Freshmen EX Breaks the Ice


Nervous buzz in the air, exciting chatter, and peer leaders wearing colorful decorations can only mean one thing: Freshmen Experience! The 2019 day-long event was held Tuesday, Sept., 10, 2019, at Alpine Scout Camp in Alpine, NJ,  and it was a day of bonding and fun.

“Freshmen at any high school need an activity like this to help them bond, but at our school, where students come from so many different towns and are enrolled in two different academic programs, it is essential that they meet at the beginning of the school year,” coordinator Judy Aronson explained. “The activities help them relax a little, open up, smile and feel less stressed.” 

I loved all the activities and the upperclassmen were really friendly.

— Ria Vij

At the Camp, the freshmen hiked, conquered rock climbing, played laser tag and basketball, shot arrows, and created skits. Thanks to a grant from the Dwight Morrow High School Alumni Educational Alliance, a high-quality sound system was rented and students were able to enjoy music all day long as they ate, danced, and made new friends.

“I liked that we got to meet new people. I loved all of the activities and the upperclassmen were really friendly,” freshman Ria Vij remarked. “I met a lot of different people and got close with them,” she added.

This year, a drumming circle led by a professional Jazz musician was organized instead of the traditional square dancing, and students enjoyed it. 

“I think the drumming circle was a nice addition because it was still an event where everyone had to work together, but one kids were willing to do,” chaperone Jackie Goolsarran explained. 

At the end of the day, skits livened up the mood along with s’mores made by upperclassmen and students boarded the buses with tired but happy faces. 

“Many people made Freshmen Experience the success that it was including  Barbara Manche, the school nurse who played a huge role in ensuring that everyone safe; Alison Fordice who took care of all the paperwork; Ms. Goolsarran who was in charge of meals; and all the teacher chaperones,” Ms. Aronson said. “This event could not have happened without them.”