Playing the price : Cost of extracurriculars and sports weighed with benefits

Joining a club or a sport is an invigorating experience. However, there is a price that must be paid to do so. These prices vary from club to club and sport to sport, and it has become seemingly customary for these programs to inflict fees on their members.

Clubs are components of the lives of hundreds of students at CPHS. Many students dedicate hours upon hours of their free time to extracurriculars, helping students develop passions that often last life- times. Senior Abbie Gelon joined Key Club in her sophomore year and has not looked back.

“Key Club has impacted my high school career by giving me endless opportunities to serve my school and community,” Gelon said. “What started off as a way for me to get my community service hours to graduate has turned into a love for volunteering and giving time to people and causes that need it.”

As Key Club’s president, Gelon has first-hand experience with students who struggle to pay the club’s entry fees. Like many others, she understands the issue that these fees present for students across the school.

Junior Keegan Govert is an example of a student that is negatively affected by the costs of being in multiple clubs. A member of Key Club, Pulse and The CURE, Govert decided not to wrestle this season partly due to the high costs of being a part of many extracurriculars.

“In wrestling, I had to pay around 200 dollars each season for things such as shoes, headgear, singlets, and team apparel,” Govert said. “These fees seemed excessive because I never understood the need to pay for practically the same things every year.”

These themes of not knowing why you’re paying what you’re paying or having uncertainty of where that money goes are common within many students. Many programs simply don’t make it specifically clear enough to some students what their fees go towards. Gelon feels this needs to change, and that advisors should assist students with enrollment if need be.

“It’s important that club presidents and/or advisors inform prospective club members on where their money is going,” Gelon said. “When students know where their money is going, it gives that club legitimacy and helps students better understand the purpose in paying the dues. Students should never be turned away from a club because they can’t pay the dues. Something can always be worked out.”

One student who looks far past extracurricular club fees is senior Callan Wichowsky. She has been a member of the National Art Honor Society since her
junior year and sees benefits within membership that far outweigh the monetary costs that accompany them.

“My love for art has been able to sort of shine through in NAHS, and I’ve been able to make friends that I wouldn’t typically make through it. As for my life going forward, I’ve learned the importance of doing things for the community,” Wichowsky said.

“For example, we have a project coming up on the square that’s already made people very excited and happy. That’s what’s important about the arts: it helps people get involved for the good of things. If you’re passionate about your club like I am about mine, the fees shouldn’t be an issue.”

Freshman Anna Holloway is a current member of the softball team. Similar to Gelon and Wichowsky, she can easily describe ways that her extracurricular has impacted her life for the better.

“Softball has helped me become a better person through teaching me lessons about teamwork, responsibility, respect, time management, accountability and so much more,” Holloway said. “It has also introduced me to so many people: teammates, coaches, parents and opponents who have turned into my best friends, second parents and siblings.”

In addition to all of the life lessons and personal improvements Holloway has gained through softball, she’s gained something else in the process: a commitment to play collegiate softball at Notre Dame, her dream school. For her and many top athletes alike, this makes all of the fees in high school sports worth paying.
“Any athlete who plays at a high level in travel sports knows that there are many expenses that come along with it. Some examples are hotel rooms, plane tickets, equipment and much more,” Holloway said. “Although there are many expenses, being able to accomplish my dream of attending the University of Notre Dame definitely outweighs those costs.”

It may not make students happy, but clubs and sports are somewhat of a microcosm of today’s real world: deal with the fees, or don’t receive the benefits.

Timmy Abbott
Timmy Abbott is a junior entering his second year of journalism and his first year on staff. In addition to Inklings, he is a part of Key Club, Pulse, NHS and Student Council. Timmy’s hobbies include watching sports, playing Xbox, and listening to music. He plans to go to college after high school, but is unsure about what to study.

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