Worm on a string club: The dream that could have been

Club falls through due to lack of underclassmen



Squirmles were created in the 90s but have become popular

New Trier has many clubs for many different kinds of people. If someone wants to make a club about their culture or their original board game, they have the opportunity to do that.

One club however, with 45 people promising to join, was shot down before it could make NT history. Worm on a String club did not make it to full club status, but it raises the question: Why are so many people interested in a children’s toy from the 90’s?

Squirmles, more commonly known as Worm on a String, have experienced a recent surge in popularity. It is currently being typed into internet search bars more than ever according to Google Trends.

Students have not missed out on this frenzy, culminating in someone buying hundreds of the toys to give out, and a club planned to meet weekly, solely to play with Worms on Strings.

Though the club ultimately never materialized due to a New Trier’s club rules, one of the would- be founders believed the trend had the potential and longevity to serve as a legitimate community for students.

“I bought them because I was bored, and I wanted to give things to people, just to make them happy,” said junior Bella Lestrude, who bought over a hundred Worms on Strings to give out to whoever wanted one.

Lestrude’s act of generosity got people talking about the fad, and talking about the mysterious “Worm Dealer.”

Once a large group became fascinated with Worm on a String, it was only a matter of time until they took action about their newfound interest.

“We all had this fascination with them, and it was a huge stress- relief thing,” said senior Margaret Lasonde, who had a hand in planning the club. She found interest in the worms after a friend of hers, possibly inspired by Lestrude’s act, bought a large amount of Worms on Strings to give out to the rowing team, which Lasonde was a part of.

“We were all just goofing around 8th period and we thought, ‘why don’t we make this a club?’ The idea was that we just wanted a place where people could relax, hang out, and de-stress,” said Lasonde.

The club soon ballooned in popularity thanks to the recruitment tactics of the founding members.

Recruitment involved walking around the commons, asking anyone who wasn’t busy if they were interested in joining the club.

After this however, the club ran into some issues. Seniors at New Trier can’t propose new clubs without support from juniors or sophomores. The rule is in place to make sure that clubs at New Trier have longevity, explained head of Student Activities, Stacy Kolack.

“We need younger folks to start it up. We want them to survive, and a senior is going to leave us,” said Kolack.

Lasonde agreed with the rule, reasoning that any “generational” club would eventually end up

failing, so the role is good for the New Trier club ecosystem. Kolack did elaborate, though, that aspiring club-founders could have any junior or sophomore who had signed up to be in the club do the audition, and among the many people signed up for Worm on a String, there were several juniors.

“We had a couple of our junior friends who would do it, but the Worm on a String idea was something that me and my friends were passionate about. It wouldn’t have really meant anything to us if it wasn’t us starting it,” explained Lasonde.

The idea started as a way for her friend group to share an interest, and she figured the club wasn’t the same without the same friend group being at the heart.

Though the club never materialized, these worms had already left their mark at the school. The 90s toy inspired people to get together, play with Worms on Strings, and forget their stress.

“This solid friendship that we had is something that has been with me for most of high school, so we really just wanted to make a place where people could do that,” said Lasonde.