Math and Programming Club during the 2019 school year

With social distancing restrictions cancelling activities for everyone, suddenly students have more free time. This provides Carrboro High students the great opportunity to check out and join one or more of the numerous clubs that are run by fellow classmates.

Carrboro has an assortment of clubs with national chapters, like the National Honor Society (NHS), Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), Model United Nations and clubs that are unique to our school like the Bee Club, the Mountain Bike Club and the Juntos Club, which helps Latino/Latinx students apply to college.

“Clubs can provide social interactions that are important in order to get the whole high school experience,” said senior Jackson Lee, president of the popular DECA club.

Senior Trixie MacNeil, president of the Carrboro National Honor Society, said the best clubs are the ones “you have to put in the work on, and you can’t just write it off on your college application… but will serve to benefit you and provide a cool way to get involved in your community, a cool way to meet a new teacher, and are overall really fun.”

While not being able to meet in large groups in person is affecting these clubs, it is not taking away from so many of the benefits they provide. Personal experience on clubs was provided by three influential students: Lee, who is also President of Peer Buddy Club and MacNeil, who is also a member of the Partners in Health Club, and also Karen Chavez-Chavez, an active member of the Juntos club, in order to learn how clubs are being structured and run in this year of little or no contact.

Lucky for students, it seems that clubs are still able to thrive in the online system. The three influential students agreed that online meetings are more focused and goal oriented than meetings have been in previous years, because members who do not have the floor to speak can be muted. This doesn’t mean there is no friendly/off topic fun, though.  Since the business part of the meetings goes faster, that leaves more free time to interact at the end.

While virtual meetings are most common, many clubs are making efforts to host COVID-19 safe in-person meetings or activities. 

“National Honor Society has already had an in-person community service opportunity with the Town of Carrboro for the National Clean Up Day. Everyone wore masks, was outside, and were 6 feet apart, but we still had a good time,” said MacNeil.

“Some participants of the Special Olympics Club still have the opportunity to meet up to play sports safely outside,” said Lee.

Chavez-Chavez said that the Juntos club has hosted a meeting where they distributed yes shirts and gift bags, and are already planning to meet safely again.

The biggest challenge for clubs this year is participation. Lee said that clubs have to make an extra effort this year to reach out to participants through email to make sure everyone is on the same page. Without an in person Jaguare Jump In, many clubs struggled to find new underclassman participants. Chavez-Chavez said that clubs can also have problems if members don’t try to participate, or keep their cameras on and talk during a meeting.

One of the greatest aspects of clubs is the new communities and friends you make.  This is still entirely possible to achieve this year, but it’s up to you as a Carrboro student to put in the effort to receive the benefits.

“Clubs are made to benefit you, and if you put the work in you’ll really enjoy what you get out of it,” said MacNeil.

The future of our clubs depends on them surviving through this unprecedented year. Now more than ever, it’s important for underclassmen to look through the Carrboro High clubs list posted on the school website and get involved. It’s a great way to find new interests, meet new people and add something to look forward to in these stressful days.