BCA’s Warm Welcome— Hello, Class of 2026!

Christine Zeo and Clara Barsoum

To welcome Bergen County Academies’ incoming freshmen (Class of 2026), the Parent Partnership Organization (PPO) held a picnic inviting families and students to showcase BCA’s various clubs, activities, and organizations. Despite the hot weather, a record-breaking 1,600 people RSVPed for this long held BCA tradition, reigniting the tradition for the first time in two years. 

Caption: The Bergen Tech Athletics Department tent showcased the accolades of the BT sports teams. Photographs are property of the BCA Yearbook and cannot be copied or taken without permission from BCA Yearbook advisors. 

The event’s grand opening kicked off with performances from the concert and jazz bands, with songs including “You’re Welcome” from Moana and the main theme from Star Wars. The barbeque, featuring vegetarian options and Korean BBQ, also helped kick off the event thanks to the dedication of BCA parents. It was quick to attract not only incoming freshmen, but also their families, current students, and even teachers, who made special appearances.

The scorching heat certainly made a special appearance as well. Unfortunately, one student was carried out due to heat stroke. To help combat the record-breaking heat, the event provided hoses, ice bags, cold refreshments, and fans. The SPARK team, an organization committed to easing the transition into BCA, armed the incoming freshmen with water balloons to combat the heat in a fun way. 

Caption: Incoming freshmen gather around a SPARK member and participate in different icebreaker activities. Photographs are property of the BCA Yearbook and cannot be copied or taken without permission from BCA Yearbook advisors. 

The SPARK team was instrumental in orchestrating icebreakers and activities to make the picnic a more memorable event for the incoming freshmen. In addition to meeting other incoming freshmen, SPARK spent the afternoon playing games with the students. They were split into groups where they introduced themselves and played various games to better know who they were going to be spending the next four years with. 

“I was dying of heat but I could still feel the excitement and anticipation of my fellow peers and also the upperclassmen who were so enthusiastic to help me understand why the next four years of my life would be so incredible,” said Hemang Mittal, an incoming freshman. 

Moreover, various displays arranged in tents around the field welcomed students and parents alike. Before even the first day of school, students could explore, sign up, and interact with various clubs and sports teams. Edward Kang, an incoming freshman, stated that while walking around, he was able to gain unique insight into the culture and vibe of the school, as well as the different personalities of his peers. 

Ultimately, the PPO Picnic is further evidence of BCA’s return to normalcy. Once again, incoming BCA freshmen were able to experience club panels, band performances, SPARK ice breakers, and good food— the warm welcome they deserve . Next year, the upperclassmen will have the opportunity to help integrate the freshmen into BCA through programs like academy siblings or mentors. 

Clara Kim, a freshman in the visual academy at BCA has stated she cannot wait to meet the new talent and characters, as well as the different strengths they have to share with the BCA community.