Sophomore invites students to join Catan Society

Monopoly, Risk and even hexagons, Downey says

Freshman Hector Perez and sophomores Anthony DeSanto, Ethan Downs and Ethan Emery  
develop their settlements.

Photo submitted

Freshman Hector Perez and sophomores Anthony DeSanto, Ethan Downs and Ethan Emery develop their settlements.

Tommy Callaghan, Web Editor

For strategy and board game lovers alike, sophomore Pat Downey has created a club combining both aspects. Catan Society welcomes any and every student to play “Settlers of Catan” every Tuesday after school.

What is Catan?

Downey, the Catan Society president, described his favorite game as “overall, it’s a trade and strategy based board game, much like a combination of Monopoly and Risk and somewhere along the way, hexagons got involved.”

This game takes place in Catan, a board depicting an island made of hexagonal tiles and consisting of fields, mountains and forests. The basic objective of the game is to build the most successful settlement by trading resources and becoming the largest territory.

Catan Society is more than the game, though. For those who attend, the meetings are a “safe haven where you can just come in, turn on the playlist and play some Catan,” Downey said.

Inspiration to create

Originally, former social studies teacher Mr. Eric Glanders mentioned this possible club to Downey to see if the freshman was interested in creating what is now Catan Society.

Downey has played Catan since he was a kid and continues to love it today, so after thinking on the idea over summer break, Pat came returned with a determination to start the club.

Because Glanders could no longer moderate the club, Downey found staff approval and support in Mr. Anthony Ernst, social studies teacher and director of student activities, and science teacher Mr. Adam Hibshman.

Hibshman said, “I love to play board games, so I was glad to hear we were starting a Catan Society to get more people into board games. I rarely get to play, but I enjoy when I can.”

Spread the word

Once Downey created the club, it was up to him to advertise his newfound Catan Society. This was a responsibility he took seriously. Sign up sheets and flyers alike were hung from corner to corner in both Kelly and Loretto halls.

In addition to telling people to join by word of mouth, Downey took to technology and sent all-school emails to encourage students to attend meetings that take place weekly in Hibshman’s classroom, 4131 in Kelly. Eventually, Downey sent out an all-school email containing a survey to gauge the level of interest and effectiveness on his ads.

“The survey told me people did not like that I sent out Catan emails and I realized I might have been a little too enthusiastic. The club itself was not affected in any way, though.”

While many disregarded the emails, Downey actually included humorous references to encourage attendance, to which many people did not catch on.

“Don’t settle for less” became the slogan based off a shirt that includes that saying with a picture of the resources in the background.

“Don’t settle for less” also references the title of the game and the fact that as a strategy game, not settling for less may not be the best approach for its players. Downey’s father also suggested he include the tagline “four out of five dentists agree that Catan has nothing to do with your dental hygiene.”

For many, Catan is a game about which they know little. For Downey, Catan is a game great enough to inspire the creation of a new club.

Catan Society meets every Tuesday in Room 4131 and welcomes anyone, whether they know how to play or not. For any questions, Downey has the answers.