Clubs & Activities
A wide variety of clubs and activities meet regularly.
Clubs provide students substantial leadership opportunities in organizing, planning, and bringing ideas to fruition. All clubs are student-run and organized with the assistance of a faculty advisor.
Our clubs are divided into four main categories: social identity, mission, publications, and interest.
Asian Students Association (ASA)
Asian Students Association is a group for students of Asian heritage and their allies, providing opportunities for leadership, discussion, support and personal growth.
Black Student Union (BSU)
The Black students of Germantown Friends School have created this organization in order to promote a better atmosphere for Black students through unity, collaboration, and communication.
Brothers for Academic and Social Enrichment (BASE)
A support group for male students of color in the Upper School. BASE fosters a sense of brotherhood and family by creating an environment where minority students can share their unique life experiences, views, ideas and culture with other students who are similar to them. It's a stimulating club, well worth the lunch period you spend. You will leave with more friends and a greater sense of belonging in the GFS community.
Chaverim is a support and discussion group for issues related to Judaism for Jews and non-Jews alike. Anyone who is interested in finding out more about Judaism or discussing the many issues surrounding it and the state of Israel is encouraged to join.
FOCUS (Fellowship of Christians in Universities & Schools)
FOCUS is a non-denominational weekly Bible study to answer questions about faith. Previous lessons have included parallels between the new and old testaments, addressing the coexistence of science and religion, what it means to be a Christian, and making a summary of the entire book of John. FOCUS is open to all regardless of religious background, it is not a Christian affinity group. Doughnuts will be provided most weeks.
LASSO (Latin American Student Solidarity Organization)
This group provide a space for students from Latin American backgrounds to gather and make new friends.
Multiracial Affinity Group
This is a space for biracial/multiracial students at GFS to talk about campus life for us and to spend more time as a defined group. We as multiracial people are generally underrepresented because there are so many different mixes of races but we thought it would be a good thing for the community to create a definitive group of multiracial students.
SAGA (Sexuality And Gender Alliance)
SAGA's mission is to provide support for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The group meets weekly to discuss questions or concerns pertaining to sexuality, gender, and associated issues. It also meets outside school for social occasions, sometimes with groups from other schools. Attendees agree to confidentiality. No serious issue is out of bounds.
An affinity group for female students of color from various backgrounds in grades 9-12 providing opportunities for leadership, discussion, support and personal growth.
Support for Positive Body Image
Student-initiated support group for young women concerned about promoting healthy attitudes about body image within themselves, within the group, and within the greater community.
South Asian Student Alliance
This club is for students who identify as South Asian (including students of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan descent) and also for students who want to learn more about South Asian culture.
Ways of Being Club
An advocacy and affinity group for those who are neuroatypical and/or those with a physical ability challenge. This club will focus on supporting one another in school and social issues, improving the campus space, expanded education in and around the issues of disabilities.
Admission Office Student Guides
Student tour guides lead visiting parents on a tour of the school during the academic day and at Open Houses. This group is comprised of 10th, 11th, and 12th grade volunteers who have agreed to assist the school in this facet of the application process.
Big Sibs (Directed Independent Study Minor)
Big Sibs work one period a week in Lower School classrooms. Each Big Sib is paired with a Lower School student and acts as an emotional mentor, tutor, small group teacher in reading or math, or as a general assistant in the whole classroom. Some Big Sibs also may teach specific lessons, in dance or environmental projects.
Community Action Committee
The Community Action Committee is a group that seeks to increase GFS's involvement in the neighborhood, and the neighborhood's involvement with GFS.
Conserving Oceans, Reefs, and Aquatic Life (CORAL)
Our mission is to spread awareness of coral bleaching and other harmful effects the ocean is enduring as a result of human activity; and to raise funding to mitigate said effects.
In Education Justice, we learn about the challenges that Philadelphia public schools face and organize to take action to create change. We support a first grade classroom at the John B. Kelly Elementary School through literacy tutoring, drives for classroom materials, and occasional reading workshops. Some of our other work includes an ongoing partnership with the Philadelphia Student Union as well as a classroom of newly arrived immigrant students at Franklin Learning Center.
Environmental Action Club
We work to improve the environmental sustainability of the GFS community and educate the students and faculty to promote positive, sustainable change at the family, community, and city-wide level.
Germantown Community Gardeners
This is a Germantown-based gardening club set in approximate trimesters. Fall trimester will be reaching out to the Philadelphia government and Philly based environmental organizations to discern private land from government property. For Fun Day, we raise money to buy plants and gardening necessities. In winter, we cultivate seeds into small plants in the Sharpless greenhouse and plan our gardens and finish up plans and agreements from fall trimester. In spring, we plant!
Global Understanding Club
The Global Understanding Club is a gathering of students who is willing to think critically of the information they perceive but also tackle the misinterpretations across the cultures and the world. The club would have periodic topics around the commonly misunderstood and global current events during the semester. Members of the club will engage in discussions about how our encounters with others in the world can be an opportunity to create a rich mosaic of the human experience. Globalization has never stopped; we would truly become Global Citizens in the coming decades. Encouraging more people to think critically from different viewpoints culturally and internationally would improve their competitiveness as a whole.
High School Democrats of America (HSDA)
High School Democrats of America (HSDA) is a national political organization that serves as an entry point to Democratic politics for youth activists from across the country. Thousands of members work at the state and local level to advance the ideals of the Democratic Party, engage fellow students to become active within the American political system, and elect Democratic candidates to public office. HSDA is entirely student run and dedicated members from all walks of life have the chance to open new doors through their involvement in projects and events. GFS members of HSDA will have the opportunity to engage with a national community of like-minded, politically active students. As a chapter of the national organization, we will work on locally based projects, such as voter registration, phone banking, and canvassing.
Human Rights Group
A group that educates and raises awareness regarding human rights and human rights abuses locally, nationally and internationally.
Knit a Square
We knit 8” by 8” squares to send to a program in Africa who sews these squares into quilts for AIDS orphans.
Mock Trial is an inter-scholastic competition in legal rhetoric and argument coordinated by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. As witnesses and attorneys in a fictional civil or criminal case, students will learn about the American justice system and the conventions of legal thought while building public speaking and persuasive writing skills.
Model UN (MUN) is a club at GFS that fits in with the established activity that is MUN; participating in MUN conferences with MUN clubs at other schools. As the name suggests, at Model UN conferences, often focusing on a specific issue, usually individuals or sometimes pairs represent countries and they act as those countries in a meeting of the UN general assembly, ending in the passage of a resolution.
Peer tutoring is an organization that provides students who are in need of help in certain subjects with peers who are experienced in those subjects.
Explore the political and societal goings on of Philadelphia through conversation and community engagement.
Religion and Philosophy (RAP)
In Religion and Philosophy Club, we strive for our school to be a place where students and teachers of diverse religious and philosophical backgrounds feel free to explore religious, philosophical, and spiritual questions with each other and to express fully who they are in the context of this Quaker school. We are students of diverse religious, philosophical, and spiritual backgrounds--including atheists and agnostics--who want to work with students and faculty to make GFS a place that's conducive to religious/philosophical/spiritual exploration and self-expression.
Student Advisory Council (SAC)
The Student Advisory Council is composed of four elected representatives from each upper school grade. Our mission is to serve as liaison between the student body and administration. We relay students' ideas, opinions and needs to the faculty and administration in an effort to improve the quality of student life. We also frequently sponsor fun events such as fall and spring jams to generate excitement and school spirit.
The goal in the animanga club is to watch anime, read manga and review them, as well as look at the creative process of manga and anime and the industry. The club also uses drawing tablets to have different artists collaborate and create an artbook, and take a trip to Sakura Sunday, a popular Japanese festival in our area.
Art Club leads GFS's participation in the annual Sketchbook Project in conjunction with the Brooklyn Art Library and is a place to exercise the love of creating through various independent art projects. We work on expanding and improving art skills.
Brainstorm is a neuroscience club in which we explore and study the enticing world of the brain. For each meeting, we focus on a certain topic and talk about questions members have they want answered about the brain. In addition, we discuss and read multiple scientific studies. Overall, this club is a place to cultivate questions and wonder people have about any topic regarding the brain.
We play bridge.
Coffeehouse is a casual, open venue for any type of performance. An open-mic night that takes place three weekend evenings a year, Coffeehouse showcases the best of the student body's diverse array of talents. All students are invited to sing, play music, read poetry or display any other talents.
Community Culinary Club
This club offers students a chance to explore the culinary world and learn more about how to cook. Each week, students choose a menu for the next week, and students provide the ingredients and recipes. Students of all levels of culinary experience are welcome.
Computer Science Club
This club focuses on Computer Science and revolves around collaboration and community. We hope that CSClub becomes a space for like-minded people to share their ideas, thoughts, experiences, and empower others to create.
Cycling Club’s mission is to promote health, fitness and independence within the greater GFS community through cycling. Students will have the opportunity to participate in weekly or semiweekly group rides and to represent the school at local cycling events such as charity rides and fundraisers, gran fondos or even races.
Data Science Club
The Germantown Friends School Data Science Club is a gathering of students and faculty who are interested in the vast and expanding world of data science. Data science is used everywhere today, from Facebook to the TSA. This club will be used to both learn how to code using data science platforms, as well as compete in online competitions. The club is for students who are interested in computer science and the direction in which the field in moving, specifically the use of data and data driven methods to solve problems in a variety of areas, such as the social sciences, technology, and science.
Dungeons and Dragons Club
We play Dungeons and Dragons.
GFS Quiz Bowl
The goal is to form a team to represent GFS in quiz or trivia tournaments in the Philadelphia area, and to have fun as well as learn in the process. It is a common club at many schools, and the people who do it love it.
Jam Club is a club for music players and music lovers to get together and make music in the moment. Jam Club is open for members of the GFS community of all skill level who are interested in improving their ability to react and respond to music on the spot and to develop better feel for music and interacting with other musicians. Please bring your instrument if possible, and check your self-importance at the door.
Music Performance Club
The mission of the club is to bring unique, student-led, student-designed performances to the GFS and local community. We aim to enhance student confidence in musical performances. We may also fundraise through benefit concerts and donate the proceeds to appropriate causes.
The purpose of this club is to gather together people of the GFS community who enjoy spending time outside. This includes hiking, camping, backpacking, canoeing, biking etc. As a club, we organize small weekend trips to go on that would be open to anyone such as short hikes nearby or exploring places farther away. It is a good opportunity to bring together people of different ages and experience to share stories and enjoy nature together.
Philadelphia Youth Film Festival (PHYFF)
Our goal is to learn more about filmmaking and to make short films. We hosted the school's first-ever student film festival—Philadelphia Youth Film Festival (phyff.com)—in 2017. The festival is free to attend, and includes workshops led by industry professionals, as well as a screening of the award-winning films from our student competition. If you are passionate about film and filmmaking, we are looking for students to serve as volunteers at the festival and get involved with our club.
Political Dialogue Club
This club is designed to allow students to express their opinions and social/political stances with others and discuss politics today without fear of judgment. This club will be accepting of all viewpoints and will work to respect everyone’s views. All opinions will be looked into and the goal is to understand the opposite side of the isle from wherever you are.
Post Modern Languages: Esperanto Club
The club is centered around learning and understanding the history/language behind Esperanto and variation of it and we hope to create our own version by the end of next year or at least get started on it. The club will go into depth on Esperanto and we will learn how to speak it and be able to have conversation in it. Esperanto is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world. It was created in the late 19th century by a Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist named Zamenhof. More than 2-3 million people speak Esperanto!
POW: People of Winter Ski and Snowboarding Club
The Ski and Snowboard Club would include a few trips throughout the winter season, and lunch meetings would be used to plan out the trips with everyone. The club is solely for recreational skiers and snowboarders, and no lessons would be included at the mountain. Members would be responsible for renting/bringing equipment and transportation to and from mountain is TBD.
READ (Read, Enunciate, and Declaim)
The staggering and disturbing fact that most of the GFS student do not read outside of school provokes the birth of this club. Our club’s purpose is to internalize the idea that “reading for fun is mandatory” and to provide a platform for literature enthusiasts to congregate. Our ultimate goal would be to promote spontaneous and leisure reading. In order to do that, we will strive to facilitate student-run and student-oriented discussions and activities regarding literature. Possible club activities involve: poetry reading, good ol’ discussions, board games (Bards Dispense Profanity), literary meme contest, etc.
The mission of Student Beekeeping is to maintain a hive on campus and use that hive to increase community awareness and involvement with beekeeping, both within the GFS community and the general Philadelphia area. In addition, the club aims to raise consciousness of the environmental role of bees in our ecosystem.
Tea Time Games Club
“Tea time,” or Games Club, is a club in which we play games and drink tea! If you’ve ever wanted to play charades while sipping a nice cup of English breakfast, now is your chance! Guaranteed to release stress and build character.
Tiger$ Investing League
During our club meeting, we will basically discuss about world finance, investing techniques, current political and social issues, U.S. market, etc. Club members will share their ideas and opinions on a specific Wall Street news or information they found and we will have discussion about one certain issue as a group per week. At the meantime, we will invite GFS alumni, stock analysts, or parents of GFS students to come, give a speech, and talk about their experience. We could also schedule an assembly period for the speaker to come and share his/her experience to the whole Upper School.
Upper School Math League
Math League team.
Xploring Sustainable Farming (Aquaponics Club)
The Aquaponics Club will maintain the aquaponic system by taking samples of the water, harvesting and preparing vegetables, and decorating the system.
The Upper School annual student yearbook. Students learn management and production skills, and work to produce a high quality product at the end of each year.
Classics Club/Literary Journal (Libellum)
Students of the Classics deepen their understanding of the languages and culture of the ancient world through discussion, games, contests, trips, and other related activities. Decisions are made by a Roman-style senatorial committee. The club is also responsible for the editing and upkeep of Libellum, the GFS Classics literary blog, featuring student translations, poetry and prose compositions, and artwork in Classical subjects.
Earthquake is a quarterly news magazine distributed free in the Front Hall and mailed home to Upper School parents and recent alumni. Articles with more timely content will be posted on the Earthquake website. Earthquake sponsors the annual High School Journalism Conference to bring together editors, staff and advisors of high school papers from Philadelphia-area schools to discuss their newspapers and learn from local and national journalists.
Ellipsis: Academic Writing Journal
A biannual publication dedicated to the academic writings of GFS students, with editions released in the winter and spring. This journal includes graded or ungraded writing on the topics of analytical English, history, scientific research, philosophy, the arts, mathematics, etc. We view the purpose of this publication as to showcase the diverse and individual thinking and interests of the student body on academic topics, as well as providing a direct window into GFS academics and the minds of its students for the outside world
The annual GFS art and literary magazine provides a creative forum for student poetry, prose, short stories, visual arts, and audio arts.
We record all of the major events at GFS in the month, and create a 5-10 minute newscast. The newscast resembles a standard newscast that you would see on a local news channel.