Age Old Traditions

Althea Floge, Staff Writer

RJ Reynolds High School service clubs have been creating memories and serving the community since the late 1900s. There are many service clubs at RJR including Key Club, and Ebony Society but two of the most prominent are Girls Council (GC) and Senior Girls Service Club (SGSC). All of these clubs strive to make Reynolds a better place and create a better environment on campus and throughout the community. Since the clubs have been around for so long, there are many unique traditions and events that happen every year. Kidnapping is the one of best known traditions that GC and SGSC take part in. 

Kidnapping takes place sometime in the third quarter every year, the exact date is never known to keep the surprise aspect of it alive. New members of the service club are “kidnapped” from their houses by the older members in the early mornings and are driven around town to do fun things. If you happen to be out and about the morning of kidnapping you might just see these festivites taking place. 

The girls are often dressed in silly outfits and have crazy makeup and hair styles. While kidnapping is a very excitig experience for the new members, it is also something that club members look forward to every year.

“My favorite part about kidnapping is just welcoming all the new members into the club,” one of the Presidents of GC, senior Nell Watts said. “We really do kidnapping as a way to make the new members feel special and welcomed. Girls Council has so many great friendships and it’s exciting to initiate girls into such a fun group!”

While many people look forward to kidnapping as a fun, exciting tradition, GC’s supervisor, Pamela Kirkland has some concerns and reminders about the kidnapping process.

It is important to be mindful of the potential issues when using such a term, as well as the safety of all students  who participate in the initial stages of becoming part of a service club,” Kirkland said.

It is a fun activity for the girls to look forward to after a year of hard work doing service for community. 

“As a service club at Reynolds, we try and do projects that better our school,” Watts said. “At the beginning of the school year we wrote positive messages on the windows for people to see when walking down the hall. Every year we help at homecoming and just recently we did a campus clean up.”

Mrs. Kirkland has been around for 10 years. She has watched the group grow and has seen all of the wonderful things they have done for their community and for Reynolds.

I appreciate the service clubs because it gives our students the chance to give back to both their school and community,” Kirkland said. “The opportunity to serve others allows for some really important reflection regarding many privilegess that are often taken for granted.”

While the girls in the club work very hard to help their community, they also love to have fun while doing it.

“My favorite thing of about being in SGSC is doing community service with all my friends and waking up early to make breakfast for the SECU house,” one of the President of SGSC, senior Kennedy Dean said. “Everyone living there is super appreciative and let us know how important it is that we come so it makes the experience super rewarding.”

Another interesting aspect about the clubs is that there are many members of the club who have had a family member in the club before them, and are continuing on the family tradition.

“Kidnapping has been going on for many many years… lots of our members have a parent or relative who were apart of the club or remember SGSC at RJR,” Dean said.

Throughout the years some aspects of the club and kidnapping have change, but one thing that has never changed is the love and support that these girls show for one another. These clubs help to build freindships and make the community a better place by inspiring young people to make a difference.