Link Crew welcomes new freshmen

Elin Lantz

While most BSM high school students slept this past Monday, some students woke up early and played hand games, ran around the school as super-heroes and cowboys, and got to know each other as part of the Link Crew orientation for freshmen. From 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., The freshmen participated in many activities with the leaders so that they could begin to feel comfortable for high school.
This unique first day of school started with a large welcome from the Link Crew leaders, faculty, and staff as the freshmen piled into the Great Hall. Throughout the day, they experienced activities led by Link Crew leaders, met Principal Sue Skinner, got to know other students, got their lockers and class schedules, and went on a tour of the school before going through their schedules to meet their teachers.
During their discussions, the Link Crew leaders encouraged students to join clubs, activities, or sports to be more a part of the BSM community. “I was a little nervous, but now I feel more loosened up. The talk really made me want to do sports…and get involved,” said Nikolette Herman, a freshman who attended the orientation.
The day also allowed new friendships to be formed and made many newcomers feel positive about school. “We did a bunch of activities to make it less awkward and to make friends. It’s pretty fun. I’ve met a couple new friends and I think we’ll be friends later on,” said Herman.
The link Crew leaders created this setting in which new students could feel the opportunity to create friendships. “I know what it’s like to come here and not really know anybody, and I know a lot of kids didn’t make the transition very well so that was kind of tough [in the past], and I wanted to help out and make some of the freshmen feel more at home,” said John Carney, junior Link Crew leader.
All the activities assisted the students’ preparations for high school itself as well. Link Crew was created about two years ago to have a positive start to the year. “The purpose of Link Crew is to have current junior and senior students act as positive role models, motivators, mentors, and teachers to help guide the freshmen to discover what it takes to be successful during the transition to high school,” said Nicole Rasmussen, Link Crew adviser.
This year, the 57 Link Crew leaders have prepared for this special orientation by meeting two extra days for four hours, practicing the activities and learning how to welcome the students. “Since Link Crew has started there is a different feel to the first day of school because it is a day where there are students leading other students and teaching them all about BSM and how to be successful throughout the year,” said Ms. Rasmussen.
The Link Crew day has been successful in the past, and therefore the group hopes that it will continue to help these freshmen students. The school has had a lot of positive feedback in the past from BSM families, students, and faculty and staff that Link Crew is “a great program that is helping set the tone for the school year and creat[ing] student ownership, school spirit, and a sense of belonging in our BSM community,” said Ms. Rasmussen.