Sips and stories: Juniors create club to educate students about myths and legends


Juniors Vishmitha Kumar and Ava Russel pose for a selfie. The two students are the presidents and founders of the Legendary Tea Club.

Julia Bychowski, Editor

In January, juniors Vishmitha Kumar and Ava Russell hosted the first meeting of their club, Legendary Tea club, in teacher sponsor Lauren Massey’s room. The club focuses on educating students about various myths and legends from around the world, with, of course, the addition of tea. An unexpected combo.

“We wanted to make a club [but] we didn’t really know what we wanted to make it about.” Co-president Vishmitha Kumar said. “So we were kind of thinking of fun ideas, and we thought myths and legends would be [fun].”

Kumar and Russell’s main goal for the club was to educate not only other students, but also themselves about the vast world of mythology, folklore and legend.

“We kind of wanted to combine myths, legends and tea in the name.” Kumar said. “So we thought Legendary Tea would work.”

Along with the name, the pair also brainstormed the original idea for the club together–hence their joint roles as presidents. Also, Legendary Tea Club is currently unique to Vandegrift, and acts as another addition to the many student-led clubs that have been established during this school year.

“We talked about this wolf called Fenrir.” Russell said. “He was chained up by some gods, and then on a certain day, he would be able to break free, so he did and then all hell broke loose.”

In the 4 meetings the club has had since its conception in January, they explored many different stories. In their most recent meeting, they dived into the Greek myth of Narcissus and previously, explored the story of Anansi from African folklore.

“We really wanted a tea party club, but we felt like that wasn’t strong enough of an idea, or educational enough.” Co-president Ava Russell said. “[So] we wanted to elevate it a bit.”

Kumar and Russell combine storytelling and cozy beverages by presenting the chosen myth, usually on a slide deck, whilst students listen and drink the provided tea. The tea, so far, has consisted usually of classic English breakfast, but the Presidents hope to expand the types of tea offered at the club in the future.

“It’s been pretty fun,” Kumar said. “We just spend our PITs making slides and stuff, so it’s not really that hard.”

The co-presidents focused on making the club a stress-free environment for students to come and be engaged in the stories, whilst offering an opportunity for socialization.

“I wouldn’t say [the club is] small, but it’s just [not] really people we don’t know,” Kumar said. “So we would probably just want to get the word out to others.”

Though the club is currently only managed by the two co-presidents, they do plan on enlisting a sort of social media manager to help get the word out about the club to potential members and avid tea drinkers. 

“I want people to learn more about mythology,” Russell said. “I think it’s a really cool topic, and I think it’s nice to know more about it because there’s a lot of references to it.”