Service clubs come together to clean up school grounds


A job well done: Juniors Aaron Ghidey and Brendan McLaughlin relax after helping clean up trash around RBHS during the joint project.

Sophie Whyte

A job well done:  Juniors Aaron Ghidey and Brendan McLaughlin    relax after helping clean up trash around RBHS during the joint project.
Juniors Aaron Ghidey and Brendan McLaughlin relax after helping clean up trash around RBHS during the joint project.
Photo by Sophie Whyte
For the first time, five of the school’s largest clubs met up in order to aid the school environment. Rock Bridge Reaches Out, Tri Theta, National Honor Society, Key Club and Student Environmental Coalition joined together to complete their group project on the afternoon of Oct. 15. Participating students met in the atrium after school to meet up before taking bags around the exterior of the school to clean up litter.
“We wanted to do a group service project with all of the service clubs at Rock Bridge so we could kind of get to know each other,” senior Kelsey Harper, president of RBRO and organizer of the service project said. “We share a lot of members already so it was a good way for people to get to know what all of our other service clubs do. We wanted to start with something simple that would be really easy for us to pull off. We’re actually planning on doing more group projects in the future. But cleaning up Rock Bridge was a really easy way to give back to the school and get a lot of kids involved.”
Harper also found aid from senior Nate Horvit, Key Club leader, senior Whitney Cravens, Tri Theta leader, and senior Trisha Chaudhary, leader of NHS. Harper’s co-presidents of RBRO, seniors Sophi Farid and Katy Shi, also helped to plan the project. Communication was key when finding a way to bring together five of RBHS’s largest clubs together.
“I think [the service project] was important because it erased the categories of the different service organizations at Rock Bridge and made everyone come together in the name of service.” Cravens said. “It was fun and did good for the school at the same time.”
The participants broke up into smaller groups in order to cover more areas of the school grounds. Cups, soda cans, fast food bags and other disposable items rested on the lawn and parking lot, which the volunteers separated into recycling and trash.
“It’s not that hard and you really do make a difference by cleaning up the school,” junior Wyatt Sherman, member of Key Club, said. “And it just makes it a nicer environment.”
Sherman expressed interest in participating in future joint club service projects. Around 40 people showed up from the various clubs to help, and eight full trash and three full recycle bags were collected.
“You get to hang out with your friends,” Sherman said, “and you’re also doing something good.”
After about an hour of cleaning, the club members met back at the atrium to drop off their bags of litter and recyclables. As a reward for their work, the members enjoyed free snacks and drinks provided by the club leaders. Many stayed afterwards to eat and chat with friends before they headed off.
“I think [the service project] was successful because we picked up a lot of trash and bottles,” Cravens said. “Rock Bridge wasn’t that dirty to begin with, but every little bit helps for sure. I would definitely do it again in the future.”
While they don’t have any solid plans for future projects, they have some ideas. Instead of just focusing on RBHS, the clubs may turn their attention to the community of Columbia as a whole. With the participation of even more students next time, perhaps a bigger difference could be made. One thing is certain: the project greatly helped RBHS and was an inspiration for future service projects.
By Sophie Whyte