High school is a test run for the rest of your life. Along the way you have been involved in petty arguments with friends, liked a boy or girl, got an A and bombed a test; that was the precursor for high school. Now its everything you have known through elementary and middle school with a wicked twist. The friendships you form are deeper and the disappointments burn longer. High school can be the best of times and the worst of times. Again, a true example of what real life will be like.  In high school you either play sports or hit the books 24/7.  Finding a comfy place in between these two high school worlds seems impossible.

As a mom, this year I started looking into the possibilities for a different high school life. My two youngest children attend Rocky Mountain High School; one a  sophomore and the other a junior. My youngest, the gentle giant, has played football since first grade so he has his niche, the junior is more of an open book. She had played softball for four years and been in choir since middle school, but this year decided to drop these huge commitments to concentrate more on her academics. With that said, as you can imagine, she has found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her studies are going well, but now without the huge chunk of time dedicated to sports and choir she has found she may now have too much time on her hands and fewer friends. It seems friendships, by and large, really reflect what you're doing at any giving time.

So, its time to get our high school club on. Don't be scared, the clubs of today are incredible and really challenge you socially and academically.


I was a DECA kid and loved it. I learned a lot about people and business. The friendships I made were invaluable, especially as I approached my senior year. Kids from all different clicks were in DECA and we had a great time everyday. We especially liked traveling for state competitions.

The clubs in our high schools have evolved with the changing needs of our community and our kids. The environmental club is a great way to introduce not only students but their families to our area's environmental needs. The club gets kids together and out exploring ways to improve our environment.

Together the students tackle projects around the community. In fact, the club at Rocky Mountain High school has been recognized as an environmental leader in our community, receiving the 2005 Larimer County Environmental Stewardship Award.

Key club is one of those clubs that has their hands in just about everything. Key club is a well rounded club that sparks the interest of many.

Together the students learn about new things, help the community and grow as individual with a cause.

Key club is the largest club of its kind world wide and has been around since the NY Giants play 1st NFL game, lose to Providence 14-0 in 1925. It's a great club for kids that want to help others and establish leadership skills.

I used to think that student council was this elite club, one in which you had to win an election to join. Guess what, that's not the case. It's a club that usually meets a couple of times a week to discuss social and service projects throughout the year. Of course you have your class representatives, but your child can also have a voice. This is important to me as I believe it strengthens leadership, commitment and confidence. Regardless of whether you will go on to lead the country or your home, these skills are priceless.

In my personal world this is club is very close and dear to me. This is a social activities club for students with special needs and typical peers.

My daughter Ashley is a peer and assists special needs students every morning.

She helps them with their snacks, academics and physical activities. This club expands on that and gets the students involved in other activities such as dances and other school events.

Occasionally they will participate in community events.

Whichever club one chooses they all have very similar connections, they teach how to socialize and lead. To experience thing's that are positive and to assist fellow students, the community and our world lends to a great sense of being. Not everyone can be good at sports. Not everyone is comfortable getting up on stage. And not everyone fits in the many clicks in school and life.

In my opinion, clubs such as the ones that I have mentioned help the shy and/or misguided young people  excel and lead. It may be a tired expression, but confidence IS key and when you belong to a club that organizes and improves the environment around you, well, confidence is the side effect. A student with direction and a purpose beyond academics, trash and dishes will succeed.