Clubs & Activities
A variety of clubs, sports, theatre, outdoor education, and other extra-curricular activities offers students numerous opportunities to explore a variety of interests, develop talents, practice leadership, and work together toward common goals.
Elected and Selected Leadership Opportunities
Forum meets weekly as the student government body to facilitate social and service activities in the Upper School community. It makes recommendations to the Head of Upper School on policies affecting students and approves special activities. The membership consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the student body (elected by the entire community), Class Presidents and Vice Presidents (elected by class members), and two faculty sponsors. A Spirit Coordinator may be appointed by the Forum President as a non-voting member of Forum.
Greeters are selected each spring to be Greeters for new students arriving in the fall. To be a Greeter is an honor, and student character and follow-through are taken into account in the selection process. Each Greeter is assigned one or two new students and, if possible, will contact those students during the summer. The Greeter is the primary ambassador for the new student and helps him/her become acclimated to CSS.
This student/faculty council handles most discipline situations involving major rule infractions. The Judicial Council consists of student members elected by the entire community. Student members will be elected in the fall. Two faculty members serve as the JC sponsors.
National Honor Society
The Ursa Major Chapter of the National Honor Society is a club honoring CSS juniors and seniors who are recognized as demonstrating superior scholarship, outstanding character, dedicated service, and inspiring leadership in our school community and beyond. Following a biannual selection process, NHS members participate in weekly meetings where they build character skills, practice solid leadership, and plan service projects. As a group and individually, our NHS participates in multiple hours of community service. We are an active group both on campus and in the Colorado Springs community. Click here for NHS eligibility and selection criteria.
The Art Club’s mission is to promote and support exposure and opportunities for participation and self-expression through art to all members of the CSS community. The club hosts Visiting Artists for gallery talks and workshops, opens invitation for anyone to attend, and collaborates in the creation of group exhibitions. Club members produce artworks for the greater Colorado Springs community and through exchange programs with various institutions across the country. Art Club sponsors events at Carnival including face painting, caricature, balloon tying and splatter painting. Members also do face painting at sports events and provide support for other CSS events like theatre productions and the Gala. Students meet weekly, have the opportunity to give feedback and encourage each other with the their own art projects, and many members stay artistically active by participating in Art Club when not enrolled in visual art classes.
Learn the game and while having fun.
Kind of like golf; kind of like Frisbee? Disc golf is definitely an opportunity to get outdoors and challenge yourself in an original, fun sport with other CSS students. No special golfing or Frisbee skills required!
Feel like tapping into your inner Rock Star? We are always looking for musicians interested in joining our movement. Perhaps you are an aspiring songwriter? Whether you play guitar, drums, bass, piano, rap or sing you are welcome to join us. We will put in practice time on our own and meet weekly to jam, create, and feed off of the musical energy of one another. Each year we put together a performance-worthy set list so that we can share our passion for music with the CSS community. So, get ready to drop down in the pocket of the groove and ROCK ON!
The Green Team exists to promote environmentalism at CSS with various projects in sustainability, conscientious consumption, and eco-awareness. Our first goals will be to establish an improved waste-reduction program in the cafeteria and a campus-wide composting initiative. We also support the ongoing development and maintenance of the school garden. While the Green Team meeting schedule is more flexible than other clubs, members will be expected to utilize their own time to design and contribute to club projects and perform community service.
International Thespian Society
KICS (Kodiaks Investing in the Community Through Service)
KICS is a student run, philanthropic club that gives thousands of dollars each year to worthy causes and nonprofits in the community. To raise money KICS runs all aspects of the concession stand at athletic events, sells flowers during the holidays and holds several other small fundraisers. Each year the club discusses new ways to help the community and improve fundraising. KICS, which stands for Kodiaks Investing in the Community Through Service, is a club that makes a real difference.
The CSS MatchWits club challenges students to demonstrate their knowledge in a wide range of academic topics. Competing in a quiz show atmosphere against various schools from around the state, our students are challenged to answer questions about history, biology, math, geography, literature, astronomy, geology, and more. Our team practices very little (and sometimes not at all!) and yet we have an age-old tradition of competing strongly. We won the state championships five years ago, and last year we finished 2nd in our division.
Model United Nations is a club about finding diplomatic solutions to international problems. We focus on the art of debate and peaceful conflict resolution. In Model UN, students have a chance to participate in tournaments around the state of Colorado and around the USA. In these events, students “step into the shoes” of ambassadors from UN member states to debate current issues of global significance. Students make speeches, prepare resolutions, negotiate with allies and adversaries, resolve conflicts, and navigate the conference rules of procedure - all in the interest of mobilizing “international cooperation” to resolve problems that affect countries all over the world.
The CSS robotics team presents students with an engineering challenge in the form of a game. Students use the VEX Robotics Design System to build innovative robots designed to score the most points possible in qualification matches, elimination matches, and Skills Challenges. No prior robotics construction or programming experience necessary. Students may earn an activity credit for their participation on the team.
Poetry Club is for students who want to explore writing poetry in many different forms and for many occasions. Students work on individual pieces and also team up with other club members to work on group projects. The Club also helps produce the school’s arts journal in May, Muse of Fire, and many works developed in the club are submitted for publication there. Poetry Club also holds the annual Halloween Costume Contest, usually based on a literary theme or concept.
The CSS Technology Club is for students that want to explore different avenues of technology, such as; programming, virtual reality, 3D modeling and printing, and non-competitive robotics. Utilizing the resources in the Innovation Lab, the focus of this club will be based on efforts and interests of its members and may change year to year. However, there may be different groups of students that focus on different projects each year.
Not to be confused with Disc Golf, Ultimate [frisbee] is a great opportunity to enjoy outdoor fun with friends and to hone those critical Frisbee skills! The purpose of Ultimate club is to provide students the opportunity develop their skills in one of the fastest growing team sports in America. Playing ultimate will enhance a student’s athletic abilities, strategy and sportsmanship through practices, strategy sessions, and possibly participating in local competitions. Most importantly ultimate is incredibly fun and fosters a sense of community, integrity, and conflict management through self-officiated competition and “spirit of the game.”
Lights, camera, action! Upstagers are official members of the International Thespian Society, Troupe #2991. The Upstagers drama club seeks to facilitate the appreciation of the art of drama and learning the business of theatre at The Colorado Springs Upper School. Each year, we compete in Denver in the areas of acting, singing, dancing, technical theater, directing. (Students can even audition for the ALL State Play that is performed at each Thespian Convention.) Upstagers also provides critical support for the drama department including box office skills, public relations, house management, lighting and sound, stagecraft, costuming and design, stage management, acting and performance venues. All Upstagers will be actively involved in helping with two major productions, learning costuming, make-up skills, doing hands-on theater tech and building your confidence and stage presence at the same time! Come join us!
The World Cultures Club strives to promote student awareness and appreciation for the diverse cultures and heritages in our school and community. It is open to any student at CSS and strives to develop activities and events that highlight the various cultures of our International and American students. Sharing food, holiday traditions, pop culture, and thoughts on current events (to name a few) allow us to see that we have much in common. For things that we do that are very different, it also allows us to approach topics by looking at them firsthand from another perspective.
Other Program Highlights
- Mountain Caravan - At the beginning of the year, the entire Upper School community spends two days at a mountain camp retreat. This is a time for returning and new students and faculty to get better acquainted in preparation for a year of collaboration and partnership. We participate in a variety of activities, such as swimming, hiking, and rope climbing, that encourage active participation and interaction.
- Fall and Spring Plays - Our dynamic theatre program offers a wide variety of productions, from Shakespeare to Broadway musicals. The Upper School puts on two major productions each year, plus a musical review in the fall. The quality of our productions is high, and at least one third of the Upper School students are involved in our exciting productions each year.
- Yearbook - Our students employ traditional and digital photographic techniques to create Et Apres, our 200+ page CSS yearbook. Students learn to use professional graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and PageMaker. The yearbook sells advertising to help subsidize its printing costs.
- Visual Arts - The visual arts are an integral part of the CSS program. Student work can be viewed throughout campus, in the Louisa Performing Arts Center, in the art studios in the Carriage House, and in the El Pomar Academic Center. Students participate in local, regional and national art shows.