Due to COVID-19, some clubs at Camas High School have been on hiatus, while others have persevered through these troubling times. CHS students have been learning remotely this semester to lessen the transmission of the virus in the community. As a result, one of the problems that has surfaced is that many extracurricular clubs can no longer meet in-person. However, clubs have figured out new ways to keep their goals in place and have come up with several ways to achieve them.
The Student Voice Project is a club focused on bringing awareness to the social injustices and inequalities going on not only within our community, but the world as a whole. The club is run by two CHS Seniors, Eli McMillan and Vivienne Funches. The club seeks to continue and expand the work of Dr. Charlene Williams, the assistant superintendent of Camas School District. She has been working with educators to make sure that each student can strive, by aiming to put an end to disparities in outcomes and opportunities.
As explained by McMillan, the goal of the Student Voice Project is so “every student has a voice and that we can voice our opinions and talk about important issues and raise awareness about racial equity.”
To combat the unwanted hold on meetings, Funches and McMillan had the idea of making a Student Voice Project podcast.
“Our senior project is a podcast. We’re interviewing different people in our community and also just talking about different topics that pertain to race and equity. The goal is to have an open dialogue about these topics and keep the conversation going. As well as having Student Voice Project happen in a more accessible way,” said Funches.
TEDxCamas is a student-run group that focuses on bringing members of the community together to talk about different subjects. The goal of this is to inspire learning and start conversations that matter. The club is currently run by CHS Seniors Josef Kiesenhofer, Lauren Fredrickson, and Saoirse Boyter.
Boyter is the head of the promotions committee, which means she is in charge of all the marketing for the club. The club has not held meetings yet, but will open applications for TEDx beginning of February. Due to Covid, they are not sure if they will hold the TEDxYouth event in-person or online.
If the Camas School District returns to in-person teaching, the hiatus would most likely be over.
Saoirse stated, “If we went back to in person, that would mean that we would have a very solid probability of doing an in person event. That means we would open applications as soon as possible and just try to figure out what our event in June will look like.”
One of the other many student-led clubs at CHS is Key Club, led by Kiesenhofer and CHS Juniors Sydney Nickles, Haley Huckvale, and Susana Soto. Key Club has been working to keep its participation and member levels high. By being more active on social media, using newsletters, and advertising at the open house, they have been able to see a rise in members. This has made it easier for Key Club to continue running during remote learning.
One of the major events that Key Club is conducting this year is a fundraising event. They will be informing everyone how to buy from See’s Candies in a way that some of the profits will go back to Key Club.
When asked about what the profits will be used for, Soto said, “We, as a club, are well funded. So we are going to be giving all the profits back to the thirst project, which is another one of our projects that we are working on with other schools.”
Advisor Katelyn Levenick said, “We want people to know that just because school looks different, it doesn’t mean you can’t be helping others in your community in a socially distant way… It’s not too late to join Key Club. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.”
DECA is one of the most well-known clubs Camas has to offer. It is run by a series of officers, and President Kiesenhofer. DECA is a club that is centered on business and marketing through teaching public speaking, business skills, graphic design, and communications. Membership in DECA has grown due to its great advertising to CHS students.
The switching to remote learning has been challenging for DECA
Advisor Suzie Downs said, “As for competition, it too will be very different. We are currently planning our Area 9 competition to be remote. We will likely use Flip Grid and kids will record their role plays and judges will watch and score them at a later time.”
DECA is currently working on a public fundraiser called All Paws on Deck for the West Columbia Gorge Humane Society. It is also running an election for dog mayor with All Paws on Deck.
To find out more information about these clubs, you can message them through their social media pages or email.
CHS journalists Chase Fossen and Isabelle Domenech contributed to this article.