Without flex, clubs adjust their routines

Zoom sessions during Mission Mondays are now an option


Photo submitted

Members of the Horse Club are riding in pairs to be sure to maintain social distancing.

Julia Hurley, Reporter

Due to the dangers of large gatherings during the pandemic, school clubs have had to cancel many of their in-person meetings and activities. However, there are some new plans to allow student groups to safely gather.  

The school has a variety of clubs students can take part in, notably the Horse Club, International Food Club, Medical Club, ASL Club and EMBRACE Club, among many others. According to Director of Student Activities Mr. Anthony Ernst, “These clubs are meant to (involve) students in ways that serve their emotional, spiritual, physical, intellectual and social needs.”

 When the Covid-19 pandemic first hit in March, the Coffee House Jam became the first canceled student event. Throughout the spring, there were little to no occasions. Ernst wrote in an email, “It was difficult to lose so much of the school year and also many of our traditional spring events.”

The opportunity to put into action some of the creative ideas for a hybrid model of virtual and safe in-person activities can begin.”

— Mr. Anthony Ernst

As many students come to school for in-person learning, student activities are poised to get back on track. Club moderators are assembling their own plans and protocols to fit their activities and brainstorming safer ways to still partake in old traditions. Ernst said, “Now that the school year has begun, the opportunity to put into action some of the creative ideas for a hybrid model of virtual and safe in-person activities can begin.”    

 The Black Student Union, co-moderated by Mr. Ken Barlow ’82, vice president for community relations and diversity, has made up for lost time in the spring by hosting virtual safe space forums in the summer. “It was a tremendous success,” Barlow wrote in an email. These forums were designed as safe places for students to share their experiences and discuss relevant issues, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and how to be respectful during the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Mrs. Susan Mills, who teaches biology and zoology, moderates the Horse Club. They continue to meet in person with their own precautions in place. All club meetings take place outside and members are expected to stay six feet apart. Horse rides now have a limit of two people at a time.     

Girl Up will stay active under the leadership of Mrs. Lizabeth Bradshaw, English teacher and the humanities director. Their first meeting was set for Mission Monday on Sept. 21 during flex. “(We’re hoping to) come up with some creative ideas for quick after-school meet ups to exchange support and keep our sisterhood going until we can meet in person,” Bradshaw wrote in an email.     

For more updates on the status of clubs, group meetings and events, Ernst advises students to look for announcements in their weekly email newsletters. Information on all the clubs the school has to offer can be found on the Student Activities page accessed through the school website.

Ernst said, “If you are a current member of a club, group or organization, be sure to reach out to your moderator and start planning for your group to begin meeting.”