A Great Start to the School Year at DeBakey High School
The 2020-21 school year limited social interactions between students. For freshmen (now rising sophomores), this meant little in-person experience and an absence of a true introduction to high school. To the Interact Club, a service club at DeBakey High School for Health Professions, welcoming rising freshmen and sophomores seemed equally important.
Interact Club members and student volunteers spent the summer planning events for the class of 2024 and 2025. This event was named Viper Camp (after the school’s mascot).
Interact Officers quickly became busy, recruiting upperclassmen as group leaders for the camp participants and having discussions with school administration. Training sessions were held at the school for all volunteers. The most important rules for group leaders were to be enthusiastic, make the campers feel comfortable, and make sure no one felt left out.
Read on to gain insight about the experience from the perspective of a group leader and upperclassmen, Hanan Aro.
What was your favorite moment at Viper Camp?
Honestly, my favorite part was definitely interacting with other underclassmen. It was so nice to actually get to know your groupmates, joke around together, and just generally vibe!
Why did you sign up to be a group leader?
I signed up to be a group leader because the social aspect of the role seemed fun! I also wanted to pass down tips and knowledge that I learned throughout the years at DeBakey and hopefully be able to serve as a mentor figure for them in the future. Through being their group leader and talking to them, I wanted them to know that they have someone at the school that they can lean on.
What were you hoping freshmen and sophomores gained from the experience?
I hope that freshmen and sophomores were able to learn that they can always ask questions. Everyone at the school is always willing to help, and it’s important that they go into the school year without feeling confused and lost. I also hope that the underclassmen were able to gain some knowledge to avoid a lot of mistakes that we made, and therefore hopefully have better, more productive years to come!
The days of the camp consisted of a tour of the school, group activities, interactive and competitive games, time capsule activity, study skills event, and PowerPoint presentation activity.
“I liked the sophomore camp because of activities, being able to learn more about other students, and most of all getting to meet classmates in-person and see their faces after quarantine. I also liked seeing the school,” said Athitiya Singhapan, a sophomore at DeBakey High School.
Overall, the event was a great start to the year and allowed sophomores and freshmen to build connections with their peers, get a feel for the school, and seek advice from upperclassmen.
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