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Niche clubs gain traction

Dani Winkler ‘22 and Kylie Huber ‘21 snack at Cheese Club.

Niche clubs on campus cater to students who have a love for different experiences and time to spare. The vast landscape of fun-loving Marlborough student groups offers unusual opportunities from snacking on brie while listening to Cheese Club advisor Christopher Thompson’s stories to calling checkmate on Chess Club advisor Deepender Singh.

Cheese Club, currently headed by Danielle Winkler ‘22 and Paige Garza ‘22, meets once a month in Mr. Thompson’s classroom to celebrate club members’ love for cheese.

The club welcomes dairy lovers and lactose intolerant members alike. Winkler and Garza hinted at more inclusive cheese varieties in their future agenda.

“We are thinking of having a vegan cheese day,” Winkler said.

Without adhering to a strict agenda, students can relax, eat cheese and listen to Thompson tell stories.

To help students work off all the cheese, the Fun, Intensive Training Club, founded by Audrey Loo ‘21 and Sidney Bae ‘21, offers workout motivation for students. 

“I would always want to work out, but I would forget, or I wouldn’t have enough motivation,” Loo said of her inspiration for founding the club. “By having Sidney do it with me, I was more motivated.”

The club meets every two weeks during Flex Time and Break to exercise in the gym or on the field. Loo and Bae plan to focus on strengthening a different part of the body at each meeting.

“It’s a good way to stay fit and workout, especially if you don’t play a sport,” Loo said. “This club will make you get up. I will hunt you down in the hallways if you sign up, and I will be your personal motivator.”

While these niche clubs offer food and fitness, Chess Club offers intellectual fun. Chess Club was founded by Isabel Arroyo ‘20 four years ago and is now co-led by Ashira Weinreich ‘20.

“I was surprised we didn’t have a chess club already,” Arroyo said. “Not a lot of people at the school know how to play, so we also teach.”

Club members meet for matches once a week in Singh’s classroom. Some members also teach chess to students at Third Street Elementary School in kindergarten through 3rd Grade.

Arroyo also runs the Classics Club, the Marlborough chapter of the National Junior Classical League. The club has existed for years, but Arroyo continued its legacy.

“It existed before I came to the school as ‘Latin Club,’ but since knowledge of Latin is not necessary for membership, I changed the name last year,” Arroyo said.

The club meets every Thursday to play classics-themed games and Kahoots, with candy prizes. The members also go to local competitions and conventions, and once a year, the club holds chariot races for the whole school on the field. 

Lastly, Seoul Club, an offshoot of Marlborough’s Asian affinity group EAST, meets every two to four weeks at flex time for workshops and seminars related to Korean culture and language. The Korean cultural program is headed by Mira Kwon ‘21 and Brodie Bojorquez ‘22. 

“Our goal is to provide an opportunity for any student, Asian or not, to explore the richness of Korean cultural traditions as well as aspects of contemporary popular culture,” Kwon said.

For the club’s first meeting, Steve Chung, the Chief Digital Officer at Fox Television, talked about entrepreneurship, the digital world and how he used his Korean identity to his advantage. The club’s second workshop was hosted by Liberty in North Korea, and enabled students to hear testimony from people who successfully escaped North Korea.

Seoul and Cheese Club member Kylie Huber ‘21 said niche clubs enable students to develop new interests and have fun.

“Small clubs are super fun and a good way to take the stress out of a typical school day,” she said.

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