With the excitement of registration, move-in and preseason athletic training behind them, Blair students and faculty came together on September 9 and 10 for Orientation, two days of activities designed to build connections among classmates and community members and introduce new students to all things Blair. Associate Deans of Students Andee Ryerson and Caroline Wilson planned school-wide events and activities for students in each grade level, and, despite cold and rainy weather, students and teachers were eager to get the year off to a great start.
For ninth-graders, orientation is a time to begin to feel comfortable on campus and to get to know faculty members and seniors, the students who will be their mentors in the year ahead. To that end, freshmen participated in a host of on-campus games, a scavenger hunt, a special tour of the dining hall with Food Service Director Ron O’Rourke and a big brothers/big sisters breakfast with members of the senior class.
Sophomores had the opportunity to bond as a class and work together in small groups on a variety of outdoor projects during a daylong retreat at nearby Camp Johnsonburg and the Princeton Blairstown Center. As they prepared to take greater ownership of their Blair experience as 10th graders, they also spent time with their Blair LEADS groups to talk about the service projects they might tackle this year.
The junior class began Orientation with a special brunch in the Romano Dining Hall, where conversation and activities helped students renew old friendships and make some new friends, too. Since 11th grade can be a stressful year, Mrs. Ryerson and Ms. Wilson planned an afternoon of good old-fashioned field-day competitions and gave juniors the opportunity to have fun and make the Blair community a better place by working together on campus service projects.
With seniors about to begin the busiest semester of their Blair careers, their Orientation schedule included time to meet with their college counselors and work on college applications. A trip to Blue Valley Lanes for an afternoon of bowling gave classmates a chance to enjoy time together. In addition, seniors spent a good deal of Orientation with freshmen as they began to take the class of 2022 under their wing.
The Orientation experience was rounded out with grade-level presentations by guest speaker Mike Weber, who shared words of wisdom to help students set themselves up for their best school year yet. The community came together on Sunday evening for a performance by mentalist Denny Corby and a casual “hang out” afterwards, complete with music and plentiful snacks. Finally, faculty and students attended School Meeting and athletic practices on Monday afternoon, and they looked forward to the official opening of Blair’s 171st year at Convocation that evening.