Clubs at CHS-Reshaping Extracurricular Activities to Form Connections
by Abigail Martin
Integrating yourself into an already established community is always a challenging process, but Zoom can create a whole new set of obstacles. This year, especially with an increase in free time across the board, people are joining clubs at record speed. That said, Zoom clubs lack a personal element that is drawing some away from their extracurriculars. I sat down with a group of eager CHS students to talk about how CHS clubs have been going, and the struggles they are facing when building community.
With the CHS club fair came loads of interest from people who wanted to play a bigger role in the school community, wanted to try new things, or simply fill in some extra productive time into their day. “I joined the World Language Week Committee because I have a lot more time. The World Language Week Committee was something I was always interested in doing, but could never find the time for. With Zoom, it is more convenient in some aspects. While attending the meeting is easier, we have to plan events, which is a challenge online,” Zoe, a member of the remote learning pathway (RLP), said, and directly following that comment, the World Language Week committee gained a new member once Nadira expressed interest in joining.
Another factor in increased club participation is the ease of joining. Previously, many students had to consider transportation, part-time job commitments, or caring for younger siblings in deciding whether to take part in afterschool activities. Now, with these obstacles removed and membership just a click away, teens can engage in more clubs.
Almost all clubs have gained new members as people look for ways to interact with their peers. Kitana, a student who transferred from the hybrid continuum to the RLP, could attest to this because, in her clubs, new membership has created an interesting predicament. “In anime club, we have gotten a ton of new members, they are in the group chat and have started to come to meetings. But our communication is off and even when we had the club fair slide, some people couldn’t figure out the contact information. It’s kind of all over the place.”
Inviting and welcoming new members into a club can create an exciting atmosphere for the whole club as well as an opportunity for club members to hear some new perspectives. Lucia, a member of the hybrid continuum, stated, “In GSA, we were able to get in contact with the GSA at the middle school. At our meeting last week we had two middle schoolers in our meeting, which we wouldn’t be able to do in a normal school year. It was really nice to have that interaction between GSA.”
Other clubs are also adapting, and rethinking the way the entire clubs run. Iva, a member of the swim team and hybrid continuum, noted, “We are doing things differently at swim, though. Our meets and competitions are somehow going to be virtual.”
Indeed.com, a job website, wrote an article entitled, “Adaptability in the Workplace: Benefits and Importance” saying that putting employees in a situation that forces them to adapt makes them better leaders. However, regardless of adaptability and leadership experience, rising to the challenge of a new leadership position in a club or a sport is no easy feat for anyone, especially in the Zoom world.
“Lots of us have leadership positions in our clubs, and it makes it harder for people who are new to running a club to figure out how to adapt. It’s harder to plan things and have meetings and do things over Zoom,” says Nadira, a sophomore who transferred from the hybrid continuum to the RLP who is still getting accustomed to her new role in Dungeons and Dragons club.
Some clubs, however, are not facing problems building communities, specifically when they require a large time commitment. Laura, a member of the hybrid continuum, noted, “In clubs where you spend a lot of time with people to work on a project based on passion, community translates well over Zoom.”
Involvement in inclusivity is something that CHS prides itself in, and clubs play a big role in that. I would encourage anyone to use all this extra time that comes with remote learning to better the community and explore your interests!