SHS Students take advantage of outside opportunities

As students, we are very lucky to be offered a plethora of different activities through our school, whether it’s sports, language clubs, music or theatre. Springfield High has lots of outlets for students, but despite this, many also continue to be part of other clubs, teams or organizations outside of school.
The YMCA or “Y,” as it is known to many, is a perfect example of a resource for activities. Not only for students, but the whole community. Their dedication to, “building healthy, confident and secure children, adults, families and communities,” is shown in the opportunities they offer for learning, health and improving a person’s overall well-being.

Many students will head to the Y after school to work out in the gym, swim laps or take group classes. Just a few aforementioned classes Springfield YMCA offers include first aid, art club and various recreational sports.

Sports are a big deal among our student body – just look at the turnout for City Tournament a few weeks ago.

They is a large part of Springfield High’s culture, with teams ranging from Soccer, Baseball and Football, to Tennis, Wrestling, Swimming and Diving. Off season, however, organizations like Springfield YMCA Swim Team (Spy) and Springfield Area Soccer Association (SASA) keep our athletes busy.

Staying busy is something senior Hannah Johnson knows quite a bit about.

Every summer, she and her family show horses in the Coliseum at the Illinois State Fair.

“It’s all about the appearance of the horse,” Johnson said.

The horses compete in three classes.

“The first one is halter, and in that class I lead the horse around. In the 2nd class I hitch the horse to a cart and compete in the Coliseum, going in a circle and reversing. The third class is team, and I hook together 2 horses to a wagon and show them in the Coliseum going in a circle and reversing,” Johnson said.

Johnson said this was something she was born into and continues doing today and every summer with her family.

Speaking of summer, when is there a better time to get involved? Summer camp may seen like something for children, but teenagers get involved as well.

Junior Clare Anders has spent the last seven of her summers at Camp Ondessonk, a Catholic youth camp in Ozark, Illinois.

“It teaches campers ages 8 to 14 skills of independence, protection of nature and leadership,” Anders said.

Despite being too young to be a camper anymore, Anders worked first as a counselor-in-training, or CIT, until this summer. Then, as a leader-in-training, or LIT, she was essentially an unpaid staff member, a position for 16 year olds.

Anders looks back on her experiences at Ondessonk as her being her favorite place in the world. “The community of camp is what makes it so wonderful. I owe so much to the campers, staff members, and the nature [aspect] of it,” Anders said. 

Sometimes our interests cannot be found within the walls of a school or the confinement of a classroom. So many opportunities can lie in unexpected places.

Springfield High School offers a lot of clubs and activities to its students, but outside of school, there are even more. It’s all a matter of going out and finding them.

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