by Will Unger ’19
Before you read on, I challenge you to take a minute and count how many clubs you know at Sherwood. Got a number?
Well I’ll bet it wasn’t 60, which is the official count from the list of clubs on the Sherwood website.
I’m a senior who’s been part of a fairly diverse number of groups. However, I had not heard of most of them until I began researching for this ongoing series. Beyond honor societies and more established clubs like Chemistry club, Key Club, or Film Club, there are all sorts of smaller groups that represent a broad range of interests. There are so many clubs for everything from Corn Hole, to Fishing, to Latin Dance.
I’ll be highlighting some of the lesser-known clubs at Sherwood to give them the attention of the student body.
The Political Activism of Amnesty International
In the wake of the highly contentious 2016 presidential election, more young people are getting active in politics and stepping up in order to make their voices heard. Here at Sherwood, we have a club that aims to help students do just that: Amnesty International.
Started by co-presidents junior Pooja Dharmendran and junior Hena Hussain during the 2017-2018 school year, the club works to spread awareness about issues that students may otherwise be unaware of. “[At first] we wanted to explore other extracurriculars, but we became really passionate about the work Amnesty does,” said Hussain. Amnesty International is actually a global organization that has advocated for human rights and rallied against oppression for decades; Sherwood’s club is a student chapter of the organization.
The club has expanded to 15 members and has planned a number of different campaigns throughout the school year. During first semester, the club organized a letter writing campaign (titled “Write for Rights”) in support of other advocates that faced persecution for their activism. In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the club planned a Women’s Rights Week. The group has also collaborated with other groups at school like Young Democrats, the International Club, and Key Club, with whom they helped to plan the winter clothing drive for immigrants. “Amnesty is important to me because it allows me do advocate for certain issues … It’s important to have a club like this at Sherwood, because most students tend to be indifferent or unaware about certain human rights issues,” said Hussain.
All students are welcome to join the club and at its core the club is just a group of students who are truly passionate about making the world a better place. If that sounds interesting, you can become a member by joining their Remind group and contacting an officer, or by talking to social studies teacher Rebecca Taylor. The club meets every other Wednesday in Taylor’s room.
Singing with Sweet Adelines
This article is not about Neil Diamond’s 1969 hit “Sweet Caroline” (it says Adelines, not Caroline, come on). It’s about a club, called Sweet Adelines, within Sherwood’s music department that I think deserves some recognition.
Unlike choir classes such as Chamber or Jazz Choir, Sweet Adelines, lead by senior Caroline Bauk, is a student run vocal group. “We pick and learn all of our songs collaboratively. That’s hands down the coolest part about the club,” she explained.
The group’s main events are the Winter and Spring choral concerts, when Bauk and about 14 other singers perform whatever songs they’ve been working on. “Our schedule is different every week based on how much work we need to get done, how close the concert is, and when people are available,” said Bauk. Though they’re an important part of what the group does, the concerts are not all there is to Sweet Adelines.
“Because the group is pretty small and student run, we all get a chance to work together and grow as singers and musicians. I really love being able to pick songs I like and to write arrangements to them and then get to perform them with a group of cool and talented people,” said Bauk.
So if you’re looking for a fun time singing with friends, look no further than Sweet Adelines. The club is always welcoming new members. Anyone interested in joining can talk to Bauk or to one of the music teachers in E149 & E150. As stated the schedule varies, so just keep your ears open.
Forensics Makes Public Speaking Fun
When most people hear the word “forensics,” they probably think of a crime scene, maybe something out of “CSI Miami.” Well, the Forensics Club at Sherwood is giving a whole new meaning to the word; if you’ve ever seen advertisements for the club around the school and wondered what the club could possibly be about, you’re not alone!
Forensics in a speech context is defined as “belonging to, used in, or suitable to courts or to public discussion and debate,” said senior Mackenzie Phillips, who is the club’s president.
A club about public speaking, you’re probably thinking, “who would want to join that?” It’s not that simple, and to give an answer to your question, the club currently has 12 members. The club is actually a group of students who gather to practice their public speaking in a number of different literary categories at three competitions throughout the year.
“[Forensics is] a low commitment club where you get to meet a ton of other people who just like to perform and have fun every once in a while. It helps students gain public speaking skills and can also look really good on college resumes,” said Phillips.
If you have seen students in fun costumes outside of holidays and spirit weeks, they may just be the members of Forensics club. Every Friday before a competition, the club has a pajama day, and each year before their final competition, they host their very own spirit week.
Due to the competition schedule, it’s best for students to join at the beginning of the year. If you’re interested in joining, talk to English teacher and Forensics sponsor Christopher Goodrich in room K170.