GlenOak Spirit club goes COVID-19 friendly


Electrifying pep rallies and the long-awaited homecoming season are things of the past in a year marked by death and social distancing guidelines. Groups like Spirit Club, who promote and plan these events, have had to find other ways to stay true to its original message: enhancing school spirit.

In this new climate, it is hard for students to stay connected to their peers and participate in group activities for a variety of reasons. Spirit Club hopes to change that.

“Spirit Club is a way for kids to share ideas to make people enjoy school,” junior MJ Morgan said. “From making signs and painting the windows, Spirit Club is a way to express our school spirit however we want.”

So far the group has put up signs around the school to support big games, athletes and other clubs hoping to get their name out in the school hallways.

This element of Spirit Club has remained the same, but in many other ways, the club has had to adapt to meet social distancing guidelines and keep students safe. 

“The system they put in place here at GlenOak has been perfect for controlling the spread of germs and keeping things clean while being able to socially distance,” Spirit Club adviser and art teacher Jill Balderson said. “We can spread out for Spirit Club, make signs, hang them up and promote Spirit Week in the same way that we have done before.”

By spreading out, Spirit Club has been able to keep its community alive. These changes are similar to the ones present in a normal school day and are not a big shock for students.

Spirit Club has also seen other changes this year, specifically concerning the number of students participating in it.

“A difference I’ve noticed is the amount of people that are there. Last year there were a lot of kids in the club, and from the first meeting [this year] there were about six to seven kids,” Morgan said.

Despite this change in numbers, new members are still welcome to join Spirit Club and plan more events as Thanksgiving break quickly approaches.

“This is my first year in Spirit Club, and I’ve been to one meeting so far so I’m very new to everything. I would recommend it to other students,” junior Haley McNichol said.

On top of the change in the amount of people, Spirit Club has been limited concerning what they are allowed to do. COVID-19 and a group that focuses on positive school spirit and interactions conflict in this new environment.

“I feel personally I’m helping improve school spirit but there is so much more that I want to do on top of that, like more pep rallies, or more school involved activities,” Morgan said. “But because of corona I don’t think that will happen any time soon.”

Nevertheless, Spirit Club remains a place for students to gather and share their ideas. No matter how crazy or implausible some ideas may seem, it has the possibility of becoming a school tradition for years to come.

“This is what makes Spirit Club fun and special. We are still in this together,” Balderson said. “You don’t have to be the smartest kid, you don’t have to be a great athlete and you don’t have to be an artist to be in Spirit Club, you can be anyone.”

The next Spirit Club meeting will be held on Nov. 12 after school until 3:15 p.m., and the group will continue to meet on the second Thursday of every month.