Freshmen break the ice at Thompson Park


Audrey Mannion

Blot photo courtesy of Audrey Mannion.

Audrey Mannion

After being cancelled last year, the Student Government Association (SGA) was able to once again host their annual field trip to Thompson Park in Lincroft for the freshmen on Sept. 8. The day was filled with icebreakers and team building exercises in order to meet new friends and classmates.

Senior and SGA Vice President Julia Pardee of Freehold said the freshman class was split into eight groups based on colored wristbands handed out on the bus. These wristbands determined whether freshmen would meet with the Thompson Park staff or SGA members and sophomore, junior and senior class presidents to start off the day.  Halfway through the field trip, the groups swapped between the CHS students and the Thompson Park staff.

“Communication between the SGA and Thompson Park staff has increased enormously over the past four years that I have gone, so there were no mix ups when we were switching groups with the park personnel,” said SGA President and senior Mark DiSpigna.

Each group played similar getting-to-know-you games including the an alliteration name game, ‘Human knot’ and ‘Mojave Desert.’ DiSpigna said these games are used to “break the ice” that exists on the first few days of freshmen year.

Freshman Keiran Varian of Ocean Township felt the trip accomplished just that.

“My favorite activity was ‘Mojave Desert’ because we got to run around and learn more about people’s interests,”  Varian said.

At the end of the day, the class came together to do the ‘Wham Sam Sam’ as a class. The game, a Thompson Park Day tradition, consists of patting the person next to you and doing a small dance, only increasing in speed with each verse of the song.

DiSpigna said the Class of 2020 was hesitant about the dance at first.

“I could tell the freshman thought doing the silly dance was extremely lame,” DiSpigna said. “But I know that they will look back on today and smile because it was their first day of really meeting their peers.”

Freshman Lila Nathanson of Long Branch agreed with Dispigna by the end of the day.

“I really enjoyed Thompson Park, it was a lot better than sitting in class. I was able to talk to some new people in my group that I haven’t really talked to yet,” said Nathanson.

After returning to CHS at 1:45 p.m., DiSpigna saw the new students interacting at the end of the day and views Thompson Park Day as a success.  

“We want students to not only feel welcome but also loved by the group of people who they are surrounded by,” DiSpigna said. “I think the trip today accomplished just that.”