Club Day encourages students to sign up for new adventures

Mayson Weingart

More stories from Mayson Weingart

As soon as the lunch bell rang on Sept. 21 and 22, students raced out of their classes to go  sign themselves up for new adventures at this year’s Club Day. Located on South Lawn during lunch, tables lined the grass, filled with an abundance of students expressing their passions and urging others to join. Light-hearted music plays, setting the stage for endless upbeat encounters where students embrace new journeys and learn more about their peers. 

Offering 83 new and returning clubs for the 2022-2023 school year, students have endless opportunities to find a topic that will engage them.

Senior and president of the new Beautification Club, Maile Kaplan, views the student event as an opportunity to meet new people through advertising her club, which she created this school year. 

“Club Day offers an amazing way to bring people together and gives every student the opportunity to do something to better the community. By having a poster out that advertises what we’ve created, we get the chance to make our club open to all grades and people at Redwood, which is really special,” Kaplan said. 

Kaplan’s inspiration for starting the club came from discovering a beautiful trail filled with trash behind Trader Joe’s in Larkspur, where she works. Upset at the littering, she and her coworker decided to purchase a garbage can at Home Depot and place it near the trailhead. After clearing the trash, they changed the trash bag every Sunday and ensured the area was kept clean. This inspired them to realize the positive impact they could have on Marin County if they informed others and created a club.

Convincing an array of students to sign up for Surf Club, advisors advocate for the club’s plans to teach new members how to surf at local beaches.

“My coworker and I always knew that we wanted to start a club together, so when we were brainstorming club ideas we thought, ‘Why not continue our trash can journey by expanding it to local places like the headlands, or even Redwood itself?’” Kaplan said. “We knew we could beautify [Redwood] by cleaning up trash around campus and adding more native plants in an area where they have been lost. We really want to restore this beautiful planet, so we decided to start our impact small and grow it bigger step by step.”

Kaplan hopes to have more students join her in keeping the school campus and Marin County clean starting on Club Day. With many plans in place, she aspires to see a reduction in littering and an increase in recycling and composting.

“We really want to emphasize the importance of taking care of our environment by getting recycling bins for campus and encouraging students to physically place items in the trash can rather than leaving them on tables in the quad or throwing it in the grass on the south lawn,” Kaplan said.

Mirroring these environmental goals, senior Christiana Teodoro is president of the Environmental Action Club and is exhilarated about Club Day. Teodoro has been dedicated to educating others to live sustainably and learn about local marine ecosystems. She looks forward to bettering the community, starting with the work of her club. 

“People are normally attracted to our club because it offers an opportunity to get community service hours while working with your friends. It also feels great to give back to your community and take good care of the place where we live. Everyone who is in the club is [here] because they truly care about keeping Marin County clean for ourselves and for future generations,” Teodoro said. 

After watching the effects of fires in Napa on her grandparents’ homes, Teodoro felt inclined to learn about the relationship between climate change and natural disasters. Through her research, she learned several fires in California had been caused by rising temperatures and the mistreatment of the environment. Motivated to share her findings and encourage change, Teodoro emphasizes how important Club Day is for increasing involvement in activities outside of school and sports. She hopes her club will help students like her find the same outlet for change she has seen. 

Collecting an extensive list of sign-ups, leaders from the Personal Finance club convince people walking by to join.

“I think getting involved in any club during Club Day is a great way to get involved in something that’s bigger than yourself or school. It offers an expansion of education about the environment that goes beyond what you might be learning during the school day and in your classes,” Teodoro said.

Similar to Teodoro and Kaplan, junior Nicole Azar is overjoyed at the opportunity to work within her passion at school, especially with the chance to explore different aspects of agriculture during school hours. As the president of the Olive Oil Making Club, Azar wants to give students a stress-relieving space at school where they can relax and learn how to harvest an olive tree from start to finish. Azar also plans on teaching club members more about farming  and is thrilled at the prospect of having new people join her club. She voices how Club Day will be a great way to ignite student involvement in lower grade levels. 

“I think a lot of times freshmen and sophomores can feel really intimidated to join in on student activities, and this event offers the opportunity to make clubs more inclusive. We’re really excited to involve as many people as possible and really get something going in a more hands-on and interactive way,” Azar said.

By spurring the student body into action, Club Day allowed many to expand their knowledge and hear new perspectives. With an abundance of sign-ups and various clubs to choose from, club leaders hope to see higher participation in activities inside and outside of  school. More information about clubs is available at https://www.tamdistrict.org/domain/154 for students interested in joining who didn’t sign up on Club Day.