Freshman retreat promotes friendship, teamwork

71 ninth graders enjoy fun Friday at Amerson River Park

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Gazebo Photo by Olivia Coleman

Molly Edward Seagraves, left, and Mia Bhafin enjoy face painting at freshman retreat

From fun games to energetic cheers, to writing letters, the freshman retreat this year was packed full of action. 

Six home rooms gathered at the Amerson River Park for games and team bonding with the 71 freshman students and their peer mentors. The freshmen and peer mentors played games, including capture the flag, kickball, and ships, and sailors. 

Also, the freshmen wrote letters to themselves, which they will read when they graduate from Stratford in 2025.  The Pep Club presidents taught the freshmen cheers, such as “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” and “Lettuce.”

“My expectations for the freshmen are for them to build community, to become a cohesive class, build Eagle Pride, and to become respectful individuals to teachers and administrators.””

— Mr. Willis Kallay, Assistant Head of Upper School

“I am excited about getting to know upperclassmen, my home room, and Mrs. Angelica Govea. I will never forget the time when we got together to know the cheers,”  freshman Mary Leland Cozart said.

Some of the more memorable moments occurred during the game time. A dispute during capture the flag between the Govea and band home rooms had to be decided by a rock-paper-scissors match. The Govea group was victorious. “The fight between ‘Govea’s Playas’ and ‘Harmonious Haynies’ was unforgettable,”  freshman Eden Kovacs said. 

The retreat turnout was strong which made for great bonding time with members of the class.

 “I was very excited that all of the freshmen showed up this year,” said the assistant head of upper school Mr. Willis Kallay. 

Not only did the freshmen have fun, but the peer mentors had a great time as well.

“I want to lead the kids through the Upper School and know more about this year’s freshmen,” junior and peer mentor Shreya Ranabhotu said.

In addition to having fun, the freshmen learned how to be respectful to each other and be compassionate citizens that could empower the future.

“My expectations for the freshmen are for them to build community, to become a cohesive class, build Eagle Pride, and to become respectful individuals to teachers and administrators,” Mr.  Kallay said.