By: Jenna Lam (Grade 11)
Explore some of Dub-Peeg’s lesser known clubs… some of them might just surprise you!
Did you know that WPGA has over forty clubs in the senior school? Some of them are quite well-known. Other clubs are more self-explanatory by the very nature of its name: Debate Club deals with all things debate related. Beneath the surface, however, lies an underground world of hidden clubs. Now trust me, it was not easy to find them. Aside from looking upon the Daily Announcements, I had to explore classrooms, find the creators of almost every club offered in the senior school and constantly pester students to find out if a certain club was really unknown. But I must say the search was well worth it. Some of these clubs are Dub-Peeg’s true treasures.
1. Quiz Club
Bzzz! Bzzz! As you walk across the hallway during lunch, you might hear the high-pitched sound of a buzzer from the meeting room. Welcome to Quiz Club, where groups of students meet to answer all types of quiz questions with these large buzzer systems every Thursday. Mr. Bendl explained, “We started the year by focusing on general knowledge quiz materials (math, history, science, and the arts), but with the International History Bee and Bowl (IHBB) coming up in February, we are now working exclusively on history questions.” Four years ago, Mr. Bendl recalls “finding an old buzzer system, casually pulling it out, and inviting Grade 9/10 students at lunch”. In less than a year, WPGA students attended the “Europe Tour”. They had so much fun, and eventually, many students asked to make the club official. The WPGA Quiz Club has been hosting the regional tournament for the International History Bee and Bowl. Last year, the junior team even made it all the way to the Canadian Finals in Ottawa last year!
“It’s a fun and casual club, you show up when you can and compete when you can. I would recommend the club to anyone that likes buzzer-system, quiz-based games.” – Mr. Bendl
When: Thursdays at Lunch
Where: Room 215
2. Coffee & Beach Walk Club
Created by our very own school captain, Tess Blake, Coffee & Beach Walk Club opened this school year. It is open to any girls from grades 8 to 12. “Every month, we meet at Bean on 10th, grab a coffee, and walk down to Jericho beach for a nice beach walk. I started this club as a space for girls to take a break from homework or other commitments and get to know girls in other grades!”, said Tess. Annushka Agarwal, an avid member of the club, said, “ I used to not like coffee or beaches, yet the club has fundamentally altered my existence… I am the person I am today because of Coffee & Beach Walk Club.”
“Follow our instagram page @coffeeandbeachwalkclub for more info on specific dates for coffee mornings!” – Tess Blake
When: Typically once a month on Saturdays from 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM
Where: Bean on 10th and Jericho Beach
3. Environmental Leadership Club
You may ask yourself, “what exactly is environmental leadership?” The answer is a bit complicated. The Environmental Leadership Club encapsulates reflection, learning, and action within the environment. Some meetings have included presentations about waste management or the fashion industry, while others have involved discussing what’s going on in nature. There is no pressure or stress – it’s simply a place of inspiration! Several members of EL Club are also leading their own projects, such as using worms for composting food waste around the school.
“It’s nice to talk about the things going on in our world today. Environmental Leadership Club is a great fit for anyone who loves the natural world or just wants to learn more about it.” – Arthur Chen
When: Tuesdays at Lunch
Where: Room 108
4. The Newspaper Club (AKA The Wolfington Post)
Yes, you read that right. Some students do not know that WPGA has a newspaper! When asked for her inspiration for starting the newspaper, Avrel Festinger, our editor-in-chief, said she “was really fascinated by all the people and all of their interests at the school and wanted to give them a place where we could write about them”. The first issue was in October 2018, and now we have around 20 contributors, from editors to writers to photographers! The Wolfington Post typically puts an issue out every month, publishing the pieces of work that writers want to write. One great memory Avrel shared was when she “held a brunch at my house for all of the scholars”, explaining that it “was so nice to just hang out and talk a little about our plans for the following year… I’m hoping to make that a tradition.”
“I would recommend the Wolfington Post to any writer or editor or person who wants to tell somebody’s story/who is interested in storytelling. You should like to write/like English class and you should be willing to dedicate your time to writing/editing!” – Avrel Festinger
When: Friday mornings at 7:30 AM
Where: Room 108
5. Urban Sketching Club
You might see some WPGA students outside or inside the lobby with beautiful drawings – this is the Urban Sketching Club! Ms. Loasby, the creator of the club, said that “It’s a great way for people to connect with the environment. It’s quick and fun – pick a scene outdoors, grab your sketching supplies and just sketch.” High school students especially always have really busy schedules – so “taking 15-20 minutes to think about nothing other than sketching is quite cathartic”. Ms. Loasby recalled during the sunnier days, students would “sit on the grass, listen to jazz, munch on snacks and sketch!”. Although they’ve had to move indoors due to rain for the winter, it’s still a blast!
“You don’t have to be “good” at drawing and all materials are provided. So if you have 15-20 minutes to spare every other Thursday after school, come join us for a refreshing sketching session!” – Ms. Loasby
When: Thursdays, bi-weekly
Where: Right outside or inside the lobby
6. DTC Strategy Club
DTC stands for Death by A Thousand Cards, an “explosive, one vs one, tabletop card duelling game inspired years ago by Tarot cards and everything medieval.” Each game is played with two decks, “stacked with flashy abilities and strategic decision-making designed for a healthy balance of luck and skill”. “It’s a really fun game,” said member Jaden Law. “The abilities, items, and (champion) powers are all pretty unique and interesting.” At the moment, it is only being played tabletop, but creators Henry and Yi are planning to take the game further, as an online version of DTC is in the works of being programmed and should be playable sometime this year! They’re also hosting a tournament at WPGA starting the last week of February, during lunches. Co-creator Henry said, “DTC is always growing, and anyone is welcome to be a part of it, if they’re interested!”
“Want to conjure up some magic? Then come visit! The club is open to all who want to play or watch.” – Henry Yong
When: Every Friday Lunch
Where: Room 206
Aside from these clubs, there are also countless more well-known organizations at WPGA!
1. Club Veg
This club started when vegan diet students found themselves having lunches together in classrooms, and wanted to formalize it and turn it into an official club. You don’t have to be vegan to join, either! Members simply bring a vegan dish and share.
“Anyone who is concerned about climate change should understand that the most impactful thing you can do that is totally within your own control to address climate change is to stop (or at least minimize) consuming meat and dairy.” – Mr. Huygens
When: Once a month
Where: Room 110
2. Yoga and Meditation Club
Tess Blake originally started Yoga & Meditation Club in Grade 10. School and extracurriculars began to pile up, and she “would not be able to remember a single moment in the day where (she) actually took a deep breath”. No experience or yoga mat is needed to join! You can also follow them on instagram for more information and reminders at @wpgayoga.
“Yoga & Meditation club is meant to embody a chill, quiet, and rebalancing space in which students can drop in whenever they need some reflection, perspective or even just some simple stretching.” – Tess Blake
When: Mondays from 3:45-4:30
Where: Room 013
3. Knitting Club
Run by Peyton Pownall, Mr. Thomas, and Madame Guillois, Knitting Club is a friendly and relaxing environment where both beginner and advanced knitters are welcome. From Mr. Thomas dazzling us with his stories and jokes to relaxing and getting into the groove of knitting, there is truly. place in Knitting Club for everyone.
“I would recommend Knitting Club to someone who wants to spend a quiet and peaceful lunchtime learning how to knit or knitting while chatting with peers in this stress-free environment.” – Peyton Pownall
When: Wednesdays at Lunch
Where: Room 023 W
4. Tech Club
Tech Club, run by Dr. Holowka, is a club for students to learn all about technology and computers. The fantastic thing about Tech Club is that it runs twice a week, allowing students interested in technology to practice their skills often. One of the most popular projects that students have done is programming a racecar to drive itself on the track using reinforcement training. They would like to eventually host racecar competitions, which they are in the process of working on.
“I joined because I’m interested in technology and science… it sounded like a good opportunity to learn about programming and machine learning! Our goal is to use reinforcement training to make a car run around a track and possibly enter in a racing competition.” – Zoey Lee
When: Tuesdays and Thursdays at Lunch
Where: Room 206
5. Creative Writing Club
From poems to essays to stories, Creative Writing Club allows students to “be a safe place to share new or polished work, to get feedback from peers, and to find newfound inspiration for writing. Emma Miao, the creator of the club, said that she loves poems and short stories, and wanted to create a community that would “benefit from a collective writing environment without the formal pressure of a class.” They are currently working on an online literary journal that they hope to publish soon.
“I would recommend the club to anyone who likes to write! We have a relaxing, quiet atmosphere with prompts… every Friday lunch.” – Jenna Lam
When: Fridays at lunch
Where: Room 112
6. Planet Club
Every morning, we all walk down the senior school next to all these gorgeous potters and planters. But did you know that they weren’t always filled with beautiful flowers? In fact, when Ms. Jones and Mr. Thomas first came to the school, they were holes in the ground filled with garbage. That’s when Ms. Jones decided to take action and create Planet Club. It initially started with a couple of teachers and grew to students as well. In fact, Planet Club is over 10 years old, which is truly a WPGA tradition. One of the greatest memories Ms. Jones relives every spring is seeing the daffodils all over the school after winter break. “The bulbs wake up and let us know it’s springtime!”, she said. In addition, Ms. Jones said that she loves working with Mr. Thomas, “it’s an absolute delight and pleasure!”. Planet Club members work in the garden doing all types of tasks, like weeding, raking or planting.
“I would recommend Planet Club to anybody who isn’t afraid of getting up in the morning and has environmental leanings. It’s a relaxing start to the morning, and after working for 30 mins, you feel refreshed, relaxed, and stress-free!” – Ms. Jones
When: Outside of the Lobby
Where: Wednesday mornings at 7:30
7. Gay-Straight Alliance
Gay Straight Alliance is currently lead by Bella Steiner and Finley Sharp. GSA is mainly focused on “spreading more awareness and education about the LGBTQ + community throughout the school” said Finley. Some of the best moments she recalls is the high school assembly held last year, and past Pride Days! “Last year we definitely had a lot of fun organizing games in the lobby, the screening of Love Simon, giving out cupcakes and seeing everyone in their colourful clothing and WPGA Pride Wristbands. We are definitely looking forward to incorporating some of this and much more for Pride Days 2020, so everyone can stay tuned for that!”
“If you just want to learn more about what we do in the club, learn about the LGBTQ+ community, or help out here and there, this is the place for you… There’s no obligation to come every week, anyone is more than welcome to pop by anytime!” – Finely Sharp
When: Monday lunch at 12:25
Where: Room 114
8. Girls Fitness Club
Run by Stephanie and Katrina, Girls Fitness Club strives towards motivating girls to workout in a supportive environment, with Sensei and personal trainers to help assist. At the end of every month, smoothies will be given to the top participants as a reward for their hard work! All girls are welcome to join whenever, and are encouraged to bring their friends.
“Typically, I don’t enjoy physical exercise very much, but Girls Fitness Club makes me excited to work out!” – Jenna
When: Wednesday from 3:45-5:00
Where: Fitness Centre
No matter what club you may be a part of, I think we can all agree that these groups bring us together. We can hone our skills while making friends and getting to know the Dub Peeg community. Be proud of the clubs you are a part of and go forth with confidence!