Hi, I'm Joey Rea and I am the scholarship director for The Catcher Club. I am dedicated to promoting the phenomenal Pencey Prep school as well as enriching the literary experience of high schoolers by discussing the wonderful symbolism and relatable themes of J.D. Salinger's classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye.
Pencey Prep is proud to be one of the country’s top English major schools, located in Agerstown, Pennsylvania. Its primary focus is on enriching the minds of scholars by providing in depth analyses on some of the most famous, classic books ever known to the world. Its main objective is to produce fine, young men who have a passion for the literary arts. Pencey specializes in studying various literary techniques such as the type and use of language, as well as different styles of figurative language. A unanimous favorite novel analyzed every year by the students at Pencey is The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, where scholars discuss multiple symbols, and literary elements of the novel.
This famous coming of age novel has had great impact on the school. Pencey students have a strong passion for sports. Everybody in Agerstown knows of the famous Pencey football games against Pencey’s notorious rival, Saxon Hall. The game is brought to life at the sight of the school mascot, the Agerstown Mighty Ducks. The mascot costume has been the same for one hundred and twenty three years, the same costume used the first year Pencey was established. Despite many the many suggestions and proposals by the school board, attempting to replace the costume the student body denies it time and time again, as they dislike change and feel that the original costume is good luck. Pencey also has a strong baseball program. The team is the state champion because of the star captain. He is the catcher on the team and his leader ship encourages all the athletes work together like brothers. The distinct team uniforms can be spotted instantly, with the players wearing their bight, red hats. These baseball caps symbolize their unity and connection to each other not only as a team, but also as friends who are as close as brothers. It will be a lasting emblem that will always keep them connected to their past, even once they graduate. Other sports groups include soccer, swimming, basketball, track, volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, archery and even fencing.
Pencey Prep is also famous for its end of semester celebrations. Anyone in any grade is invited to attend the field trip to New York City. Here, students roam the great city, visiting many famous sites. Many enjoy watching theater plays at Radio City Music Hall, ice skating at Rockefeller Center, and roaming central park. Here, many of the students visit the central park pond and have fun rollerblading around the famous duck’s lagoon. However, a favorite site every year continues to be the Museum of Natural History. Almost every student gathers here at some point during the day to spend time with their peers and enjoy the expanse of history and knowledge around them.
Even more special than the end of the year field trip to New York, is our farewell senior night carnival. Here, every senior gathers for one final night of fun and enjoyment at their beloved school before they graduate the following day. Here, the primary attraction is the giant carrousel rented out for the festival. Over two stories tall, it is modeled after the carrousel in New York from The Catcher in the Rye. The seniors have adopted a tradition that they all ride the carrousel, as it goes around and around. This symbolizes that while they love the environment and innocence of the school, they are ready to graduate and become part of the adult world. Just as the carrousel keeps moving, and just as Holden finally kept moving, they need to keep moving on with their life.
While the students’ idol and favorite protagonist, Holden Caulfield portrayed a very cynical attitude and personality, evident through his dialogue and excessive cursing, everyone at Pencey is kind, pleasant, and optimistic. Rather than influencing the scholars of Pencey to be pessimistic and sarcastic, Holden has taught them the dangers of being cynical in modern society. Because he at first refused to let go his past and the innocence of childhood, and regarded the adult world with contempt, Holden had almost suffered from a terrible “fall” that would have left him forever embittered to the world. Because every student had read and reread that fateful conflict, they embrace the world and its challenges with a positive attitude, and help each other when they make mistakes, all in order to be successful, content individuals, and to avoid any kind of terrible “fall”.
Because of such a resounding success and positive influence The Catcher in the Rye has had on the school, Pency Prep has partnered with the organization known as The Catcher Club, est. 2011. This scholar branch of the organization is devoted to taking all the experiences offered at Pencey and adapting them for high school students. The club travels the country, giving presentations to schools on the themes, symbols and morals of the classic novel, and their application to real life, as well as promoting Pencey Prep, and encouraging enrollment. The Catcher Club’s vision is to enrich the lives of high school scholars, by providing relatable insight on J.D. Salinger’s world renowned novel.
To schedule a Pencey presentation for your school, please contact Joey, Scholarship Director. If you would like to schedule a visit from another one of our branches, please contact one of our chairpersons, Romi, Travel Agent, Raymond, Sports Associate, Scott, Game Designer, or Shelby, Youth Consultant.