Earth Day – eClub at ARCC

eClub

Now that you have a small background on how I came to be apart of the Environmental Club at Anoka Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus, I would now like to tell you a little more about the club itself.

*No names of past and present members will be currently used until I have permission*

Each year the club hosts two major events: the back to school dance held in October and the Earth Friendly Fair (aka EFF) in April around Earth Day.  Both events are planned and hosted by the club members who are students.  They take care of everything from budgeting to clean up.  The dance is for students of ARCC whereas EFF is open to the public/community.

I would like to talk a little more about EFF because it is Earth Day and it’s a unique event.

The Earth Friendly Fair is designed to bring community members together and educate individuals about environmentally friendly practices, products and services.  Local vendors and presenters take part in this event with the opportunity to speak with individuals about their work and mission.  Each year there is a different theme that is tied into an environmental issue/topic.  One of our major goals for EFF is to keep it family oriented with MANY kids activities including our annual egg hunt and reading corner.  We also provide entertainment such as a play and music.  Most recently for the past two years we have had a Thrift Shop Fashion Show.  This has been a fun aspect added to the event.  For EFF we also have door prizes and raffle tickets individuals can earn by attending the presenters and participating in events.  We have been very lucky to have a donated pair of Steger Mukluks as our grand prize for the past few years.

The club typically has about 10 members every year but also has past members who volunteer and take part in these two major events.  Just like any other campus club we have a Faculty Adviser, Student President, VP, Secretary and Treasurer.  These are the formal titles for the club.  For our informal titles we have added Technology Adviser and Public Relations Adviser due to the nature of our public events.

Since 2010, I have helped direct the marketing and public relations section of the club for their events.  This is something I continue to do even though I am not a student on campus anymore.  I enjoy every minute of it and grow in my knowledge of how to reach out to others for this important event.

Besides working on our two big events, we also go up to the Steger Wilderness Center to volunteer.  Due to our faculty adviser taking his classes up there each semester, the club members also attend the service learning weekends to help guide and direct the work.  Many of the eClub members started out by taking one of the courses and going to the Center and wanted to return. Some of the members even go on to become summer interns at the center.  It is a great learning opportunity for students and club members alike.  It is something I personally look forward to each semester and will for years to come.

I have come super close with these members.  They are like a second family to me.  We have been able to work as a team to reach out to others about environmental issues.  We have learned so much about each other, ourselves and what we can do to help future generations.

It may seem odd to write about about Earth Day as a personal experience but I think that each of us needs to take a look as to what Earth Day means.  What does it mean to you individually, your family, community and globally?  Earth Day is a reminder to me that our work – my work – is not done.  Changes in how we treat our planet need to be done.  I know my story isn’t touching, serious or funny but it’s my story.  This club is important to me and to our community.  I hope it has inspired you in some way.

Even if you aren’t in Minnesota check out our Facebook page and follow us!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Environmental-Club-at-ARCC/181623038576949

Once again – thanks for reading!

*Manda

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