Despite the current challenges, NASH senior Thomas Joyce has found a way to stay active and bring students together with the Trailblazers Club. 

Christiaan Titus, Staff Writer

How would you describe the trailblazers club to someone who has never heard about it? 

We are a club who meets at North Park to do hiking, kayaking, and just about anything outdoors. The reason I wanted to do this was to help to get outside because nobody really did that during quarantine, and I wanted to provide that for people this year. It’s a good and relaxed atmosphere, and there are no real attendance requirements. We just want to be active, get out, and have fun. 

How many members does the club have so far? 

Right now, the club has fourteen members, and we are slowly growing. I plan on making an ad for the morning announcements, and you can follow our instagram @natrailblazersclub. 

What inspired you to start the club? 

I wanted to start a hiking club ever since tenth grade, but that year, and junior year are really important for colleges, and there was a lot on my plate, and I didn’t really have a lot of time. Senior year is more relaxed, and with online school, it is a bit easier to get homework done. So, I’ve been thinking about starting it for a little while, and this year I started it. 

It’s difficult to start a club regardless of the situation.  However, with the pandemic, what extra difficulties did that create? 

It made it a little bit harder because we had to jump through some hoops with social distancing and I wanted to create a club where we were outside so some of those rules could die down a little bit. There were also some challenges just because it is off campus at North Park, and there might be forms we have to fill out if someone falls or gets cut. There were definitely some challenges, but not too many were presented by the pandemic, especially since it was outside and we will be six feet apart. 

Have you ever been involved in starting and running a club before? 

No, this is my first time starting a club, but I have some pretty good ideas on what I would like to accomplish.

What is something that is really unique about your club? 

One thing that I think is really unique about the club is this: Every single season we are going to create a new logo. We have the summer logo right now, which we will probably use until about mid October. After that, we will switch to a new logo that I hope will be designed by one of our members. Any member with any kind of artistic ability could enter a contest with a logo themed after the current season, and if they win they would get a t-shirt for free.

How long have you been interested in the activities that take place at your club, such as hiking? 

I started hiking in the summer after ninth grade. I’ve always liked the outdoors, but I’ve always kept to myself about it and never really invited anyone along. The summer after junior year is when I started getting friends involved, and I thought it would be a good idea to get other people from the school in on it and start a club, so that’s what I did.

What are you most excited about doing while in the Trailblazers Club? 

I’m most excited about hiking — that’s what I like most — but we have a ton of activities planned. I’m thinking about doing some fundraising. These funds would go directly to getting to do paid activities, like kayaking, and boating, and maybe go to Seven Springs because I would like to do some field trips as well. 

How can students join the club? 

It’s really simple. You just need to follow the Instagram and fill out the google form. I will be trying to send out an email with the google form to all of the students of NASH. I was talking to Mrs. Volpe about that, as she’s been advertising for some clubs. Once I get that out on the announcements, they will just have to fill out the google form and they will be a member. We also have a remind code that will be sent after the form is filled out. 

Is the link for the form in the Instagram account’s bio? 

Yes, it is. 

When is your first meeting?  

Our first meeting is the 23rd — this Wednesday. We are hoping we will have all fourteen members there and our adviser, Coach K., will be there as well, and our first activity will be hiking. 

Will the meetings be every Wednesday from then on? 

Most likely yes, unless the weather is really bad.

Do you plan on continuing the club into the winter? 

I do want to do stuff in the winter as well.  Maybe ice skating would be a paid activity because we would have to reserve that time slot at the ice rink.  Maybe sled riding, too. 

Is there anything else you would like to let readers know about? 

I said earlier that I was looking to do field trips. However, I don’t necessarily know if I can get approval from the school, but I have some ideas. I wanted to go to Seven Springs, McConnells Mill, Keystone, and places like that. I would also like to say that the club is open to NAI students, as well as NASH, so 9th and 10th graders will also be able to join. At the end of year, I would like to have a current junior take over my role and elect positions such as president, vice president, and treasurer.