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Turtles and friendship at crux of The Turtle Club

Tiny. Littlefoot. Hearty. Piper.

These are the names of just a few turtles that belong to the six members of The Turtle Club – a group of young ladies and best friends who created a special friendship club while students at South Meadows Elementary in Chelsea.

Four of the six members of The Turtle Club. From left, back row Kira Frahm and Angela Kasper, front row Katie Rae Hayduk and Kelly McCracken. Missing from photo Eve Beauchamp and Raechel Zeller

Katie Rae Hayduk, Kelly McCracken, Kira Frahm, Angela Kasper, Eve Beauchamp and Raechel Zeller comprise The Turtle Club and each has preferences toward sea or land varieties, but no one owns a live one.

Angela Kasper said, “Kira loves turtles so much that we decided this would make a great name for the club.”

A page from The Turtle Club scrapbook

The girls find turtles fascinating because they said these animals have a shell, there are so many different kinds and some are born with “built-in smiles.”

And when they are out driving on the roads, they keep an eye out for turtles that might need help crossing the road – except perhaps, for snapping turtles, which are best left to their own devices.

But the club is more than just about a love of turtles. “It’s about friends and helping each other out,” Kelly McCracken said. “It’s about spending time together – something they’ve done since 4th grade.

“The key to friendship,” Kira Frahm said, “is to find something everyone likes and turn it into something new.”

In fact, Kevin Frahm, Kira’s father, said, “The Turtle Club may walk in the Chelsea Fair Parade (on Aug. 25) giving out peace cranes from Global Marketplace, with the rebranded store’s logo on one wing and a coupon on the other.

Kevin Frahm and his wife, Denise, bought the Global Marketplace on Jan. 1, and in fact the club members met at the store for this story.

The club has sleepovers and birthday parties and their turtles come along. In fact, all the girls have dog tags with The Turtle Club printed on them.

Another page from The Turtle Club's scrapbook

They talk on the phone a lot. They plan special events as a group, such as a party at Chelsea’s Holiday Inn Express, and take pictures of their club activities, which are documented in a special scrapbook.

Katie Rae Hayduk said the club may take a field trip this summer to the Great Lakes Zoological Society “A World of Discovery” on Jackson Road, which features reptiles, amphibians, and birds before school starts in September.

The club has no president because, the girls said, that would be unfair to have one leader, especially as they head to Beach Middle School this fall, and possibility add new members.

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