Freshman Field Trip 2022

The Programs Behind It and the Freshman’s Experience


Courtesy of John Wright, HCS Community Relations Specialist

Some of the female leaders speaking to the freshman girls.

Alayna Edblom, Writer

The entire school was unfortunately blessed with a never ending stream of announcements on October 21 thanks to everyone’s favorite group of the student body: the freshman. One by one, freshman students were called down to board the buses for their seemingly mysterious field trip, the rest of the students couldn’t help but wonder where they were going.

The field trip consisted of two programs called Girl’s Incorporated and Man Up: one program was strictly for the girls while the other was for the boys. Administrator Chase Cruse and Youth Service Center Coordinator Brendan Chaney were the leaders of the programs. All freshman girls were able to go, but only 80 of the boys were selected to participate.

One of the male speakers talking to the boys.

Cruse spoke about the purpose of the program for the boys and what he wanted them to gain from it.

“The purpose is to provide freshman boys with a set of positive male role models and people they can potentially look up to. We have 7 speakers coming who will be talking about finances, community involvement, leadership, conflict resolution, the use of social media, and relationships. We’re trying to give these kids some valuable information. These are professionals, they’re full of knowledge and they provide a service that students can’t always get inside the classroom,” Cruse said.

Cruse expressed that he hoped students would have at least one takeaway from the speakers that they can introduce into their own lives. He said that the speakers came from a variety of backgrounds and that all of them have turned out to be very successful. He wants students to reflect on this and use this as a stepping stone towards their own success.

He also concluded that if the trip were to go well, then he would love to take future freshman and be able to take all of the boys, not just a select group.

To shine more light on the girls’ program, it was very different from the boys’. According to Chaney, the program focused on career opportunities in the community for women that were led by women.

“The program is designed to allow female students to be able to explore careers and opportunities in the community led by other female leaders that occupy a variety of careers. The Hardin County Schools Board of Education promoted this program, so that meant all freshman girls at Central Hardin, John Hardin, and North Hardin had the opportunity to attend the event,” Chaney explained.

And just like Cruse, Chaney also hoped that the girls would gain something from the experience.

“It’s important for girls to see other females in the workforce. Especially those careers that young girls may not consider or think they can do, but they definitely can. It can be hard to see yourself in a position if those people don’t look like you. This event created opportunities for our girls to see just that. It allowed our students to be brave, ask questions, have hands-on experience, and listen to others’ stories; ultimately creating an impact on their future,” she shared.

Chaney also wishes that the event will improve and grow so future students have the opportunity to explore a variety of careers and gain knowledge.

Girls listening to a few of the female leaders.

Now that the intent and purpose for the programs have been established, it’s time to take a look at some of the freshman’s thoughts about the trip.

Freshman Etta Creps, Tori McClarity, and Jonathan Fitts all shared their opinions. While the girls seemed to have had more positive views, Fitts didn’t find it as captivating. They first talked about whether or not they found the trip beneficial and what they learned from their experience.

“I think in some aspects it was, but I know a lot of people got put in career options that they didn’t sign up for. We learned a lot about basic entrepreneurship skills and that just because you can focus on one career doesn’t mean that you stick with those skills, you can do multiple things,” Creps said.

“Yes, we learned a lot of new information, mostly that a lot of careers go with each other. The career options I signed up for weren’t exactly the ones on the list, but at the same time they coincided with each other,” McClarity shared.

“Not really, because nobody really got the gist of what they were saying. It wasn’t very organized. They mostly talked about the topic of leadership,” Fitts stated.

All three of the students said that they had enjoyed the trip overall, but it’s quite interesting that Creps and McClarity had more positive remarks than Fitts did. Perhaps Girl’s Incorporated is better situated than Man Up? Or maybe it was just his own individual experience? Either way, it’s good to finally have some clarity about the trip and why it was so important.

With that being said, it’s curious to think about what other ideas that the school may have in mind for the freshman, as well as the rest of the grades. It’s exciting to ponder about what their next move might be and what wondrous places students might get to discover.