By Danielle Church
Killeen Daily Herald

More than 260 students crammed the halls of Ellison High School in Killeen Friday for freshman orientation.

There are 2,915 incoming ninth-graders projected to enroll at the Killeen Independent School District for the 2011-12 school year, slightly surpassing last year’s enrollment of 2,904.

F.E.E.T. Camp, or Freshman Entering Eagle Territory, is an annual ice-breaking day to help ease the nerves of the soon-to-be high school students.

“It gets them acting silly,” said Marisa Nave, a history teacher at Ellison, who is the student council sponsor in charge of this year’s event.

She said activities such as, “The Human Knot” and “Two Truths and a Lie,” get the teens “interactive with one another” and helps them “make friends.”

“So many ninth-graders are so scared (coming into high school),” she said. “We do this so they’ll be less nervous.”

The event started with orientation for students and their parents in the auditorium. From there, upper classmen volunteers took the new freshmen on a tour of the campus and got them involved in other activities.

Ellison senior Kyle Gonzales said he never got the chance to participate in freshman orientation when he began attending the school three years ago. “I wish someone (would have) showed me around,” he said. “It’s really fun to have a nice environment where you could meet everyone.”

Incoming freshman Zachary Wright, 14, participated in an activity called “Do It,” where about 20 to 30 students stood in a circle and were invited by volunteers such as Gonzales to dance around and let loose in the center.

“I’m kind of nervous, but excited at the same time,” Wright said.

Incoming freshman Gillian Bolle also attended orientation but didn’t participate in the events. She and her father were trying to square away some last minute things before classes start.

(I’m) not really nervous,” Bolle said, explaining that Ellison is nothing new to her because her sisters have all been students there.

Freshman orientation continues today at Killeen High School. The first day of classes is Aug. 22.