Community Days: More Than a Pandemic Placeholder
On this year's first two Community Days, Quill reporters fanned out across campus to preview student club offerings.
November 6, 2022
Created during the pandemic, Community Days began as a time for clubs to meet when going in to school was optional. Inevitably, many students opted to stay home. Last year, these gathering times grew to include over 50 student clubs and activities. This year, on the first two Community Days, Quill reporters fanned out across campus to preview some of the offerings. – Audrey Lin
Meets in the Meeting House Kitchen
The scent of fresh omelets wafted through Stony Run Friends Meeting House, as the center of Quaker worship took on a new purpose: cooking. As we entered, the kitchen buzzed with the energy of the many students crammed into a small space. They bustled around each other carrying dishes, rags, knives, and various ingredients.
During this community day, the Cooking Club made casseroles, and omelets with the leftovers. They worked with the organization Our Daily Bread, an employment center that partners with Baltimore City Correctional Center, and has been feeding the hungry in Baltimore for more than 40 years. They focus on serving food to those in need, as well rehabilitation for employees who come from the jail.
So the Cooking Club combines both community service and creativity. Members get to relax and have fun cooking while also helping the community.
“I love it here. I enjoy it a lot,” says Mai Bolster, a sophomore.
“It’s great, adds sophomore Ashley Johnson.
Ultimate Frisbee Club
Meets on the Turf
It was a cool day out on the turf, and around 15 people were playing Ultimate Frisbee. The rules of the game are simple: there are two teams. The setup is similar to handball, except you only get to take two steps. There are endzones, and both teams are trying to throw to other team members who are in the endzone.
Here at Friends, the Ultimate club heads are Benjamin Lopez and Noah Sheasby. Physics teacher Victor Polyak advises the club.
On the first Community Day of the year, September 28th, club head Benjamin Lopez said that the group was having a fun day out on the turf, and everything had been going well.
Sevie Schulhoff, ‘23, said Ultimate Frisbee is fun – but that we should ask again in the spring when it is an actual sport.
Overall, the club was very organized, and everyone was having a great time even though it was a little cold outside.
Meets in Upper School Room 118
On the second community day of the year, Spanish club spent C3 with Carolyn Villena, a guest speaker from Lutheran World Relief (LWR) and a Friends School alum.
The room was packed with students, filling every chair and most of the floor. Though some may have come for extra credit, the presentation kept everyone engaged no matter why they were there.
A delicious portion of the presentation was the food. Peruvian dishes like Pollo a la Brassa and Picarones on Bunuelo made everyone want to visit the Peruvian restaurant El Gran Pollo. Even some of the more peculiar dishes (such as Cuy Chactado, which includes guinea pig meat), sparked interest.
Ms. Villena then showed two videos about the work LWR has been doing in different countries.
The first, “Providing Better Futures in Peru,“ focused on a small town, Castrovirreyna. The town is abandoned by the state, leading to many hardships such as malnutrition. LWR works to provide healthy and balanced diets to the community, brightening their futures.
The other video, “Improving Health in Guatemala,” was based in Canton Pin Pin, where safe drinking water is not available, and many are not getting enough nutrients. LWR provides water filters, educates on the nutrients that the body needs, and helps to produce said nutrients through good agricultural practices.
Villena’s presentation prompted tons of questions. Students were curious about ways to lend a hand. Villena emphasized the importance of donations, but another option is LWR’s Quilts and Kits Program, where anyone can send in quilts or kits containing various necessities.
In the end, the Spanish Club speaker was a huge success. Hopefully it will incentivize more clubs to invite a guest speaker of their own!
Meets in Upper School Room 211
This club strives to make a difference. Hunger Committee, one of several Friends clubs centered around service, builds community while students do volunteer work for those who need it.
At the first meeting of the year, eight students learned about the club’s plans for their upcoming trips to The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building. Their first trip to the Baltimore Station to prepare and serve food to veterans was scheduled for later that day, so the pressure was on.
Spanish teacher Tom Binford, who has led the club for decades, was ambitious to start this year. He recalled the many great times they’d had in previous years. He described a day when he and the Committee made 15 pizzas, which served around 50 people.
Many students had fond memories of the club as well, mentioning how great it was to serve food and make small talk with the men in the building. The students seemed excited to start, many of them wanting to fight for a good cause – as well as earning some community service hours while they were there.
They weren’t sure exactly what would need doing. In previous years, students have cleaned the kitchen or organized canned goods. But students said they were prepared for anything that came their way.
Meets in the Upper School Makerspace
The Makerspace is almost always busy and full of excited students – but never as much as during Maker Club. Moxie Doctor, the club head, says she founded Maker Club for anyone who simply wants to make something.
“It’s a good umbrella for niche interests,” she says. “Like clubs within a club!”
Members are allowed to work on almost anything they can imagine, from 3D printing to sewing. Other projects included wire art, beads, model work, and more.
Heather Romney, the club advisor, told Moxie that a previous Maker Club was popular four years ago, pre-pandemic.
It seemed to hit a dead end when those seniors graduated, but Moxie decided to revive it.
“I obviously have a large interest in making as a whole, and this space,” she says. “There’s so much equipment and supplies I wanted to take advantage of – that everyone should take advantage of.”
Moxie mentioned that there could be a collection of works coming soon, and that they are in need of members. In her words: “Join Maker Club!”
Global Service Club Spikeball Tournament
Met on the Turf
It was a sunny afternoon on September 28th, 2022. Music blasted from the turf, where the Global Service Club was hosting a spikeball tournament. The energy was high as 20 students engaged in spirited competition for a good cause.
Underclassmen were especially excited, as this was their first experience with global service club.
“I’m having a really great day,” said sophomore Khadejah Allen. “I love Community Days.”
The tournament raised money for Global Service Club’s annual Puerto Rico service trip in June. The main purpose of the trip is to provide help for hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico, which is still feeling the impact of 2017’s devastating Hurricane Maria. This year will mark the club’s first trip since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
While at first many who joined the club were just excited for a trip to Puerto Rico, Khadejah said many more people are now excited for doing service itself.
Freshman Charlotte Jacobs agreed. She said her interest in the club lies deeper in the idea of service, rather than the big Puerto Rico trip.
The turnout at the tournament was lower than she expected, but everyone remained in good spirits. In all, Global Service Club was able to raise $80, a helpful start for their plan to aid others.