Ready to have some fun? Join a club

Jack Kleinjans

With more than 40 clubs at West Ottawa, there is something for every student to get involved with and feel welcome to the overwhelming high school. Varying from sports, science, social studies, and hobbies, West Ottawa is a hub of activities and interests. Here are some of the great clubs this school has to offer:

WOPong: Club goin’ up on a Tuesday

Seniors Terry Yam and Drew Behrendt created the table tennis-enthusiasts club with the idea of having a fun, laid back and relaxing space to hang out and play ping pong. Also founded with the intention of encouraging students that aren’t included in other clubs, or simply need a place to blow off steam, WOPong has been a talking point when discussing clubs around school. “The most diswopong2tinct moment was when we brought WOPong to one of the Freshman nights, introducing the Freshman to the school. We were playing ping pong in the back and saw new Freshman come up and play, and a few administrators play as well.” Sr. Drew Behrendt said. He recalls the bright faces of the students running up to the tables, eyes widened and smiles ear-to-ear, filled with the curiosity and fascination of the ping pong club. Started last year, the club quickly swelled in popularity. Averaging 20 students a week, members of all grades, backgrounds, and skill level assembled on Tuesdays to compete for that week’s title. WOPong, once it starts up again, will be on Tuesdays, every week, right after school. Head over to the LGI room in the north building with your own paddle and be ready to play! The startup days for WOPong will be released in the next few weeks.

 

Science Olympiad: Where creativity and an interest for science meet

Science Olympiad, otherwise known as WOSO, is a club based on the sole purpose of having another way for science lovers to practice their passion other than in the classroom setting. WOSO is starting up again with the school year for another successful season of competition. The science based club is one of the most successful clubs at the school, winning competitions and placing in state-wide tournaments. The group of students has developed a reputation in West Michigan. Competitions, sometimes containing 100’s of schools, are where Instructor Cherylyn Weyhmiller see students bloom in creativity, ability, and enjoyment. “Some alumni have gone on to get accepted into Ivy League schools, work on neuroscience at the National Institute of Health, and design Space Exploration rockets,” Mrs. Weyhmiller said. Science Olympiad will start meetings in early October, on Thursdays from 3-4:30. Further announcements will be made about specific dates.

Photography Club: Expression through Camera lenses

A club based solely on the existence and appreciation for quality pictures, Photography Club is a new addition to the West Ottawa extra-curricular list. The students involved in the club are at a wide range of skill level, from just starting out to being reached out to for usage of their photos. “My most memorable time in the club was when we got access to the greenhouse and took some really nice pictures. That was a great time with other photographers” Jr. Matt Scheneman said. Scheneman started last year in the club, and since then has had a greater appreciation for photos. Collaborating with other students and tossing ideas and styles around is one way the club further strengthens the skills that these students possess.  Photography, once it starts back up, will meet every Wednesday after school. Tune into later announcements for further information on start-up dates and location.

CTEE: Changing the world, one computer at a time

ctee
CTEE sending their most recent shipment of computers to Cameroon

Pulling into the parking lot of the bus depot, next to the half-demolished remains of Glerum Elementary, one might believe they are in the wrong place. But after you open the door into one of the garages, a world scattered with Norwegian death-metal and Scottish folk music, trash cans overflowed with pop bottles, and used clothes of all sizes surround your brain. Oh, and of course one more major component: Computers. Stacks and stacks of computers. The hardware of computers are separated into piles and are ready to be scrapped, the monitors are stacked to show they can be cleaned, with 8 monitors setup to reinstall software onto computers to get ready to be shipped to Cameroon in West Africa. The Cultural Technological Environmental Exchange has been an institution in West Ottawa since it was started by a group of seniors in 1997, with the advisor being Instructor Mike Jaeger.. CTEE puts together multiple events to fuel their cause, such as WOSTOCK and the Snowball Winter Dance. No technological background is necessary to have a place in this club, and new members are more than welcome to take part in this international effort. Meetings are right after school every Wednesday in Mr. Jaeger’s room, A256, and at the bus garage off of Lakewood Blvd. on Sundays, from 1:00-5:00.

 

WOUF: Throwing discs for exercise and enjoyment

Sr. David Luna stares down the field, the formation he just showed his team comes together, he takes a step back, slowly winds up his arm, and pulls the disc through the air. The disc cuts like a hot knife through butter, and his co-captain Sr. Austin Barajas takes off past his defender, takes a soaring jump up to the disc, retrieves it in his hands, and lands in the end zone. West Ottawa Ultimate Frisbee, or WOUF, was formed just this past spring and is still a young club at the school. Founders David Luna, Austin Barajas and Jack Kleinjans have been playing Ultimate together for almost two years now, and are excited to start another season of playing, with hopefully new members. “We’ve been playing a lot over the past summers with WO Alumni, but they left for college and we had no one to play with. So we wanted to start a better community using Ultimate

WOUF at the state championship
WOUF at the state championship

Frisbee. It’s turned more into a sporty feel at the practices. And it’s been great to get to know new people in a new perspective is really fun.” Sr. David Luna said.  The team of 10 attended the State Championship for Ultimate in Ann Arbor last May, competing against the best teams Michigan has to offer. For information on practice times and dates, look up the WOUF Facebook page and tune into WOBN for announcements.