When any kid who loves Harry Potter turns eleven, there is always a secret disappointment when the letter accepting them into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fails to come in the mail. Even though there is still no feasible way to attend Hogwarts, Fairfield students can now do the next best thing: join the newly-formed Harry Potter Club.
The Harry Potter Club was created this semester by President Gracianne Eldrenkamp ‘20, Vice President Katherine Klima ‘20, Treasurer Sam Millette ‘20 and Head of Marketing and Social Media Sarah Popolizio ‘20. The club appeals to all fans of the story of a boy who finds out that he is a wizard when he is young and goes on to fight the forces of Dark Magic.
“Basically everyone has read these books or at least seen the movies,” said Millette. “It’s one of those things that everyone can connect to and everyone can get a part of.”
The club, which meets every other Thursday at 8 p.m., has had three meetings so far.
At the first meeting, members activated Pottermore accounts, if they had not already previously done so and were sorted into their Hogwarts Houses. At the second meeting, members created Deathly Hallows necklaces while watching episodes of the Harry Potter-inspired webseries “Potter Puppet Pals.” At the third meeting, the group played Harry Potter trivia.
When asked what other kinds of activities are planned for this semester, Eldrenkamp explained that there will be arts and crafts, book discussions, movie nights and trivia nights at future meetings. In addition, the “big event” of the semester will be a Yule Ball, in imitation of the Christmas time dance that appears in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Next semester, the big event planned is the Triwizard Tournament, which also is from “The Goblet of Fire.” This event, according to Eldrenkamp, will be in the form of a scavenger hunt.
“As long as people are interested, I’m going to keep this club going,” commented Eldrenkamp. “We’ll come up with new things and if things run out we’ll redo things. There’s never not going to be something to do because the franchise is still expanding, especially with ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and the new one coming out.”
Thus far, there has been fair attendance at the club meetings, according to Eldrenkamp and Millette. Eldrenkamp estimates that 15 to 20 people have attended each meeting.
“Especially for a brand new club, this is crazy, because I know a lot of other clubs that just start out have trouble getting people to come at first,” said Millette. “So just the sheer amount of attendance we’ve gotten so far is pretty awesome.”
Club member Jada Streater ‘20 said, “At some clubs you feel like you’re out of place, but this club makes you feel like you’re part of things. I like Harry Potter and I’ve watched the movies so it’s just a really fun club to have on campus.”
“Harry Potter is one of those things that everyone knows about,” said Eldrenkamp. “If I did something like Lord of the Rings, a lot of people know about it and a lot of people watch it, but it’s not as specialized a thing for this generation of people [as Harry Potter is].”
“I feel like a lot of people our age have read it as kids, watched the movies and seen it in the theaters,” Eldrenkamp continued. “It’s a generational thing that’s a part of our childhood, so I feel like a lot of people are interested in it, especially now.”