On April 20th at the Base Camp Bash, Cottonwood Institute awarded Camille Lauer with the 2013 Ripple Effect Award! The Ripple Effect Award is awarded to an outstanding Cottonwood Institute student each year. Local artist Bryan Buikema created the beautiful award piece, which will be displayed at the recipient’s school each year. Below, take a look at a video of the award ceremony and read a transcript of Paige Doughty’s heartfelt speech to Ms. Lauer.
One of the best parts of Cottonwood Institute’s programs is that they not only give students experiences in the natural world and in their communities, but they also give students the opportunity and support to take and make informed action in their communities.
No program more so than the Earth Task Force (ETF). As an adult mentor of the ETF I help facilitate a lot of difficult discussions about complex environmental and social issues that don’t have clear answers, or simple solutions.
As a result teachers and mentors in the field of environmental education often use a metaphor of a small stone thrown into the middle of a pond. “Your actions,” we tell students, “are that stone, and the ripples that it makes when it hits the surface of the water, even when the stone is long gone from view, are the effects of your action. The effects of your actions echo out into the world in positive ways you don’t even know about.”
This is how the Ripple Effect Award came to have its name. It is an award that is given to an outstanding student and passed on to the next outstanding student from year to year. In 2013 the Ripple Effect Award was given to one of ETF’s leaders and most loyal members, Camille Lauer.
This young woman has dedicated countless hours of her time to organizing sustainability event and projects. She has helped create and serve all local lunches at her school in order to educate students and staff about the connections between the industrialized food system and climate change, she has arrived early at school to check her peers in for Transportation Transformation, a student-run program which rewards people for using alternative transportation, she helps facilitate student retreats and that’s just the beginning!
During the 2012-13 school year Camille Lauer took the lead with five other Colorado schools to organize plan and execute the “Ban the Bag Rally” in Denver on April 13th. If you were walking on 16th street Mall that day you may have seen 40+ students performing an anti-plastic bag flash mob performed to “Gangnam Style!” This coalition of youth groups has been writing letters to city councils and congress to encourage Denver to implement a bag ban or fee on single use plastic bags. Camille was one of the leaders of this action and event.
Camille’s spirit of fun, passion for life, and ability to inspire others motivate everyone around her. The Cottonwood Institute is so pleased to honor her with the 2013 Ripple Effect Award!
Speech written by Paige Doughty.
Take a look at even more pictures from the 2013 Bash Camp Bash by clicking here!