Class of 2025 reignites Thompson Park tradition


Both freshman and seniors reflect on their first few days of the new school year.

Kristen Gallagher and Ella Lukowiak

“A-wam sam sam, a-googly googly googly!”

This chant has been sung by 21 classes of CHS freshman annually at Thompson Park and is one of many ways CHS upperclassmen and staff welcome new students.

While one year ago students were learning over Google Meet, on Sept. 8th of 2021, students filled the halls buzzing with excitement for the year ahead. The Class of 2025 was greeted with goodie bags from the Cultural Communications Club (CCC) and a warm welcome by National Honors Society (NHS) members who helped the incoming freshmen open their lockers.

Though the usual first day assembly could not take place this year, students were treated with the annual visit from the Italian ice truck during lunchtime.

SGA council member and junior Lucy Battista of Tinton Falls explained that there weren’t too many differences between the first day this school year and years past.

“I think it was actually pretty similar,” Battista said. “I mean, we had the Italian ice at lunch instead of at the end of the day, but I think it was still a success.”

With only two days as a high schooler under their belt, the freshmen set off on the annual Thompson Park trip. The students played ice-breakers with upperclassmen and engaged in activities to bond with their new classmates.

“I’ve met more people today than I have the past two days,” said freshman Hannah Hewitson of Wall Township.

Freshman John Ferro of Ocean Township said that he felt comfortable amidst the welcoming atmosphere at Thompson Park despite being surrounded by near strangers.

“Being in such an open environment really helped me open up to other people,” Ferro said.

While the freshmen appeared to have had an overall positive experience, Battista explained the concerns that the SGA had going into the trip due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“I think we were all nervous that the kids wouldn’t enjoy it as much because the games would be boring, but I think everyone had a lot of fun, and, honestly, I did see a lot of bonding,” Battista said. “I would say this was one of the best Thompson Parks in years.”

While the freshmen are making new memories, seniors are sentimental about their last back-to-school traditions at CHS. Senior Kylie Fuerbacher of Middletown is among those who are savoring every last moment at CHS.

“It kind of felt like we never left, but at the same time it’s sinking in that we are never going to see it [CHS] again after this year,” Fuerbacher said.El

Senior Lily Jones of Spring Lake also feels nostalgic for her final year, but at the same time she is prepared for the new phase of her life.

“I’m kind of in denial about it being my last first day,” Jones said. “Obviously it was sad because I am going to miss high school when I graduate, but also kind of relieved because I’m ready to move on to college.”

Looking ahead, there are more activities to come to welcome students into a year that will hopefully return to a sense of normalcy.

“There is going to be the Back to School Dance…which is exciting because we didn’t know if that was going to happen,” Battista said. “I’m assuming most of the other events are going to be okay, and as long as people are wearing masks, I think Mr. Gleason is going to be allowing them.”