Quarantine shows importance of clubs

Following the mandatory stay at home order, clubs at school have had to adapt and change how they are operated.

Not every club was able to, and some of the physical clubs have been forced to finish early.  

“There are a few seasonal clubs like fall Color Guard, Winter Guard, Marching Band, that are done with their season,” said Activities Director Molly Tomlinson. 

Clubs that continued to run tried to find ways to still connect with their members. 

We’re hosting an open mic night on Thursday, May 14, and we would love any and all to attend and perform,” said Pen and Paper sponsor Julia Burkel.

Art Club and the National Art Honors Society encouraged students to participate in #GNHSchalkthewalk, along with helping organize the Virtual Art Show with the theme aMUSEment. For the first time, the show would include artwork from staff, family of staff and alumni.

“We hope to pick up where we left off with our mural work; however, depending on the situation, we may be doing more virtual art shows and looking for more ways to support the visual arts community through online platforms,” said Art Club co-sponsor Kelly Bott. “If circumstances change and we are allowed to commune in large groups again, we would love to pick back up on community outreach events.”

Club meetings and events have been changed because things can not go on as they had before.

“We can not have our weekly meetings but are hopeful everyone is still journaling and writing,” Burkel said.

Students have been encouraged to still follow their hobbies in what ways they still can. 

“We’ve had to adjust, like many other groups, to new ways of connecting, socializing and creating,” Bott said.  “Many of the Art Club students have materials at home to create, but they are also finding unique materials and solutions to working with limited supplies. We’ve encouraged students to look at this time as an opportunity to try some things that they otherwise might never have considered.”

Club sponsors encourage their students to talk to one another because not being able to be face to face does not mean they can not still talk to each other.

“I think FaceTiming and sharing their pieces, despite not meeting, is a great and healthy venue, especially during this time,” Burkel said.

While missing in person meetings, clubs still try to connect with their members.

“There have been countless zoom meetings, goose chase challenges, remind texts, inspirational emails and supportive Schoology posts just to stay in touch with each student of each club,” Tomlinson said. 

Being a part of a club can be an amazing experience that students look forward to after each week, even if the circumstances have changed. 

“Mr. Sweitzer and I have always looked forward to Art Club meetings as our favorite day of the week, and that hasn’t changed. While Zoom meetings can’t compare to meeting in person, we love getting to connect with this enthusiastic and positive group of students who constantly amaze us with their persistence and dedication to their school community,” Bott said.  “While this is a very difficult time, we are truly enjoying the challenge of finding new ways to connect with and inspire our communities.”

Clubs are helping students through quarantine by bringing them the most important thing. 

“There’s a huge impact across the board, and the most striking component that many are missing right now is the human connection,” Tomlinson said. “This means that we as educators and club sponsors must get innovative and creative and discover new avenues in which we connect with students.”