Briar Clubs Make Return


Picture courtesy of the Loudoun Youth Advisory Council

Ryan Peele, Reporter

School isn’t the only thing starting back up again with the beginning of fall. Once the last bell of the day rings, the school enters a new phase; every day after school, Briar Woods is bustling with dozens of clubs, all with their own special activities and niche interests.

Those who are looking for a club and are interested in film – whether watching it or making it – need look no further than the Briar Woods Film Club. The after school club returned to in-person movie viewings last school year after a year of online meetings, and certainly left an impression as a place to enjoy, analyze, and discuss films. The club is set to come back into the new school year in full force, with Co-President Parth Chaudhary saying, “[The other Co-President] and I have waited all summer just to return to this club. We [will] transition to more video creation rather than consumption.” Members from last year that are anxious to get back to rich discussions about film will hopefully not have to wait much longer, as Chaudhary says that “An interest meeting will be announced as soon as possible.”

If film isn’t your forte, you may want to consider another club. If you seek a good exercise, a fun team atmosphere, and a reason to get outside and enjoy nature, the Briar Woods Crew Team may be a good fit for you. The crew team, which practices three days a week during the fall, has just begun their new season, and according to rower and coxswain Nevie Billis, it’s about more than just the physical sport itself: “I am excited, I love the rowing community. I [always] meet a lot of new people there.” And if it’s too late for you to join the fall season, don’t despair; the spring season is just around the corner!

If you don’t think you’re up for defeating your opponents with oars and boats, you may want to consider beating them with persuasion and statistics. The Briar Woods Public Forum Debate Club is coming back this fall and is eager for new recruits who enjoy a good duel of words. Students who join will compete in teams of two in official debate competitions. They will have to use researched data and statistics, as well as improvised retorts that poke holes in arguments in order to defeat their opponents. “We can’t wait to get the club up and running again,” said Club Captain Krish Maheshwari, “We plan on making the club more competitive and ready for competitions by using more mock trials prior to each event… club members will learn not only how to perform well at competitions, but how to successfully argue in general.” If you want to refine your debate skills to win arguments with your classmates, friends, co-workers, or even parents, then come to room L501 on Tuesdays after school. Public Forum Debate will be happy to teach you. 

If you like speaking up, but find the prospect of a fierce debate daunting, then think about representing the Loudoun County teen community through the Youth Advisory Council, or YAC for short. Youth Initiative Specialist and head of the county-wide program, Christina Haag, says that “YAC serves as a recognized medium for presenting ideas and opinions of Loudoun County’s youth to the community and its leaders.” Along with providing a free overnight trip to a college, YAC sponsors dozens of community events, many of which are likely to strike the passions of teenagers. Music-lovers can volunteer and advertise for YAC’s annual Battle of the Bands and gamers can compete in twitch streams for the council’s ‘Whatever Wednesday’s’. Haag says that young political activists can participate in one of YAC’s new initiatives to “encourage teenagers to pre-register to vote in Virginia [by]… working closely with different high schools to set up voter registration drives.” To get unparalleled experience in community service and give back to the teenagers of Loudoun County, don’t hesitate to join YAC by signing up for free online and attending biweekly meetings on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the PRCS Administration Building in Leesburg.

Regardless of your interests, there are a rich variety of clubs that Briar Woods students can join. Not only do these organizations improve resumes and give you invaluable skills, they also give you a unique place to connect with students and other people in the community. Whether you’re discussing the cinematography of an award-winning film, crossing the finish line in an eight-man boat, or working with other Briar Woods and Loudoun County students to set up a voter registration drive, you are forming lasting, meaningful relationships with those who share the same passions as you. As rower Nevie Billis said, “I have so many friends [that I wouldn’t have] now if I didn’t join.”