On April 22nd 2015, Central High School’s environmental club, Roots and Shoots, hosted our annual Earth Day Extravaganza. Seven different speakers came to speak to a few hundred students about recycling, sustainability, and everything environmental. The event last year was put on by our 2013-2014 presidents, but for the 2014-2015 year we had a new set of presidents and a fairly new batch of group members as well. Needless to say, we had a bit of a rough start.
It took us a while to get our footing on the project, and I wasn’t even sure if we could pull off the event until a few weeks before the scheduled date. We struggled with finding speakers, scheduling their time slots, and delegating responsibilities. There are a lot of logistics to coordinate for seven speakers all at different times on the same day. A lot of the problem was that we weren’t working together as a team, thus not reaching our full potential. However, we pushed on, and were able to pull it off!
The day of the event went smoothly, even though we were all a little nervous. There was always at least one person at the event at all times, making sure everything went according to plan. We made sure to have someone greeting all of the speakers when they arrived, someone to help with technology and powerpoints, and a few extra volunteers in case the presenters needed anything else. Just having volunteers at the ready ensured the day would move along well.
Each presenter was on for about 45 minutes (a full class period) and presented to around a hundred students at a time. The presentations did go well, but I was reminded that informing them of our vision was an element of organizing that we should have put a bit more attention to. Ironically, how the presentations go is what’s most out of our hands as organisers. No matter how much work we put into publicizing and scheduling the event, what our guests do on stage is not entirely under our control. However, we were impressed by the wide variety of topics that the presenters spoke on, such as aquaponics, climate change, and even advice for advancing oneself in the environmental career field.
Raquel Maronde, one of our speakers, talking about her career in environmental science. “It’s okay to be concerned for the future, but don’t get stuck on the question ‘What am I going to do with the rest of my life?’, rather ask, ‘What do I want to do tomorrow?’”
It was a great event to get our team going, since there were many jobs, letting everyone help out at least a little. Delegating responsibilities taught me a lot about leadership, especially when everyone or no one stepped up to the plate. Most of all it taught me that leading and organizing is a hard job, but is worth it when a project finally unfolds in front of you. All in all I would deem our Extravaganza a success!
A few members of our Roots & Shoots team