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Olympic Trial Challenge: Service Learning

The founder of Outward Bound, Kurt Hahn, once said, “There is more in us than we know.” Now, possibly more than ever, the call to action is essential in giving us a sense of agency and control, lifting the spirits of those around us, and supporting those who are bearing additional burdens right now due to health risks, financial struggles, family situations, etc. Your challenge is, as a Crew, to engage in and amplify a service project of your choice. Your Crew must first decide between 2 options: 

  • Option 1: Plan and execute an act of service or public awareness campaign
  • Option 2: Amplify and expand upon an act of service you’ve already gotten started (possibly for Better World Day)

Option 1 Directions

  • First, think about and discuss what your Crew might do:
    • Who are you serving?
    • What kind of action does your Crew want to do?
    • Why does your Crew care about this issue and project?
    • What impact do you expect to have? How might you be able to measure it?
  • A list of actionable ideas (both pandemic-related and non-pandemic-related) is provided below and on the NYC Outward Bound Schools website, but you are also encouraged to come up with your own idea:
    • Peer tutoring
    • Leading fitness classes for your classmates, community (and possibly beyond)
    • Sharing ideas for summer activities (assuming some level of quarantine remains) with other young people
    • Planning virtual meetups or creating other opportunities for people to connect while social distancing
    • Making or collecting personal protective gear (PPE) and getting it to essential workers in need
    • Connecting with seniors or others who may have limited contact with others due to risk factors
    • Publicizing food and/or supply drives
    • Showing gratitude with electronic or paper cards
    • Donating food and supplies to animal shelters and/or pet owners in need
    • Making a PSA about a social issue that matters to you
    • Publishing your point of view and making a call for action about a social issue that matters to you
    • Writing to local representatives
    • Making window signs and other displays of support
    • Creating a fundraiser
    • Creating and sharing a petition
  • Once the plan is solidified, Crews should jump to action. The more Crew members who participate, the better. Be sure to document your impact by keeping track of people reached, messages shared, etc., and/or by taking photos, video, etc. 
  • Present the great work your Crew did using any method you’d like (Word doc with photos, slideshow presentation, video, etc.). 
  • Submit your work by 5 p.m. on Friday, 6/12!

Option 2 Directions

  • If your Crew has already engaged in service, consider how you can amplify your call to action or increase participation:
    • Get more Crew members and even people outside your Crew to participate
    • Create a hashtag campaign on social media to raise awareness about your project and issue
    • Submit a piece about your project to a local newspaper
    • Comment on an editorial related to your issue
    • Start and spread a petition related to your issue
    • Raise even more funds, create even more cards, lead additional virtual classes/meetings, etc.
  • Be sure to document your impact by keeping track of people reached, messages shared, etc., and/or by taking photos, video, etc.
  • Present the great work your Crew did using any method you’d like (Word doc with photos, slideshow presentation, video, etc.). 
  • Submit your work by 5 p.m. on Friday, 6/12!

Logistics, Supplies & Technology

  • Will vary based on what the Crew chooses for their service project
  • At the very least, Crews will need some way to document their work and impact (photo, video, etc.)

Considerations/Hints: 

  • Crew Advisors may support Crews, but students are primarily responsible for completing this challenge!
  • While we encourage Crews to think big, we also know that time is limited and that students (and Crew Advisors) have competing priorities. Rather than being judged on impact and scale alone, Service Challenge projects will be judged based on the following criteria:
    • Participation: What percentage of Crew members participated? Was the Crew able to get participation in their project from people outside of their Crew?
    • Impact: How much impact did the project have? How many people were reached by it? How significant was the impact?
    • Presentation Quality: How well did the Crew document and present their work? Did they demonstrate some level of craftsmanship?

If you have any questions about the activity, your Crew advisor can contact Jessica Bardy at [email protected].

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