ACA Provides Clubs

Joshua Aldrich

The Charter News

4/11/21

“My experience with the club has been nothing short of magical,” said Casey Brown, The Dungeon Master (DM) in the Tabletop Role Playing Games club. 

ACA administrators and staff started a variety of clubs in January with the mission of creating social and fun opportunities for students to connect during the pandemic. There are 11 clubs, and many students have been attending them. They range from Archery to reading and table-top games.

According to the staff and students interviewed, Brown’s experience is not unique. Staff and students say they’ve enjoyed the opportunities even though it amounts to more screen time.

Archery Club.

“Archery is a great skill to learn and anyone can get good at it. The students are having fun, and in general,” said Drew Holland, ES and Teacher. The club began in the middle of February and it’s the only club that meets in person. There are two archery sessions, each one with 10 students. Holland continued, “It’s just fun to be meeting onsite again.” 

D&D Club.

The Tabletop Role Playing Games, aka Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) Club started on January 13th. “We have six students who have shown up, but usually three show up to every meeting and one or two of the others join in,” said Marcus Yonce, ES and Teacher. “It’s a wonderful chance for the students to be creative and enjoy a cool group activity every week.”

Eleventh-grader Hailey Fox has been enjoying the club and encourages students to still join. 

“We really only have one club activity and that’s playing the game. So far the games are fun and really enjoyable,” Hailey goes on to say, “You can always join, see if it’s interesting and quit if it’s not. Our DM is really good at helping people understand the rules and everyone is helpful with guiding new players through the game.” 

The DM Hailey referred to is the 8th grader Casey Brown. He expressed even more enthusiasm for the club.

“My experience with the club has been nothing short of magical.  The human connection is profound, and the players crack me up every time.  There is never a session where the people on either side of the DM screen don’t both make a mistake, and we accept, nay, appreciate that.  In short, my experience with the club has been amazing, and I wouldn’t give up the memories of it for the world,” said Casey Brown.

Poetry Club.

The poetry club started in January. 

“I meet once a month with k-3rd graders, once a month with 4th-8th, and once a month with high schoolers. We have a couple of younger students, a couple of high schoolers, and usually about 4-6 middle schoolers. We’re having fun and I would love to have more!” said Sarah Sanderson, ES and Teacher.

 Senior Grant Harris, a student of the Poetry Club shares his experience.

“I have only been twice so far, but the funnest part is simply writing poetry,” said Harris. “I would tell people to be themselves and not be afraid to express themselves through poetry. That is where the best poetry comes from. This club has made me appreciate poetry a lot more. I really enjoy it,” said Harris.

Minecraft Club.

The Minecraft Club began in December of 2020. Staff member Scott Ginn explained how the club started.

“A student of mine, Sam Rux asked me to start a Minecraft Club,” said Ginn. “I knew many of my students liked Minecraft. A school club would give students an opportunity to meet other ACA students outside of normal class time hours. The mission of the club is to connect ACA students through Minecraft.” 

There are 41 members in the Google Minecraft Club. The club plays Minecraft on Saturdays from 10am to 11am and also plays on Tuesdays and Wednesday from 4pm to 5:30pm. 

“ACA students who might not normally have met, have made new friends. I would recommend the club for other students. I would like to mention to potential members that the club is a hub, it is a place for students to meet up with other ACA students who like to play.” Ginn said.

Hobbit Club.

The Hobbit club started in January, and they meet on Thursday afternoons at 3:30 for 1 hour. There are 7 students in the club, they range from 5th grade to 10 grade. “You have to be a little nerdy to have read and like the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and any student who fits that criteria is certainly welcome to join us,” said Denis Whittet, who runs the club, and an Instructional Assistant (IA). “One of my requirements for the club was to have at least read The Hobbit. I also am encouraging them to be reading The Lord of the Rings trilogy. One of my goals for the group is to not just discuss the story details, tho [sic] that is important, nor just to share our opinions on the characters and their action, tho [sic] that too is important. I am trying to have us go a bit deeper, and discuss the concepts that Tolkien is ‘presenting’ through his story. In other words, what concepts and values was Tolkien ‘teaching’ through his story that apply to all cultures and times, and how can we apply those values to our lives and culture today.”

Elinore Harris, a 10th grader in the Hobbit Club shares her experience with the Hobbit Club.

“My experience with the club has been FANTASTIC! I love having a group of people that I can geek out with that don’t tell me to shut up already. (My family gets really tired of my fangirling.) It is also fun to meet other students with similar interests to mine,” said Elinore Harris.

Japanese Culture Club.

The club has had three meetings. They meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month. There are four students who are in the club. “I’m having fun, but I can’t speak for the students. I would love for more people to join,” said Chad Wynne, ES, Teacher and ACE Advisor.

OBOB Club.

There are three Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB)  clubs, but this article will only cover the high school one. “Unfortunately there are no members right now but, if you join this club it will give students the opportunity to interact with other students on something they have in common and that is books,” said Jennifer Hitchcock, librarian and the staff member who runs the club. 

Members of the club get to read 12 books all in different varieties from fantasy to realistic and some classics ones too. 

“This club is meant to get students to read outside of their normal reading choice, and to have that foundation of something that they share with other students and to have good decisions,” Jennifer Hitchcock said.

If none of these clubs seem interesting, students can start their own club. Director Seanna Bloemer explained the process. 

“A student requests a student club form from their ES or main office,” Bloemer said. “A student needs to find an ACA staff member to oversee the club and attend club meetings during school hours (information on the form). A student turns the form in to me for review.” 

Sources:

Holland, Drew. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 14 March 2021

Yonce, Marcus. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 11 March 2021

Fox, Hailey. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 12 March 2021

Brown, Casey. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 13 March 2021

Sanderson, Sarah. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 11 March 2021

Harris, Grant. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 17 March 2021

Ginn, Scott. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 11 March 2021

Whittet, Denis. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 12 March 2021

Harris, Elinore. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 12 March 2021

Wynne, Chad. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 18 March 2021

Hitchcock, Jennifer. Personal interview. 16 March 2021

Bloemer, Seanna. Email interview. “RE: Interview.” Received by Joshua Aldrich, 11 March.2021

Bloemer, Seanna. Personal interview. 4 March 2021.