Class of 2026 starts high school with a walk in the park



Sophomore class president Phineaus Whedon of Wall leads freshman Grace Smuro of Oceanport and the Class of 2026 in an icebreaker game at the annual Thompson Park trip on Friday Sept. 9.

Jordan Juliano

The Class of 2026 ended their first week of freshman year by partaking in CHS’s oldest tradition, the annual Thompson Park trip.

The trip, organized by the SGA and Monmouth County Parks officials, provides the freshmen with opportunities to get to know their new classmates through games and icebreakers.

SGA President and senior Lucy Battista of Tinton Falls explained the purpose of the trip was to help the freshmen get to know one another and kick off their high school experience.

“The goal of Thompson Park was to get all the freshmen to get more comfortable with each other and obviously just have fun,” Battista said.

Upon arrival, the freshmen were given colored wristbands and split into groups. The groups, led by SGA members and class presidents, participated in a variety of games including human knot, an obstacle course and more.

“The SGA and class presidents got everyone hyped through the games and a lot of freshmen said, ‘Wow this was actually fun!’” Battista said.

As per tradition, the trip ended with the freshmen playing “Wham Sam Sam,” a game consisting of the freshmen chanting phrases and doing small dances. Freshman Olivia Yurkus of Middletown said the trip was a success and that it helped her bond with her fellow classmates.

“‘Wham Sam Sam’ was the highlight of my day and it really ended the trip in a bang,” Yurkus said. “The trip overall helped me get to know a lot of different people in my class.”