If you are looking for CAS inspiration, you are in the right place. Intended to prompt you to show initiative, demonstrate perseverance and develop critical skills such as collaboration, problem-solving, and decision-making, CAS is the perfect companion to your regular coursework and academic program. That said, within the busy framework of the IB DP, fulfilling all your CAS requirements can be a bit overwhelming, and it can be hard to stay inspired when you have so many things on your plate.
The suggestions below are intended to be both enjoyable and challenging—allowing you to make CAS your own personal journey to self-discovery! Remember, it is up to you to figure out what will push your limits and make you proud of yourself. The best advice is always to try and pick something you enjoy doing since you are more likely to stick with it and get as much as possible out of the activity.
Get busy in the kitchen
Mastering some cooking techniques now will prove a great skill set to have and serve you well in the future. You can express your creativity in the kitchen by learning to prepare new dishes, take up baking, or even experimenting with vegetarian or vegan cooking. You can also take it one step further by creating a recipe book for your latest bakes, starting a YouTube channel for your cookery, or even hosting a supper club.
Organize a show!
In every international school there is a sea of talent waiting to be discovered. By putting on a talent, music or fashion show, you can demonstrate your own talents for organization while also giving your student body the stage to showcase their gifts. Event organization is not easy: the process will involve collaboration with the school administration and many others so you should think about working in a team and even using the event to fundraise…the perfect CAS Project opportunity?
Set up a book or writing club
If you love reading or writing and want to share that passion with others, why not set up a club? The accountability factor of being part of a group might be just the push you need to finish a new short story or try your hand at poetry. A book club can also be a fantastic environment to engage other students about relevant current topics that deserve our attention and also serve as a great platform for Reflection. You could also set up a blog where you can all share your work or book recommendations for others to enjoy.
You have likely worked towards reducing your waste at school and at home, but there’s actually a world of possibilities inside those bins! At CAS Trips we’ve been inspired by organizations like Plastic Free Campus and Plastic Punch in Ghana who have created innovative solutions to collect and upcycle plastic. So we created our Waste Reduction Challenge for you to dive deeper into your own habits in plastic, food, and clothing waste – check it out to challenge yourself to find creative ways to go green!
Take up a new sport
You may already play for the school basketball team or you may have hated sports since first grade. It doesn’t matter. CAS is all about testing yourself and trying something new. Sign up for a self-defense class, learn a Hip Hop dance or try rock climbing. You don’t have to be a high performance athlete to enjoy a new sport!
Join the world’s largest treasure hunt and start Geoaching in your local area! Simply download the Geocaching app and create an account to access the 3 million+ user-generated geocaches around the world. To play, use the app and/or a GPS device to navigate to cleverly hidden containers, also known as ‘geocaches’. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered.
Get on your bike
If you can partake in an Activity CAS experience that is good for you and the environment then it’s a win-win for all. If you have the opportunity, cycling to school is an excellent way to increase your fitness and reduce your own carbon footprint. Set yourself a cycling plan for a month and stick with it. You might just end up pedaling to school all year.
Take up running
Running is an excellent way to stay in shape throughout your life, and it lends itself well to goal setting and fundraising. So why not set yourself a goal of running a 10km race or even a marathon? You can even start a running club to help create a supportive community, and, of course, don’t forget to fundraise on behalf of your favorite non-profit!
Direct Service: Find a Charity and Volunteer
This may sound like an obvious statement but it is not always so simple: charities often have an over-18s-only volunteer age policy while others may require an annual commitment of time that you can’t commit to. They say charity starts at home first and foremost, so consider which social issues you really care about. Which global issues can you impact locally? Once you have this clear, start to contact charities or NGOs working to tackle that cause. Charity Navigator offers a search database for charities around the world, while UN Volunteers is a regularly updated list of volunteer opportunities globally.
Indirect Service: Support your school or community garden
Does a community garden exist in your community? While donating your time to assist in maintaining the garden is a great opportunity for direct service, many gardens are longing for improvement. Maybe the planter boxes need replacing or assistance. Or if the garden is visited by local children, you can provide educational opportunities with descriptive signage. If looking to develop a project, investigate implementing a simple aquaponics system to sustain the garden further.
Advocacy: Start a Community Voices series
Again, charity starts at home. And by home, we mean school! Your school community presents so many opportunities for service: from coaching younger students sports, starting a math club, organizing a fashion show or advocating for a more sustainable canteen. But the people who make the school tick are rarely involved. Using the hugely popular Humans of New York as inspiration, you could profile the unspoken heroes of your community and publish them via a free google site, in the school newsletter or via the school’s social media account. Community Voices series give schools a human face and are so valuable in bringing the wider community together.
Research: Find ways to reduce your schools’ energy use
Does your school have green policies in place or have students showcased their desire for the school to act sustainably? If you want to make a change, a great first step is to survey your classmates. Once you have documented interest, it’s much easier to convince decision-makers to make a change.
Are you looking for even more CAS inspiration? You can find plenty of fresh and innovative ideas on our CAS Trips blog!