Baking away the stress of high school

Ashley Flint, Staff Writer

Baking has always been a beloved activity that not only allows you to relax but also enjoy a delicious treat in the end. Founded by seniors Maya Andrade and Morgan Melton, students can experience this way to kick back when taking part in the Baking Club.

“In fifth grade, Maya and I first became friends because we both loved baking, even though we probably ate more brownie batter than we baked,” Melton said. “I randomly thought of the idea of a baking club one day, and Maya was so excited. The next weekend we filled out the forms and became official.”

After Melton pitched the idea of the club to Andrade, the girls decided to be co-presidents and the club started having meetings their sophomore year.

“I was all in because I had just come back from vacation where the bonding connection between me and a new family was baking,” Andrade said. “I realized how easy it was to share stories, both verbally and nonverbally, because baking is a form of art and expression.”

Meetings take place in Caroline Campbell’s room at 7:50 and dates are decided randomly each month. Melton and Andrade both decide on a theme for each meeting, leaving it up to members to take it from there and bake anything that relates to the theme. Once the day of the meeting approaches, they present a slideshow discussing upcoming events for the club or charities that the club plans to take part in and then the fun begins with the variety of foods everyone gets to try.

Since high school can be a stressful time for most students, Andrade and Melton make sure that the environment in the club is as relaxing and calm as possible.

“There are no requirements and that’s something we pride ourselves on because we feel if anyone wants to be in it, they should,” Andrade said. “As high schoolers we understand that people can’t make every meeting and have other things going on, so we don’t worry about individual attendance but rather being there when you can and want to be.”

The Baking Club makes sure to give back to the community as well. This past November, the club had a Flash Food Drive with all donations going to East Cooper Community Outreach.

“[The food drive] started off as a small idea, and we didn’t expect too many cans to be collected,” Melton said. “However, in the end, we had five hundred and sixty three pounds of canned goods. It just goes to show how amazing our members are, and how big of a difference we can make.”

Not only are they proud of how the food drive turned out but Andrade and Melton are significantly impressed with how much the club has grown compared to their sophomore year.

“I feel like each meeting makes me more proud to see where our club has come, from freshman who had to beg our friends to show up, to seniors who can post an Instagram picture and have a huge turnout,” Andrade said. “The students that show up remind me of the diverse people in our community, but the endless possibilities of connecting and creating meaningful friendships.”

“Baking Club has come a long way over the past couple of years. From a couple of friends and a homemade batch of chocolate chip cookies to a diverse group of students with a shared passion for baking,” Melton said. “I think our greatest achievement is succeeding in creating a club that continues to attract amazing members. As we continue to grow to have a greater presence, both at school and in the community, I’m most proud of the commitment of our members to enjoying the simplicity of baking, and making friends in the process.”

For more information on the club, one can sign up for the Remind @wandobak. Upcoming events, club meeting times and themes will be posted.

“I hope people find the universality of food. For me, it has been a bridging gap between vast people,” Andrade said. “Whether I’m in a college interview, abroad on a mission trip, or at home with my family, this club and baking has been such a simple way to connect. Meeting new people, hearing special stories, and sharing cultures, have all come out of baking club, and I hope our members feel the same.”