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Unlocking Leadership with the Key Club

Looking for leadership opportunities and don’t know where to start? Want to help out around the community and get service hours? Then Key Club is the right club for you!

Key Club is an international organization, with clubs on around 251,000 high school campuses in more than 40 countries. The organization was founded in 1925, but this is the first year there is a Key Club at Oyster River. Key Club brings many opportunities for students who want to step up in the community and become a leader. The club organizes events within the school and community, as well as fundraising money for different charities.

Tyler Hall (‘23), the president of the Oyster River Key Club (ORKC), discovered the club when a friend from another school invited him to one of their school’s Key Club fundraisers. Since then, he has wanted to start a Key Club for Oyster River.

Maeve Hickok (‘24), is the vice president of the ORKC. “I heard about it on the announcements, and I really wanted to join a club that made an impact and was less of just meeting once or twice. I really wanted to volunteer or do community events and I felt like that really was what spoke to me.”

The Key Club helps students demonstrate leadership typically through organizing events and fundraisers, most of which are for charities. One example of a fundraiser for charity is the Camp Sunshine fundraiser. “All of that money goes to the summer camp that is specifically designed for kids with very extreme special needs, such as constant medical attention.”

Another big fundraiser that the club organizes is the Kiwanis Pediatric Trauma Institute fundraiser, which “raises money to give teddy bears to kids who are in the hospital with some sort of traumatic injury.”

The club also runs some events in the school. The Halloween door decorating contest, which was run recently, was organized by the key club. Hall mentions how he’s “also going to be spearheading [a] bake sale, which is going to be coming up in late November.” ORKC also needs to have a chartering ceremony to be recognized by the International Key Club, which will hopefully be happening before January.

As the president and founder of the ORKC, Hall has many more responsibilities than planning fundraisers, yet is confident that it isn’t too much. “My job as president, most people expect it to be this super complicated job. It’s not. My job is to run meetings. That is essentially what [I will do] once the club is established.”

However, since the club isn’t fully established yet, his current job is much more complicated than running meetings. “I’m in charge of making sure all the paperwork gets done and trying to figure out and plan out some of these fundraisers.”

As the vice president, Hickok is great at getting things done. “Tyler calls me his assistant, but I like to think of myself more as a coordinator in the sense that if you need something done, I can do it.”

Lisa Harling, the advisor for the club, explains her role in the club. “I just kind of fill out the paperwork and do the administrative checks on things.” Harling finds herself very lucky that that is most of what she has to do. “I’m actually really fortunate because if I didn’t have Tyler Hall, I would do a lot more work. It’s really meant to be student led and he has been amazing.”

Since the club is entirely student run, it needs members to function, so why should you join? Avery Martinson (‘25), the club’s secretary, thinks everyone should consider joining the club because “it looks good on resumes, it provides scholarships, it helps you get in touch with the community around you, and it helps you get to know people in [the] school.”

Hickok is very happy she found the club and advises everyone to join. “I was actually thinking last year ‘I want to create a club that does community activities,’ and I had no idea Key Club was a thing. I was literally trying to brainstorm a club exactly like Key Club, and when I found it, it was really amazing. I just think that more people should know about it, because it’s one of those things that you can get involved in outside of our school building.”

Joining Key Club is a great way to gain skills in community building, leadership, and personal development. Harling is hopeful that anyone who joins the club will become better leaders and people. “I think it’s a really worthwhile organization. I think we have so much need right now in our communities, that to be able to do service projects for others is both necessary and very fulfilling.”

The Key Club, although new to Oyster River, is already providing community leadership opportunities to students within the school. Be sure to look out for the bake sale coming up in November, and if you’re interested in joining contact

– Micah Bessette

Photo from @or_keyclub on Instagram

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