French Club takes on distance learning


Lauren Trautenberg

Sophomore Lauren Trautenberg displays her coloring page that won first-place in the French Club Halloween contest. She also has an Instagram art account!

Madison Duong, Public Relations Manager

Even though distance learning has added an immense amount of difficulty to the way club meetings work, they have still been up and rolling! French Club sophomore leaders, Kate Motherway, Kirra Moore, Ava Griffiths and Breea Hobrecht, have been combating these difficulties and continuously coming up with creative ideas to provide a delightful, virtual space for those interested in French culture.

“We are trying to make the club as interactive as possible over Zoom! We’ll be having discussions, watching French films, playing Kahoots and so much more,” said French Club President Kate Motherway.

Adapting to these crazy virtual changes, the leaders had to quickly create fun, interactive activities members would look forward to through their Zoom meetings. With the pandemic, their club became a lot smaller, so they had to adjust to a smaller audience. Also, when going online, the staff had to learn how to promote their meetings ahead of time on social media so people would come to their Zoom meetings.

“On our first meeting on October 28, we had a coloring competition where people colored Halloween pages, but they’d incorporate French culture into it. Some people colored it the color of the French flag or put an Eiffel Tower in the background. The winner would get a $20 gift card and have their drawing posted on our Instagram,” said French Club secretary, Ava Griffiths.

Their most recent meeting, on November 19, included a Pictionary contest.

“The categories were tourism, French food and French symbols. Breea Hobrecht was our moderator, and she privately chatted with the person who’s drawing and gave them their subject, like croissant or La Seine. Then, everyone has to guess what it is,” said Griffiths.

Before LBHS closed down, the club would host meetings once a month on a Thursday for half an hour. More members would come and talk about French culture, play games and watch movies. One of the games they played was a French version of Mafia, where the only difference is that the roles in English are translated to French.

“There were a lot more members pre-COVID because we would have food and snacks to get more people to come. There’d be pizza, French snacks and different foods for every meeting. We were going to do a cheese tasting day for one of our meetings, but we can’t do that anymore,” said Griffiths.

Before the virtual club meeting, all committee members go on either FaceTime or Zoom to plan out future gatherings and run through the plans once more. 

“It’s really difficult to do more interactive activities. We’re focusing the central theme of each meeting on different holidays,” said Griffiths. “For Christmas, we’re going to talk about how the French celebrate Noël (the French word for Christmas) since they have many different traditions compared to the United States. We’re trying to get more people to come to our meetings, but I think we’re doing a great job so far though.”

All committee members have done excellent work so far to provide an enjoyable experience for everyone interested in French culture. One could imagine how difficult it would be to run a club in-person, but having it entirely online seems like an even more formidable challenge.

“Even though we changed parts of our club, it is still learning about the culture, having fun and being inclusive through games and activities,” said Vice President Kirra Moore.

Throughout this entire chaotic experience, the French club team learned important skills and lessons for the future.

“All we want as a group is for our members to be happy, and we hope that what we do does just that. While in the process of creating this club, I’ve learned how to balance work and fun a bit more and how to work efficiently as a team,” said Treasurer Breea Hobrecht.

The French Club is proud of the work they’ve accomplished and the fun they’ve had, and they are always open to welcoming more members!

“COVID will not stop us. If anything, the COVID-19 obstacle has made our French Club meetings even more special because it proves just how much the French Club Committee cares about French Club and its members,” said club member Lauren Trautrenberg.