Go Green Club persists despite virtual challenges

Ila Gordon

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Photo courtesy of the Go Green Club

(From left) Juniors Caeden Babcock, David Bowers, Charley Carr, Will Wise and Sophia Carrasco pose with trash collected from a Rockville stream. Members of the Go Green club partake in many local volunteer activities to better the environment.

The Go Green Club has adapted to virtual learning by hosting club events outdoors with social distancing, masks and limited participants in order to pursue their club goals of keeping the environment safe and clean.

The primary goals of the Go Green Club are to promote environmental awareness in order to protect and save the environment. The club focuses on drawing awareness to climate change and educating students about other pressing environmental issues.

“We just [created] it to try and help the current conditions of the environment as much as we can locally and get everyone… to care and preserve the environment,” President junior Hannah Fishberg said.

Although the mission of the club remains, a few of these goals were inevitably altered due to virtual learning. The Go Green club strives to include as many participants as possible in order to raise environmental awareness on a large scale and educate as many students as possible. However, this has been particularly difficult during virtual learning.

“Corona has definitely altered some of the goals our club has by sadly having to limit the participants able to participate which is the opposite thing this club wants to do,” Fishberg said.

During an ideal school year, these goals are actualized by having club meetings in person and participating in events around the school. However, due to COVID regulations, such activities are not possible. Club activities must comply with COVID regulations which include participant limits, mask requirements and socially distanced events.

“The Go Green club has planned and attended a creek cleanup in the Cabin John area, the event was limited to 15 people and we all had to wear masks and socially distance…I never felt unsafe during the cleanup,” junior Caedan Babcock said.

In addition to these in-person activities, the Go Green club has held events and meetings over Zoom. While several students dread additional time spent on Zoom, the Go Green club has managed to avoid this issue.

“[The] club has strived taking into account the many constraints presented by the global pandemic. I feel no major barriers are presented by the virtual experience,” Babcock said.

COVID regulations have affected the way in which the Go Green club is able to participate in events. Along with these activity regulations, virtual learning has proposed other constraints on the environment of the club.

“The most severely affected part of our activities is definitely our inability to meet in person and get to know everyone in the club to create a sense of community,” junior Charley Carr said.
While most clubs are presented with the issue of possibly becoming inactive or struggling with maintaining an engaging and effective extracurricular experience during virtual learning, this doesn’t seem to be an issue for the Go Green Club.

“So far, [virtual learning] hasn’t negatively affected participation and member activity, as all of our events so far, between the stream cleanup and weed removals we have hosted, have had all spots filled up,” Carr said.

The Go Green Club has managed to remain a constant positive extracurricular experience for members that are active in the club. However, not being in the school environment has affected the involvement of new or prospective members.

“It has been more difficult to recruit members than it was in school but not to a great extent. This is largely due to our inability to have physical posters, reminders and meetings around the school,” Carr said.