The 2019 school year brought many new clubs to Grace. Perhaps the most creative and fresh of the bunch is the Board Games Club. Led by Parker Rudd ‘21 and Henry Pallesen ‘21, with faculty oversight from Ms. Walker, this club is dedicated to the art of playing board games. The idea for the club originated last year as Pallesen and Rudd, along with other Grace students, craved a space where students could relax during the clubs period while engaging in some healthy competition. Henry commented, “As we are all aware, school is very stressful, and sometimes you just need a space to relax.” Henry and Parker decided that the best avenue to ease these strenuous feelings was through board games. From meticulous and confusing games such as Risk to easier and quicker games like Coup, the Board Games Club provides a space for all students to learn how to play board games while having fun with their peers.
The club got off to a surprisingly slow start. Henry said, “At first, there was a large amount of people that didn’t get the vibe.” Many members of the club expressed that students often had misconceptions about the club early in the year; however, throughout the first few months, according to Henry, the club established an identity. “We were able to quickly institute a culture shift so that people could use the space to play games with each other.” Ms. Walker, Henry, and Parker have worked to cultivate an environment in the club where students can come to relieve stress while also playing games with people that they haven’t met or had conversations with. It provides a rare calming place where students can pursue a passion for board games
Both Ms. Walker and Henry stated that the ultimate goal for the club would be to eventually create their very own board game. Henry was cautious about the idea, as he felt the club needed to gain a greater understanding of the science of the games before creating their own. With no senior leaders in the club, the leaders have said that they would be happy with starting the project at the beginning of the next school year. While it may seem that the club is just a space where kids can go and play games, the leaders for the club have higher aspirations for what the group will be able to accomplish..
When thinking about what a club at Grace should be, nothing epitomizes the idea better than the board games club. Sophomore member Aaron Hessel said, “My favorite part of the club is just getting to hang out with friends on a Wednesday afternoon and not worry about any school-related work or activities. The club allows me to escape from any school-related thoughts and focus on having fun.” Meeting during the clubs block on Wednesdays in Dr. Dillon’s room, the Board Games Club provides the perfect place for students to relax, form relationships, and pick up a new hobby, something that every student wants to take away from their time at Grace.