Adventure 2022 Freshman Orientation Eases the Transition to High School
Tug of war, kickball games and scavenger hunts throughout Amherst Central High School helped incoming freshman bond with their classmates and teachers, get to know the building and have fun before the first day of school Wednesday, Sept. 5.
The Adventure 2022 orientation program, a long-standing tradition that blends fun with information sessions, gives the newest students the opportunity to get to know one another, upperclassmen and their teachers.
"I found Adventure useful because I now know where all my classes are thanks to the Pathfinders," said freshman Jake LeClerc.
Throughout the daylong event, ninth-graders participated in a number of classes and activities that were developed and taught by high school faculty and Pathfinder student leaders. Under the direction of Pathfinder advisor Ann Schoellkopf, the group was asked to take a more direct role in running the classes this year. In an attempt to have students learn from students, the 60 members of the Pathfinders group were instrumental in the success of the orientation program.
"I really found it helpful that the Pathfinders, whenever you asked them a question, they gave really good answers," said freshman Owen Banks.
"One of my favorite parts of Adventure was that you could see progressively throughout the groups that kids were getting more comfortable interacting with each other and with us too," said Quinn DeCicco, a senior in the Pathfinder program. "They were getting more comfortable talking with the upperclassmen and asking questions."
Adventure 2022 classes included a team-building course, a building-wide scavenger hunt, a high school survival class, and a technology tips course. A new addition this year was Challenge 2 Change, a collaboration with the UB School of Social work to have an enhanced bonding experience.
“We were extremely excited to host our 200 freshmen to Amherst Central High School,” said Nan Ables, assistant principal and coordinator of the program. “Although it was a very hot day everyone seemed excited to take some time away from their last few days of break to come to school.”
“I was very pleased with the leadership that the Pathfinders displayed throughout the day. The program was entirely student driven, and we were all very pleased with the outcome” said Ms. Schoellkopf, advisor since 2008.
"I found Adventure helpful because the scavenger hunt was fun and helped me find where everything was in the building," said freshman Connor Biersbach. Freshman Jack Foster agreed, "I liked Adventure because it helped me find where all my classes are, but also I had fun during my time here doing activities like tug of war and kickball."
Karsen Faller, a freshman, said she found it helpful to see where everything is especially her locker and homeroom.
Throughout the school year, Pathfinders, who are juniors and seniors, strive to promote unity at the high school by welcoming the freshmen to the building and offering one-on-one mentoring opportunities. It's not lost on them how this program impacts a freshman since just a couple years ago, they were the ones attending the Adventure session.
"I know how important this day was for me as a freshman," said James Moore, a Pathfinder.
A pictoral video of the day - Thanks Mr. Hare!