Updated: Jun 13, 2022
Courtesy Photo- Staff
Sign posted to promote Chem Free!
This year’s Chem Free will take place on June 10 after graduation. Chem Free is an overnight, chemical-free excursion for seniors run by parent volunteers, as a last hurrah together as a grade. This event will involve lots of free food, a night time cruise, activities like human foosball, rock climbing, vr and to end the night off a hypnotist.
The planning for Chem Free begins with the parent volunteers and Administrative Assistant Debbie Krapf.
“Because it’s a student activity, the events that the Chem Free committee does during the year as a fundraiser have to start here. There are forms they have to fill out because we always have to know what our students are involved in,” Krapf said. “We cooperate and certainly want the best success for Chem Free because it is all about the kids and their graduation.”
The event's main goal is to keep kids safe on a night when otherwise they might not be. They hope to provide them with a really fun and unforgettable experience.
“What we do is we have one night where we say the kids are not going to do any chemicals so drinking, drugs, smoking anything,” Julie Simone, a parent volunteer said. “It’s to keep them safe the night of graduation and offer an overnight that is fun for them because it is the last hurrah of their time at Winnacunnet.”
School resource Officer James Deluca will be checking bags as students enter the building for Chem Free
“I check bags throughout the night, what I am checking for is things that people aren't allowed to bring such as medication unless it is pre-approved or any outside food or drinks,” DeLuca said. “Really we are checking to make sure no one is sneaking in anything that could ruin that idea of having a Chem Free night. I have never found anything troubling in nature in all my eight years of going.”
Chem Free will take place right after graduation and will run until 6 am.
“After graduation they will come in and get changed for the night then they come in the dining hall for dinner,” Simone said. “From here they will hop on the bus and go to Portsmouth to go on the Thomas Slatin for a boat cruise.”
After this they will get back on the bus and be driven to UNH.
“At UNH there is a bunch more food and activities like glow in the dark yoga, rock climbing, henna tattoos, video games, human foosball, basketball, there are a ton of things for the kids to do all night and then we end with a hypnosis.” Simone said.
Every year parent volunteers put in an immense amount of work to make sure this night will be one the seniors really enjoy.
“I don't even have words to describe the parent volunteers, they are rock stars. They give everything for the kids, and they have done a wonderful job to make sure that this year especially coming out of covid they have made sure this is going to be a wonderful experience for the seniors.” Debbie Krapf said.
Officer Deluca said he completely agrees “the real heroes of this story are the organizers;the parents. It’s outstanding that the parents spend so much time so that the kids can have one final go together.”
Simone said she is really looking forward to this night and providing a great night for the seniors.
“For me I’m very excited because I had a 2020 graduate who’s Chem Free got canceled,” Simone said. “So I’m just really excited that there's something we can do and offer the kids that is just a fun night to celebrate with them cause that’s what this is all about.”
To sign up a senior must fill out the permission form found in their daily emails from Krapf. There is also a $20 fee. Both of these should be submitted to the main office.
“All seniors I would highly recommend coming if they can get their registration form as possible,” Simone said. “They should really think about coming because it is a great night and they will really enjoy it.”
Krapf said she agrees that this is an unforgettable night for the seniors.
“Chem Free unites students even more. People that didn’t even know each other are connected through these activities,” Krapf said. “All the people the students meet, ones they have gone through four years of school with but never had that communications with.”