Pandemic Affects Club Activities

Interact club members James and Owen Behlke, Keegan McGreggor and Ethan Besnard sort shoes from shoe drive

Interact club members James and Owen Behlke, Keegan McGreggor and Ethan Besnard sort shoes from shoe drive

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that clubs have been affected by COVID-19 just as much as any other event. In a normal school year, clubs play a large role in the high school experience. They provide an outlet for students with common interests or goals to get together and collaborate. It is common for students at Pleasant Valley to be involved in at least one club or organization, if not more.

PVHS sophomore Lucas Dahl stated he “[is] only in CSF this year” (California Scholarship Federation). Because he is an online student, Dahl has fewer opportunities than those attending school because he can’t attend any of the limited in-person club activities. Online meetings and online community service events have made this year very unique and have caused students to feel limited in their participation opportunities.

After being asked if he would have joined more clubs if it weren’t for COVID, Dahl responded, “Absolutely yes! There [are] multiple that seemed fun but I didn’t feel I could join [them] with the current situation.”

One example of a club he would have joined is the Chess Club. As an online student, Chess Club isn’t an option for him. Some clubs, like CSF, were able to smoothly transition to an online format, while others just aren’t quite the same in an online environment.

Dahl feels “COVID has made this year a lot less [busy]” and that certain “resources have been [harder] to access.” He is glad he joined CSF this year because he “still wanted to find a way to stay involved” on campus. Many students have felt isolated this year because of the pandemic. Joining clubs is a great way to stay connected and collaborate with other students and have people to talk to during these difficult months.

Donations from Key Club toiletry drive

While it has been difficult to plan events for students to participate in, clubs have managed to continue certain activities that would take place in a normal school year. For example, CSF has continued their campus clean-ups to help keep our school looking nice and have even expanded to clean-ups around Bidwell park this year as well. Other clubs, like the Interact Club, Key Club and the Japanese Club have found ways to continue on campus events as well. In the early weeks of March, Interact put together a shoe drive on campus and was able to gather 200 pairs of shoes to donate to those who can’t afford them. Earlier in February, Key Club hosted a toiletry drive for Catalyst Domestic Violence Services. Participating in these types of activities and putting them on doesn’t take a lot of effort, but greatly helps the community.

Students leading clubs have also had to make several changes regarding how their clubs function. Changes include when clubs are able to meet, how the members can attend meetings, and member participation and involvement. CSF President Mikhaela Compuesto and CSF Vice President Ashley Wilson, both PVHS seniors, have experienced firsthand what it means to reformat a club and work with the many restrictions COVID has placed on school events and organizations.

Interact club members James and Owen Behlke, Keegan McGreggor and Ethan Besnard sort shoes from shoe drive

According to Wilson, “the biggest [challenge] is how limited we are with what we can do in the community and service events we can [offer].” She explained how the club has still managed to “overcome that by partnering with organizations like Enloe” and doing “virtual events such as peer tutoring.”

Compuesto explained more about how CSF plans to overcome this challenging time. She explained that the club “plan[s] to still do activities to celebrate the seniors and, despite the pandemic, have a good time!” So seniors in CSF, watch for information in the coming months about activities to celebrate your hard work over the past four years!

“This year doesn’t represent what we hope to do [as a club] but has still taught us many valuable lessons,” Wilson stated after being asked if the club this year reflects how the club runs in a normal year.

Members of the Japanese Club Anna Haro and President of the club Elaina Troung participate in campus cleanup with Key Club and CSF