At the beginning of each year, the new freshman Park Scholars arrive early at IC for an orientation experience designed to bring them closer together as a group. The students get to know their fellow scholars and form a bond that will characterize their next four years in Ithaca. Families are invited to a welcome barbecue where they can meet each other and the faculty instrumental in the program. Along with orientation leaders from other Park Scholar classes, the freshmen play games and then tackle a ropes course that requires team work and creative problem-solving. You can read a more individual account of the orientation here.
Each year past Park Scholars come back to Ithaca to share their experiences and wisdom with current scholars. They lead specific workshops, give advice, and answer questions. Read more about it here.
This dinner marked the end of the Fall semester. It was a triumphant moment for the freshmen and a bittersweet moment for seniors who became all too aware that their last semester ever was upon them. The annual report was issued to all scholars, and Matt concluded the evening with a speech.