Making Their Way Through Gables’ Halls: Class of 2026 Attend AOF’s Freshman Camp


Matthew Castano

The board of Academy of Finance prepares to acquaint incoming freshmen with all that AOF has to offer at Gables.

Angelina Morffi, News Editor

For many, the idea of learning their way around a new school can seem daunting. To prevent nervous jitters and nail bites, the Academy of Finance annually hosts Freshman Camp. From June 13 to June 14, students gathered in the 6000 cafeteria to meet peers, talk to their future teachers and familiarize themselves with Gables’ halls.

Beginning Monday morning, the Class of 2026 awaited presentations, games and conversations. After signing in, Mr. Ball-Llovera, AOF’s lead teacher, informed students what the AOF curriculum holds for them through PowerPoints. With a look into the future, incoming freshmen were introduced to what their role would look like in forthcoming years.

Carrying on with the day, AOF board members took students through a tour around the school. Passing through the language halls, the auditorium and the baseball field, no corner was left unseen.

“I remember my Freshman Camp vividly. Though the school felt really large, I knew my way around by the end of my tour. I wanted to make sure to do the same when showing the freshmen around Gables. By the look on their faces, I could see they felt more comfortable after the tour than when they walked in,” senior Mia Cabrera said.

Upon returning to the 6000 cafeteria, students prepared for tie-dying. After receiving their AOF shirts, they crumpled their new attire, securing each wrinkle with a rubber band to ensure a colorful tie-dyed shirt. With bottles in hand, the freshmen were ready to squeeze the dye onto their belongings.

Following the clean-up process, students were then ready to play a few rounds of “Head Shoulders Cone”, an AOF staple. When “head” was announced, students placed their hands on their head— same with knees and shoulders. When “cone” was shouted, students raced over to grab the cone placed in front of them. Winners were crowned AOF’s Best Player amongst the Class of ‘26.

Concluding with lunch, students sat with their new friends to enjoy the rest of their day. They chatted away with drinks and pizza in hand. To exit, students interchanged goodbyes until the following day.

On the final day of freshman camp, students returned and sat next to their peers as they listened to the instructions of their following activity: a scavenger hunt. With the help of clues, freshmen were tasked with the challenge of finding letters placed throughout the school. Running through the football field and charging towards the pavilion, the competitive Class of ‘26 gathered letters that spelled out “Big Money Ballers”. The first to arrive back to the 6000 cafeteria with the complete phrase reigned over the others, earning them celebratory cupcakes.

Upon her arrival, Ms. Depaola, Interact’s sponsor, led students into her classroom. After a series of presentations, she allowed incoming freshmen to execute the main principle of Interact: serving others. Racing for ten hours of community service, Depaola challenged students to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that would later be donated to the Camillus House.

“This activity was successful in our eyes as we were able to make a lot of sandwiches to donate and interact with future members,” senior Sam Morales said.

To finalize their summer stay at Gables, students ate popcorn chicken and drank lemonade in the same place they will buy lunch for the next four years. With goodbyes and many see you laters, the Class of 2026 signed off until the first day of their freshmen year.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • With the help of tour guides, incoming AOF students were led through the halls they’d spend the next four years at.

  • On the first day of freshmen camp, students prepared to color their soon-to-be tie-dyed shirts.

  • AOF held activities and games, such as “Head, Shoulders, Cone” that allowed students to compete against their future peers.

  • Volunteers and AOF board members, Sebastian Montoya, Maria Odio, Angelina Milan and Audrey Noval (left to right) assist in handing out slices of pizza to attendees.

  • In groups, freshmen were introduced to the fields and courts where competitions and sports games come to life.