Club schedule resumes

Most clubs see fewer students participating


Drew Hawkins

Pep Club donned their red, white and blue and took the field during a ceremony to help honor the 13 soldiers who died during the evacuation of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Drew Hawkins, staff writer

Clubs were left in the dust by COVID last year and are just now making a comeback. The comeback has been slow though, with numbers in clubs smaller than those from two years ago.

Pep Club is no exception to the rule. Though Pep Club gets the most student involvement normally, it has still had trouble with numbers in students. “Freshman and sophomores have never experienced clubs,” Pep Club adviser Hilary Ford said. “The junior and senior numbers are similar to the past.”

Other clubs are also under new leadership this year. FFA is now led by ag teachers Travis Butler and Chris Evans. Evans was the FFA sponsor at Crab Orchard, but advising a club is a new experience for Butler.

“There are fewer students than I expected because of COVID,” Butler said.

Both Butler and Evans participated in FFA as students at HHS.

FFA was somewhat active last year, but they didn’t have the same activities they usually have.

“(I missed) overnight conventions and livestock judging,” senior Paxton Garbel said. “Overnight conventions are a really good bonding experience with your members and you get to meet people from all over the state.”

Garbel is a four-year member of the club

There are also new clubs being introduced this year. One proposed club is E-sports, a competitive gaming club that has risen in popularity over the past decade. The E-sports club was introduced by business teacher John Sanders. Schools such as Murphysboro and Carbondale already have gaming teams/clubs.

They will be competing in three games this year: Rocket League, Super Smash Bros, and League of Legends. According to the IHSA web page, these three games don’t “represent an inclusive list.” The club is designed to appeal to those with a love of playing video games.

One hurdle to be crossed is funding as reliable gaming computers are a necessity for the club.

Key Club also ran a limited schedule with just a few members last year, but has returned to normal practices this year.

“We do have a slightly slower number than we did than the last year that we had clubs,” adviser Cathy Wall said. “I don’t think it will affect us a whole lot because we have several service opportunities that don’t require everyone to be there at one time.”

Wall feels like the number of students enrolled isn’t the most important aspect of clubs.

“While we would all like to have lots of students involved in our clubs, the most important part is broadening their experiences in some way,” Wall said. “If students can practice a job-related skill or build community relationships, I think the club experience is successful. If they meet new people or learn to look at the world in a new way, I think the club experience is successful. In service clubs like Key Club and White Hats, we are working to make our students more empathetic and more community-minded. When that happens, everybody wins.”