Six years ago I started Friendship Bracelet Club. I wanted a way to get to know students in my building and teaching them to make the bracelets I had learned at Tecumseh seemed perfect. From the beginning any one could join. It didn't matter, and still doesn't matter, if you're good at making bracelets or not. The kids who come to FBC usually have no idea what they're doing when they first start. But if they stick with it and keep trying they end up getting really good at everything from chevrons to 5-braids.
Once a year I order Friendship Bracelet Club sweatshirts. If every sport and club gets apparel then of course FBC should have some too. FBC sweatshirts have always been open to everyone that I know. The more you order, the cheaper they cost. So I offered FBC sweatshirts to old CILTs, Tecumseh counselors, Young Life girls and friends. Every year more and more people buy them. You don't have to go to HSE or make bracelets to be part of Friendship Bracelet Club. You're just in.
In the past few years friendship bracelet making has been taken to the next level. A handful of friends at HSJH and Tecumseh had really stepped up their game as they learned complicated patterns and cranked out a mass amount of bracelets. FBC girls had apps on their phones to learn patterns with up to 28 strings at a time. Camp Tecumseh bracelet makers come to camp with rings or bags or binders full of bracelets that they made in advance to pass out. Bracelet making became a really big deal.
We started thinking, what if their was an Advanced FBC like there is Advanced Friendship Bracelet clinic at camp? What if it was a team... a Varsity team? We started making a list of who would be part of this elite group. I asked the best bracelet makers I could think of who they would include in the group. Slowly, we formed the roster for the first ever Varsity Friendship Braceleters.
HSJH: Lulu Black, Elise Ruby, Cecilia Vigren, Maggie Lorenz, Elissa Hart, Maddie Halkyard, Jules Kort, Audrey Andritsch, Sophie Sams, Lily Betner
Camp T: Hallie Roth, Julia Plant, Lauren Johnson, Taylor Fischl, Tara Andrews, Shannon Flynn, Cara Geoghegan, Lucy Welch, Lexie Parrott, Sydney Sabbagha (and Nicole Burjek-- the co-founder of FBC at her school), Ellyn Hessong, Megan and Mallory Happ
Young Life: Maddy Martin, Natalie Brosius, Hope Vigren, Katy Puzzella, Natalie Willman, Julia Dewolf, Allison and Matt Williams, Audrey Renshaw
My HSJH girls decided that if they're a Varsity team then that makes me Coach Wright.
The shirts for friends that live far away are in the mail, but everyone in HSE got to wear their shirt to school today for Friendship Bracelet Club after school. Many people were confused about how we could be Varsity and many people asked if they could join. Anyone will be able to get the sweatshirts in a month or two, but this Varsity group will stay elite.
I had a meeting of the Varsity girls during SLT since it was the only time I would get to see them all day. FBC ended up meeting in the Library this afternoon and I was thrilled when Julia, Katy P and Hope showed up. They car pooled over from the HS to surprise me. If there was a Varsity starting line up they'd be on it.
Sometimes I still can't believe that FBC has become this totally legit thing. When I first asked my principal if I could start a Club for making bracelets I worried she would think it was silly. Thank goodness I gave it a chance and that so many people have jumped on the band wagon.
I loved seeing HSE girls post pictures on Instagram in their Varsity shirts all day long. Make sure you check out the captions and comments.
I'll have to post a Varsity post part 2 when the rest of the team gets their shirts. Until then we'll be busy with earthquakes, 5-braids, kaleidoscopes, diamonds, squares, spiral knots, railroads and 3-braids.