You’re filling your water bottle when you look up and see all these colorful posters, but have you ever read them?
Each poster represents a different club, and many of these clubs go completely overlooked without a second thought. What are all these clubs? Who’s in them? Why should you ever consider joining? Some Extracurriculars Around Oyster River
Anyone can join the game club. “It’s not just Catan or what people generally consider very nerdy, specific games—although there is that as well,” says Owen Nelan (‘24). “What I like is the variety and that there’s something to fit whatever interests you have.”
The club, advised by Trevor Garman, is full of students who like to play games. “If anyone wants to show up and run a game or bring a game from their home, you’ll find people willing to play,” says Nelan, “you’re never going to show up and then be left out. If someone sees you sitting there, they will invite you to play whatever it is they’re playing. It’s nice to have a community where you can show up and do something you like.”
The members of the club are always willing to try new games, from Poker to Catan to Magic: The Gathering. “People should join game club if they like board games at all. You don’t have to be a professional or an expert. You don’t have to be good at all,” says Nelan. The club meets after school on Fridays in Trevor Garman’s room, T207.
The dance team is exactly what it sounds like: a group that likes to dance.
“Our goal is really just to choreograph and perform these amazing halftime shows and just make it a little bit more interesting and have something else to go to the game for besides just seeing your school’s team,” said Siena Schaier (‘24), one of the team’s captains.
Grace Kasper (‘25), co-captain of the team, explains that her favorite part of the team is “the community, because I’ve danced in a lot of different borderline toxic environments, and within dance team it’s always just about enjoying dance as it is, which is really hard to find.”
“We always make sure to hype each other up and keep that energy up,” adds Kasper.
The only requirement to join the team is that you must have some sort of past dance experience, and all applicants have an audition to see if they fit the team. If you would like to join the team, contact Siena Schaier at email@example.com.
The debate club is for anyone looking to improve their skills in research or public speaking, or anyone who wants to debate. Kate Stone (‘24), one of the vice presidents, thinks “honestly, debate just makes you smarter because you learn all these new topics.”
The club attends a debate tournament once a month, where pairs from the club debate pairs from other schools, four times each. “Even though [tournaments] can be really tiring because we’re there the whole day, it’s just really nice to be with other people. We meet other people too, so I’ve made a couple friends that way,” said Mihira Govindarajula (‘24), the other vice president.
“I like it because I really like the people in it. Everyone’s super nice and accepting,” said Stone. “It’s just a bunch of different people who do different things, but all of them like to debate.”
Govindarajula has also found that “debate has definitely helped me with my public speaking skills. I know I used to have a good amount of stage fright, but now I feel comfortable talking in front of big crowds of people, and I definitely stutter less in general because I know how to articulate what I’m saying. Debate definitely helps you with research skills as well, so I feel like it’s just a really good experience.”
If you want to join the debate club, contact Ms. Sullivan at kasullivan@ orcsd.org.
The Pearl Literary Magazine:
The Pearl is the club that puts together the high school’s literary arts magazine, comprised of writings, art, and photography of students around the school.
Everyone in the club has different roles: editors, advertisers, and fundraisers. Maeve Hickok (‘24), one of the fundraisers, likes how the magazine gives artists and writers recognition. “In sports you get people to clap for you. You get to have games and people come and watch you but that doesn’t necessarily happen with art and media. Being able to give people that voice and publish their work is really why I do it.”
Joining the team can help students develop their editing, outreach, and design skills. Logan Jabour (‘24), one of the lead editors, likes how he can design a magazine without having to write for one. “It’s kind of nice to be in [The Pearl] if you don’t want to be a journalist, but you still want to [create] a magazine.”
If you want to submit your work to The Pearl, or join the team, contact Shauna Horsley at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow The Pearl’s Instagram at @orhs.pearlmag.
The chess club is a place to practice, learn, and challenge yourself in the game of chess.
Felix Scarlat (‘26) and Sree Ventrapragada (‘26) both started the club this year, and so far, it has amassed a typical turnout of around 10 to 15 people.
The club so far has been “just playing the game, teaching other people, learning new things,” says Scarlat, but both he and Ventrapragada hope to develop it into the realm of chess tournaments.
Aside from being fun, playing chess in the club could “really improve your problem solving, how to make plans for the future, how to think, and it’s very good for strategy,” says Scarlat.
Ventrapragada thinks joining the club can help students develop critical life skills. “I think it’s good because it promotes logical and critical thinking.”
To join the club, stop by Marjke Yatsevitch’s room, T106, after school on Wednesdays.
The science club allows students to create and imagine. “Students are able to pursue whatever interests them here,” says Sara Cathey, the club’s advisor.
The club gives students space to experiment and create what they want, outside of what ORHS science classes offer. Not only part of the chess club, Scarlat and Ventrapragada are currently building a self-playing trumpet and have both been enjoying the science club this year.
Scarlat likes the challenge and problem-solving aspects of the club. “It’s a neat way to test your creativity, and to see how far you can think.”
Ventrapragada thinks the club is “a great outlet and a way to bring your ideas to life and see how they function.”
The club has seen many innovative projects, like a music machine, a hydroponic planter, a mini wind turbine, multiple catapults, and some homemade motors. “It’s a nice safe place to be, everybody’s friendly.” says Cathey. “The sky’s the limit.”
If you’re interested, stop by Cathey’s room, L152, after school Thursdays.
If you’ve ever been interested in joining a club, why not try it out? It’s usually only an hour commitment, and you might end up enjoying it! As Scarlat says, “The more people that come in, the more fun it is for everyone.”