Join the Club, Any Club


Potomac Falls has over 90 clubs, many of which are inactive. Why are there so many and why don’t they last?

Potomac falls has over one hundred clubs, with typical ones like National Honor society and unique ones like RuPaul’s Drag Race Fan Club. Why does Potomac Falls have so many clubs? The large selection of unusual clubs allows there to be something for everyone. But even though a lot get created, most aren’t active. Michaela Ottenberg is the activates coordinator of Potomac Falls, and she thinks it takes a lot to make a club last.

“A great club consists of members who are dedicated to the purpose of the organization and are actively involved. A lot of students bite off more than they can chew and spread themselves too thin. The most efficient clubs are those that have active membership. Also, the sponsor makes an enormous difference. Sponsors have rules they must follow, so clubs that follow our school and county procedures tend to have the most success as well,” said Ottenberg.

Some of the abstract clubs listed on the school website that this school offers are Ginger Up, Meditate to Regenerate, Ping-Pong Club, Plastic Symphony, RuPaul’s Drag Race Fan Club, Ultimate Frisbee Club, Fishing Club, and Mini-Golf Club.

Although the activities page is filled with over a hundred options to choose from, many of these clubs are inactive, many of which had a grand start with ads on Feature Friday and a packed first meeting. So why do people create clubs, only to stop meeting shortly after they were created? Does everyone want to start a club just to be able to put it on a college application?

“I think some people, both students and sponsors, do not always realize the time and energy needed to start and club and make it successful. Also, if a club is founded by mostly seniors and they neglect to recruit younger members, the club can dissipate after they graduate,” said Ottenberg.

Bowling Club was created last year and was a hit. Many juniors and seniors met to go bowling, made t-shirts, and even discussed a fundraiser. It had a large social media following, with the Instagram having almost 200 followers. But it quickly fizzled out; most freshman have never heard of it. Senior Mia Dower was the secretary for Bowling Club.

“Bowling club doesn’t meet anymore because we all became too busy,” said Dower. However, she still encourages underclassmen to create whatever they want. “Advice I would give to kids starting clubs is if you feel passionate about something then make it happen. That’s how we felt about bowling.”

Seniors Matt Engel and Andrew Gerhart started the Mini-Golf Club because they wanted more clubs that were just for fun.

“I think so many people start clubs because everyone has different interests, and no matter how many clubs there are, there will always be someone wanting a club that doesn’t exist,” said Engel. Engel is a part of six clubs to stay involved in the school.

“I hope the future of clubs continues to include a wide range of activities for students to participate in, with teacher sponsors who are actively engaged in the clubs they sponsor. I want students and staff to feel a sense of pride in the groups they are a part of and represent,” said Ottenberg.

Ottenberg believes clubs should work together now and in the future. “I would also love to see more coordination between clubs. Because of the size of our school, communication is important. I would love to see more partnerships between clubs, class councils, and student government, to help with various events, especially fundraising. If we joined forces, I think we could sometimes have more success. Overall, I am happy with the current state of our activities and have seen a lot of positive improvements from our building on this topic. I am grateful for another opportunity to serve PFHS and encourage student involvement,” said Ottenberg.