Green Fingers: Family Festival

LO3: Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience

LO5: Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively

Family Festival has always been one of the biggest events for Green Fingers as we work together with the Parent’s Association, Service department, and Mr Hunt, director of Sustainability in order to make the Family Festival an even that aligns with the college’s mission statement of sustainability.

We have always been finding alternatives to disposables so here is a brief history of what we did at Family Festival in the past years.

In grade 9 when I first volunteered for Green Fingers without being a member, I helped members hand out banana leaves to food stalls to use instead of disposable plates. This was not quite successful as most stalls either left it to the side or just used it as decor. Additionally, at the end of Family Festival, members had to stay behind to wash it before it can go to compost.
Last year, when I was in grade 10 and became an official member of Green Fingers, the Service department has kindly invested in crockery that can be used for non-Sodexo affiliated events around school. We also encouraged people to bring their own containers. Although not many people brought their own container, they were still quite positive and open to the idea of putting a deposit and borrowing crockery and getting the deposit back when they return the items. GC will also receive benefits from volunteering members to help out with the Green Fingers station including: transportation, leasing, and washing. From last year's success, we followed the same scheme from last year.

As part of the leadership team, a lot of planning went into making all this happen, we had to liaise with many stakeholders and compromise where necessary. Family Festival was also near the beginning of season 3 so over half of our members are new and have never attended any other Green Fingers event. It is hard to imagine what it must be like to assume a leadership position with minimal to no experience. They would also have to reteach the skills to the volunteers. It was also quite hard to manage time as a lot of the time spent on planning happened outside our Thursday session. We had to find a way to compensate for the time loss but also not overwork the Grade 9’s by shortening our sessions. Although Hui and I have to stay until 5:30 pm on the Friday before Family Festival, other members who were free helped get a lot of work done from 3:00-4:30. Here is one of our planning document:

On the day, Hui and I trusted our members to be responsible for the job assigned to them. To make communication smoother between Green Finger members and volunteers, we created a group chat for each stall. I did not assign myself to a specific stall, instead I oversaw every stall and checked them every so often to ensure that everything was going smoothly. My main job was to manage the money as the notes given to us by finance were too big. I had to run back and forth between the service tent and different stalls to exchange big notes for smaller change. Sometimes the service tent would not have enough change so I would have to go visit different GC stalls and ask to exchange money. There were also a lot of unexpected changes such as GC members who did not show up, people not feeling well. We were happy to see that most people were flexible, happy, and willing to adapt to the changes we may have made.

The beginning of the day was quite quiet as not many would people would eat so early in the day. But once lunch has started, it started getting hectic, some stalls ran out of crockery, others ran out of change, some are lacking manpower. So Hui, Ms Yacou, and I decided to take a section each. This division of labour helped as there would be less running around and we could focus on a few stalls. The work process then became more organised. As time passed, we made a few changes here and there but everything went quite smoothly. The Family Festival came to an end and we all met up in the high school office for a debrief and counted all the crockery and either bring them back to storage or send them back to Dover. I was extremely thankful for everyone who helped in making Family Festival a greener event. Throughout the day, people, especially parents, were very pleased with the initiative and fully supported, some gave us feedback that could be used for future events. Ms Jacyl and Ms Joy from the service department also joined us after family festival and gave us very positive feedback. These comments although they were small, it helped reassure that we are doing things for the greater good and that the hard work and time dedicated to this event has paid off.

Here is the reflection we collectively did as a group:

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