The thirst for inclusion


Photo provided by the LHS Gallon Gang

Members of the LHS Gallon Gang, Rogan Brison, Seth Vonbank, Andrew Martins, Joel Christensen, Erik Schultz, Cameron Rhode and Jackson Sluiter, dressed up as members of the Mafia for Halloween.

Madeleine Kemper, Editor-in-Chief

It is a common stereotype that some athletes carry around gallon jugs of water to  ensure they have access to hydration at all times of the day. Heaven forbid that they have to fill up a 32 ounce water bottle a few times, like amateurs. What most people do not realize, however, is that this practice can develop a strong sense of community and a dedication to hydration. It was not until a new club was founded at LHS, the Gallon Gang, that drinking water during the school day took on a whole new meaning. 

The idea was first formed when two members of the cross-country team, seniors Cameron Rhode and Jackson Sluiter, began bringing gallons of water to school during their season. This simple act captured the attention of senior Erik Schultz, who marveled at the proud display of the plastic gallon jug. 

“When I saw Cameron come into economics with his gallon I knew that I wanted to be like him. The next day I came to school with a gallon and never looked back,” said Schultz. 

From there, the Gallon Gang took on popularity fast. Many members of the LHS marching band also began bringing gallons to school. In order to keep track of all the “recruits,” a spreadsheet was designed that operates similarly to that of a family tree; each time a new member joins, they are added to the list next to the name of the person who brought them in. Five of the earliest followers of this phenomena, including Schultz, became board members, taking charge of the day-to-day operations. The club has even expanded its membership to some teachers; Chris Ernster and Dan Carlson have both been a part of the group since October.

Becoming a member of this club is as straightforward as it sounds. There are no initiation requirements and no special invitation is necessary; simply start bringing a gallon of water to school and you are in. Staying in good graces with the board members, however, is a bit more challenging. They have developed a “blacklist” for members who do not uphold the values and moral standards of the club. This includes stealing someone else’s gallon or not bringing your own gallon every Tuesday. There are ways off of the dreaded blacklist, however, one can make up for their wrongdoings by bringing their gallon on another day of the week, or take part in a cleansing ritual, in which the exiled member is splashed with water and all is forgiven. 

More information about this club can be found on their Instagram account, run by Schultz, which showcases things like new members, the cleansing ritual, and pictures of the board member’s group Halloween costumes, where they dressed as Mafia members.

Moving forward, the LHS Gallon Gang wants to continue to grow in numbers; as of Oct. 26, they were at 35 members and counting. 

“The purpose of this is to promote hydration and inclusion,” said board member and senior Joel Christensen.