Link Crew excites freshmen

September 8, 2009 — by

A mass of excited upperclassmen dressed as cowboys, hula girls, and even chefs greeted incoming Falcon freshmen through a loud cheering gauntlet on Friday, Aug.  22, at the Link Crew Orientation.   

“I loved how the Link Leaders got the costumes and everything,” said freshman Nikki Bedekar. “It made it fun instead of boring.”
The day started with ice-breaker activities, including a mass back-rub, introductions from the ASB and Link Crew commissioners, and a performance by the JV and varisty cheer teams.
“I thought introducing ASB was a good thing because it raised the freshmen’s awareness of what the school is all about,” said senior Link Leader and school board representative Natalie Tkalcevic.
After breaking over 300 freshmen into small groups of 8-10 each led by two or three of the 80 Link Leaders, the fun really began. Get-to-know-you games such as “Hot Handle” and “Count Off” helped bring the groups together and learn the other group members’ names.  
“The [freshmen] felt more open to talk about things [in our small groups],” said Tkalcevic.  “They seemed more comfortable walking away with a couple of upperclassmen to go to if they need someone, even though most of them think they don’t.”
After breaking the ice,  groups played a variety of games for two hours, varying from the Human Knot to “Apples to Apples,” and even a freshmen versus Link Leader football game on the upper field.

“The funniest part of the football game was that it took three freshmen to [tackle me],” said junior Kent Paisley.  “[But] I also think it helped the freshmen bond together because they had to work as a team.”
The day wrapped up with a tunnel of psyched-up Link Leaders as the freshmen headed out to the quad for a free Togo’s lunch.  The lunch was another effort to have group bonding, but most of the freshmen thronged together on the quad grass while the Link Leaders debriefed after orientation and started clean up.
“We’re really happy with the Link Crew leaders this year,” said guidance counselor Alinna Satake.  “They really made a huge effort to be prepared and sit with their kids, so I thought that went well.”

The groups met on the first three Wednesday tutorials with two other Link Crew groups to discuss various aspects of high school.  The sessions help freshmen learn a variety of things to help them succeed in high school, such as how to talk to adults, not giving in to the many pressures associated with adolescence, and how to properly use tutorial time.  Link Crew will also host events later during the year to continue the connection between leaders and freshmen.
“Orientation went really well for the freshmen, and it got them off to a good start for the year,” said Paisley.  “I am looking forward to my freshmen coming to high school and feeling confident.”

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