By KIERA BRENNAN
The third annual senior canoe trip kicked off the school year with 80-degree weather and capsized boats.
The trip, operated by Princeton Canoe and Kayak Rental, consisted of students spending for about an hour on the water before lunch at Allaire State Park. Students paddled in either pairs or triplets, while teachers supervised in individual kayaks.
Aside from being considered a senior tradition, the trip also meets certain educational requirements.
“It’s the senior health and fitness trip,” explained Dorothy Condon, school nurse and health teacher. “It’s a good alternative to traditional gym class and usually we have the whole year to give students information about water safety.”
Previously held at the end of the school year, the trip was moved to the second week of school because other senior activities crowd the May and June calendars.
Class adviser and gym teacher Ginny Clevenger supported the change. “Now it’s the Thompson Park of senior year. We started off high school with a trip, and now we’re starting the end with a trip.”
Tyler McManus of Rumson also agreed with the decision. “It exceeded my expectations since the day was beautiful,” said McManus. “I’m really happy with the change.”
Because of the warm weather, Condon also noted that this was the “wettest” year on record, with many students choosing to take turns changing out of wet clothing before the bus ride to Allaire State Park.
“The first time anyone fell in was two years ago, and last year it was rainy,” she said. “This year, a lot of people fell in.”
While some people deliberately entered the canal, Julianna Robinson of Ocean ended up in the water unwillingly.
“My boat got tipped by someone else,” she said. “They should either require bathing suits, or ban canoe tipping altogether.”
Michael Magovern of Avon-by-the-Sea started the trip with the intention of tipping canoes.
“My partner and I declared ourselves as pirates…and went for it,” he said. “It’s fun.”
Despite any minor problems, Principal James Gleason declared the trip was a success.
“It’s a good bonding experience and a good way to start the year,” he said. “It’s a stressful time and taking a breath is just as important as academics and college apps right now.”