Freshman Thompson Park trip is shining success after cloudy start


Features Centerspread Editor

Cloudy skies and humidity did not stop Thompson Park festivities for the Class of 2018. Although the day began overcast and drizzly, the skies soon cleared, the sun came out, and freshmen played ice-breaking games and met new people.

“It’s really muggy and hot. Besides that, though, we’re making new friends, so it is still working,” said freshman Jonathan Slovak of Spring Lake Heights.

This freshman-focused event, organized and led by the Student Government Association, has been an annual tradition since the school opened in 2000. Thompson Park is known for the game Wham Sam Sam, but the Class of 2018 also participated in new activities like “Wisconsin Milk” and “The Alligator is My Friend.”

“They’re breaking out of their shells,” said SGA Vice President Lauryn Masciana, who said the goal of the Thompson Park trip was to “help the freshmen bond” and spark new friendships.

Over screams of laughter, fitness teacher Virginia Clevenger explained that Thompson Park is an icebreaker for students.

“They’re meeting people. The whole ‘are you my friend?’ thing will still take a couple of weeks, but they are definitely meeting new people today,” said Clevenger. “They’re going to be thinking about ‘hey, that kid was pretty cool’ tomorrow.”

Freshman Veronica Yaron of Little Silver said the event introduced her to both freshmen and upperclassmen.

“It’s so much fun. I actually remember people’s names for the first time. I’ve met new people in my grade and met the upperclassmen, who are really sweet,” she said.

Classmate Abi Karl of Monmouth Beach agreed.

“It’s a good way to get to know each other, and I feel like the school is easy to move into already,” Karl said.

Although the event occurs on the second day of school, Clevenger said it created memories to last.

“They’ll talk about this for the next four years,” she said. “Sun’s out, it’s a nice day, they’re laughing, and we’re having a good time. So, yeah, it is a success.”