Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

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From Creative Writing to Pickleball: PDS Debuts New Clubs for 2023-24 School Year

Juniors Oren Yakoby and Colton Simonds, the co-heads of the new Wildlife & Conservation Club, at the club fair (Photo/PDS Flickr)

Along with a new school year comes a return to structured life – classrooms and hallways once again become crowded with students revitalized after a long hiatus away from school. At PDS, an aura of liveliness and curiosity fills the community. Each new school year also marks the bringing of change. A highlight of the new school year so far has been the introduction of new clubs with the goal of reaching out to different subcultures of the PDS community and cultivating the interests of the students. Of these new clubs, a few stand out in their engagement with the student body or the opportunity they provide for joining members. 

The Wildlife Conservation Club, co-headed by juniors Colton Simonds and Oren Yakoby and advised by Upper School biology teachers Mr. Cara and Dr. Bethoney, aims to bring students outdoors to explore the rich wildlife of New Jersey. Yakoby reflected, “Colton and I began the Wildlife and Conservation Club primarily due to our passion for the outdoors … [however] our main goal is to share knowledge with the PDS community and ultimately have more students enjoy the outdoors.” The club plans to take multiple trips on weekends throughout the school year, engaging in activities such as hiking, cleaning up outdoor spaces, flytying, birdwatching, and more. The club welcomes anyone to join regardless of their prior experience and knowledge. 

Creative Writing Workshop is a new club that provides students with a space to explore creative writing in a setting built around community and expression. Senior Justin Kaplowitz, one of the co-heads of the club, explained that the club acts to “[replicate] real world writing workshops” through members working to hone in their ability by “[receiving] feedback” and giving “constructive criticism.” The club will meet every day five, giving students ample time to connect and, more importantly, write. 

Another new club, the Pickleball Club, has quickly become the fastest growing group, with over a hundred members joining in the first weeks of the club. The sport that the club is built around, Pickleball, combines aspects of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong along with entirely unique elements to create a fast-paced game. Pickleball has been played for decades but has recently gained more players and publicity. Sophomore Andrew Thallemer, who created the club along with sophomore Umang Sharma, started planning the club a couple of years ago; Thallemer mentioned that “lots of coordination between athletic offices and Sra. Simonds was required in order to make this club a reality.” The club plans to meet every day three at lunch, and over the course of the school year. There will be at least one tournament to crown the best player in the school. 

Despite covering distinctly different aspects of the student body, all of the clubs new to PDS this year serve to enrich the PDS experience and culture of the school. Other new popular clubs include GAINS (Girls Advancing IN STEM) and the Conversations Concerning Christianity club, which holds bible readings and discussion about Christianity. Ultimately, through activities, discussions, and events, each club will bring together its members and allow students to connect with each other through new mediums and interests.

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