Whether you are a new student or a savvy returning student, each Husky Weekend during Orientation offers something a little different. At its core, it is time to spend together with your class and community. Your advisory group, housemates, friends, and trusted adults are all here. It’s time to set the tone for a fresh new year. To think about goals, both individually and as a group. And it is also time to consider growth as a student, class, and school. But mostly, it is time to get to know each other, to bond, and set intentions.
A Night Under the Stars
Following the buzz of registration, our freshmen class heads into the woods of close-by Burleigh Mountain for an outdoor experience focused on just them. Leaving the upperclassmen behind and led by many faculty, the evening unfolds with setting up tents, outdoor cooking (and eating!), ice-breakers, games, stories, songs, treats, and laughter around the campfire. As one of our largest freshmen classes in recent history, this time together helps start their journey in a meaningful way. A common experience to remember throughout their upcoming years at New Hampton—a night just for them.
On Saturday of Husky Weekend, while freshmen are still waking up on Burleigh Mountain, our sophomores, juniors, and seniors are preparing for day trips of their own. Sophomores head to Camp Wanakee for ropes course challenges and games, while seniors launch off on boats to get to the island-bound Camp Mayhew for their class excursion. Juniors load up on buses for a jaunt into Franconia Notch, climbing the trail to Artist’s Bluff—one of the most photographed views in New England—and then picnicking, kayaking, and swimming the afternoon away at Echo Lake beneath the verdant face of Cannon Mountain. Soon, it is time for all Huskies to return to campus and spend an evening together with all classes and faculty.
A New Start
At the end of the weekend, it’s time to switch our mindsets to the scholarly side of school life. Believing that we should begin as we mean to go on, Convocation sets the tone for the academic year. We reflect on our core values—respect and responsibility—our mission, and our school theme for the year. We hear from school leadership, both faculty and students. We reflect on our place in history. And to end it all, we take our formal all-school photo, as we’ve done for generations of students. We know that on Monday, a whole new start takes place in the classrooms, and the wonder of knowledge ignites new conversations and explorations.
This year’s Convocation celebrated gratitude and scholarship. We welcomed six new members of the Cum Laude Society: Liv Arvidson ’23, Joseph Bourbeau ’23, Averi Curran ’23, Isabella Healey ’23, ThangQuoc “Timmy” Ly ’23, and Chucheng “Paul” Tang ’23.
Our student body co-presidents shared inspirational themes in their words. First, Joe Bourbeau ’23 reflected on the ideas of decisions, not only in terms of how many we make in a day, but in how we make them and how they form an identity around us. “We become the people we surround ourselves with. This can be a positive thing. […] However, by spending so much time in one way of thinking, you limit yourself to the path you think you’re supposed to be on even if it doesn’t align with the path you want to be on.” He encourages his classmates to be brave and break free, try new things, let go of things that no longer serve them, and choose things for their lives that will be meaningful.
Nina Morel ’23 in her speech reflected on what it means to her to be a member of the New Hampton community both as a tour guide and a student, and the difference it makes to have so many opportunities available if we just take advantage of them. Morel largely reflected on gratitude. “Remind your friends to make good choices. Take ownership of your mistakes. Be a good community member. Celebrate the little things. I often think that as we get older, we forget how important the little things are. […] Celebrate each good pass out on the field, celebrate every actor who took a chance out on the stage, and every musician no matter what role they had in the performance. Those little things make New Hampton the place we all know and love.”
Congratulations to all of our students and faculty on beginning a new academic year. With gratitude and purposeful action on our side, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.