Students blocked the entrance of the Student Union during Hillcrest's club rush. The smell of cotton candy filled the air as Dawn Synstelien stood with one leg back as she looked to the ceiling to collect her thoughts. Students surrounded the table she stood behind. Two other tables flanked the one she manned where she explained what happens in the cooking club. Students at Hillcrest have a lot of opportunities to connect, and the twenty-nine clubs listed at the school's club rush are a prime example.

Over twenty-six different adults lead the specific clubs Dawn is organizing. Speech club and a medical career club called HOSA are a few new additions. Student favorites like the Cooking club and Hiking club needed to use two sheets of paper to collect the names of interested students. Ministry clubs like the Evangelism club and Junior-Senior mentors are kicking off this month to train students in Christian discipleship and apologetics. 

Some clubs started the year in high gear. The Hillcrest worship collective started the year organizing a number of students in worship mentorships. The mentees organize chapels, plan worship times, and are planning a worship tour to Minneapolis with chapel coordinators Ryan and Amy Garvin.

The Hiking club started their year with a simple walk to Lake Alice, visiting the Fergus Falls River Walk. Principal Jeff Isaac started the club to introduce students to the beauty of mid-western Minnesota. In two weeks the group will visit Maplewood State Park. The group connects with former Hillcrest instructor Lowell Quam who teaches students basic plant recognition and often takes students to his favorite fruit trees and plants on their walk to show some of the wild fruit grown in the area.

The clubs are kicking off this month, with many organizing ways to communicate to their members. Some clubs meet later in the year. The skating club is waiting for colder weather. The Knowledge Bowl club is looking forward to the winter months before they kick off as well.

With twenty-nine clubs organized Hillcrest is excited to see the varied opportunities for students to not only experience a new program but to make more friends in unique settings. If adults are interested in volunteering to support the club program through mentorship they should contact Dawn Synstelien at dsynstelien@ffhillcrest.org.

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