and perseverance in CAS experiences
    • Returning to service would not have been possible without a fair helping of perseverance and commitment from me, my co-leaders, Mr. Van Zijl, and the members of Gecko Inc. throughout the last few weeks we have been working tirelessly to ensure that the transition to online Gecko Inc. would be smooth and that we would have
  • Demonstrate the skills and recognize the benefits of working collaboratively
    • As I have stated before several times, this was a group effort and would not have been possible without the assistance and guidance of many others. Thus, throughout the process, I was encouraged to work collaboratively and through such work, I was able to more effectively recognize the benefits of collaboration and cooperation.

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