A history as long as Communications

Elizabeth Klemm

CHS opened its doors to students in September 2000 and shortly after sent its first freshmen class to Thompson Park. The trip has taken place every year since and acts as an icebreaker for the freshmen, the first freshman adviser and history teacher Sharyn O’Keefe said.

“It was decided by the original faculty and Mr. Gleason that some sort of team building [and] get to know you day was needed since the eighty something kids that would be in the school together all year were coming from all parts of the county,” O’Keefe said.

The faculty originally organized the freshmen orientation day, but by 2001, the Class of 2004 took the event over, O’Keefe said. Since 2002, the SGA has been responsible for planning the trip.

While the activities change year to year based on the Thompson Park staff and the SGA’s plans, “Wham, Sam, Sam” has become a tradition, O’Keefe said.

“The one year that the park system was not going to do ‘Wham, Sam, Sam’ the SGA actually went up to them to request it,” O’Keefe said.

SGA President and senior Mark DiSpigna of Lincroft believes the trip has become more engaging over his years at CHS.

“My freshman year, I felt there was very little interaction with the other students as opposed to the games we played when I attended the trip my sophomore year, which were more engaging,” DiSpigna said. “Overall, I feel the trip has evolved to become more about the freshmen getting to know each other rather than just a day to get out of classes.”

This summer, SGA members and adviser Leah Morgan met to discuss the 2016 Thompson Park trip. The park’s staff suggested making the trip “more organized and with increased communication between us and the park,” DiSpigna said.

While activities and organization may change annually, one thing is certain, “The goal of the day is to introduce the freshman class to as many of their fellow classmates as possible,” DiSpigna said.