In-person Club Days excite and energize the Redwood community for the return to normalcy in year ahead

In the bright midday sun at lunch on Sept. 14 and 15, students attended their first in-person Club Day since 2019. Lining the pathway by the amphitheatre, club leaders stood by their stations with posters, snacks a

Using visuals to supplement their advertising, representatives from the Jesus Club and Democrat Club teach students about their purpose on campus.

nd sign-up sheets to get the school community excited and interested in the multitude of student organizations on campus. 

Due to COVID-19 invoking virtual classes last fall, Club Day, as well as regular club meetings, were held over Zoom for a significant portion of the 2020-2021 school year. As a result of these restrictions, many clubs were not able to function to the extent they typically do, nor gain the participation they had garnered in the past. Unfortunately, some clubs even dissipated entirely. 

Junior Tony Metaxas joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club his freshman year to collaborate with other students who shared similar interests and goals within the Christian faith community. He was disappointed that the group disassembled when the pandemic hit. 

“The senior that was the president last year graduated, so the Fellowship of Christian Athletes kind of came to an end,” Metaxas said. “Plus the motivation to just hop onto another Zoom [definitely steered people away]. I can see why people would want to have their own time and take a break from looking at the screen.”

The discontinuation of the Christian Athletes Club motivated Metaxas to jumpstart the Redwood Jesus Club with his peer, Cole Morgan. Differing from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, whose name may have been misinterpreted to exclude non-athletes, Morgan and Metaxas hope that this new title will attract more participants. The name welcomes the entire Christian community, and any student who wants to explore their faith. Metaxas also acknowledges the hardships the Redwood community faced during COVID-19, and recognizes this club as a method of healing. 

“I’m excited to see my friends get filled up with the love of God and really just have hope for their lives,” Metaxas said. 

Similar to Metaxas, junior Athena Raskin spent the two Club Days advertising for the Democrat Club. The Democrat Club had a presence at Redwood in the past as well, but was no exception to COVID-19’s hardships. She has high hopes for Club Day.

“I think [in-person] Club Day will bring in a lot of new members and ideas. With COVID-19 our club attendance was pretty low, so I’m hoping that this year, since we’re in person, it will get higher,” Raskin said. 

Raskin emphasizes that the Democrat Club differs from many other political clubs on campus because it accepts anybody regardless of prior political knowledge or experience in the field. 

“As long as you want to learn, you’re welcome in the club,” Raskin said. 

Writing their names and contact information on sign-up sheets, eager students join the Redwood Friendship Club and Thrift for Hope Club.

Many students at Redwood are highly involved in more than just one club. Senior Catherine Hackett is the co-president of two clubs, the Thrift for Hope Club and Friendship Club. Before the pandemic, Thrift for Hope members organized pop-up thrift stores to raise money for different charities.

“I think [COVID-19] was hard, especially on my clubs because a lot of the [activities] were typically done in person. Honestly, we were just unable to [meet] last year. We tried, but had to stop, at least in Thrift for Hope,” Hackett said. 

As for the Friendship Club, participants form bonds and spend time with the special education students at Redwood during lunch. Over Zoom, Hackett explained, it was far harder to connect with the students, and hopes Club Day can change that for this year. 

“[Club day] will definitely help. We’ve gotten pages of new signatures and it will be fun to have new people,” Hackett said. 

Hackett hopes that because most, if not all, members of the club are vaccinated, more opportunities for the Friendship Club will arise. Thrift for Hope plans to restart their typical events like in past years, with the addition of masks and distancing based on local guidelines. 

As they did two years ago, many of the other clubs set up during Club Days will begin meeting regularly inside and in-person with masks next week. Students can find more information about clubs here