Freshmen Class Goes on Three Day Get-to-Know-You Retreat


Sarah Bates

Freshmen Go Rock Climbing at Camp Sloane

In three bug and heat filled days during the first week of school, the class of 2022 bonded at Camp Sloane in northwest Connecticut at the annual freshman retreat. The freshmen grade exchanged campus for camp as they participated in activities such as canoeing, zip lining, capture the flag, and gaga ball.

At Camp Sloane, they slept in structures composed of wooden platforms covered with heavy tarps and furnished with bunk beds and cubbies.

The first night was a difficult adjustment, as everyone was struggling to get used to the heat, bugs, and new environment. The gaps in the tents allowed for spiders and insects to occasionally enter and cause a commotion.

“The sleeping arrangements were abysmal. The mattresses were like cardboard and the bugs were ubiquitous,” said freshmen Jake Zrihen.

Although many of the freshmen were getting along well, for those students who were just beginning their first year at Poly, it was a little harder to adjust.

Freshman Nella Leonard said, “Everyone already had a clique, so the new kids couldn’t really bond.”

After playing name games and participating in team exercises, including scenic hikes and blindfolded games, the class got a lot closer.

The zip-lines, rock climbing, and giant swing were definitely the most popular activities during the retreat. The giant swing was harnessed up, released, and left to swing up high near the trees. One group even went canoeing on Wononpakook Lake and capsized at least three of their canoes.

Freshmen also went swimming in the camp’s pool which provided everyone with a break from the blazing heat.

Through these activities, students were becoming more comfortable with each other.

Freshman Mariama Diallo added, “It was good at removing the awkwardness between the new kids and the kids who came from Poly.”

On the last day, they shared one final pizza lunch together and then boarded the buses back to New York.  

Upper School dean Sarah Bates said that “the trip was successful” and accomplished its goal, which was “to build unity in the freshmen class and incorporate the new kids with the students who came from Poly’s middle school.”

It gave everyone a chance to get acquainted with each other and lowered the high levels of anxiety that most of the class felt in those first few days.

Freshman Uma Sooran said, “Going in on the first day, I was nervous because I didn’t really know anyone. In the end, it was fine.”


Check out some pictures from the trip below: