By Julie Barzilay
Seventh graders scrambled to the finish of relay races and discovered hidden Frisbee-tossing talents with their new classmates on Sunday, Sept. 7 after being placed into their respective Houses at the first ever seventh grade family picnic.
The Houses are composed of the Badgers, Ferrets, Otters and Polecats and represent the teams that compete in events to win the Jacobson Cup each year.
Typically, seventh graders and new ninth graders have a chance to ease into the year during the FastStart program a week before school starts, but construction at the Middle School precluded the program from being held. Because FastStart always culminates in a family picnic, the Parents Association sponsored this picnic at the Upper School so students and parents could get a chance to get to know one another.
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., students chased each other in Duck Duck Goose games, put their heads together to play “guess the celebrity” and raced to the finish of ping pong ball relays.
Seventh grade deans Kate Benton and Colby Plath also presided over Frisbee tosses and the creation of a human hula hoop chain. The offices of Advancement and Admission, seventh graders, their families and Parents Association representatives were all invited to join in.
“Parents and students expressed they had a good time… and felt welcomed by the school,” Benton said.
The Badgers emerged victorious this time, emerging with six points while the Polecats finished with three points and the Ferrets and Otters tied with one.
“Before the picnic, I think we all were a little nervous and intimidated by our surroundings,” Madeline Abrahams â14, a Polecat, said. “Now we feelÂ comfortable about going and seeing our teachers or deans without any hesitation.”