In addition to Crescite Trips which have taken our students backpacking on the AT, boating in Florida, climbing in Moab, mountaineering in Ecuador, snowshoeing in Vermont, and riding in Texas, all Heights students have the opportunity to participate in a number of outdoor adventures.
Our young men of the valley enjoy a camping trip on the beach. Bonfires and time in the surf provide an ideal environment for the end of the year.
Our fifth graders travel into the mountains of Maryland for camping, hiking, and gorgeous vistas. The final stop on the trip is a beautiful waterfall.
Our Sixth graders camp in tree-houses in a historic site that they have studied during the academic year. After studying ante-bellum America in history, and local trees, birds, and minerals, this location is a perfect outdoor capstone to their indoor learning.
Seventh graders trek out to the seashore once again for three days of sand-castles, playing in the surf, and soaking in nature. They have campfires with their teachers, explore the the local nature center, and enjoy the company of the incredible wild animals present at their site.
Before our eighth graders can consider themselves truly ready for high school, they must successfully navigate a five-mile white water stretch of one of the best rivers on the East Coast. With teachers and guides, they test the limits of their strength and endurance with their closest friends from Middle School right in their raft!
Freshmen begin their time in the Upper School before the academic year even begins. The entire class, along with the Headmaster, Assistant Headmaster, Upper School Head, Chaplain, and four Core Teachers, travel to a beautiful retreat center in the Appalachian Mountains for two days of talks, sports, prayer, and preparation for high school.
Sophomores step into the wilds of the Shennendoah, camping and climbing mountains that put their resolution and fitness to the test.
The capstone of our outdoor program, the Junior Trip is an incredible five day odyssey during which our rising seniors run, bike, canoe, and, finally, undertake a half-mile open water swim. The trip is riddled with history and meaning, and culminates at the destination of the open water swim with a Class Mass, cookout, and final night of camping. Not all of our juniors are able to complete the trip as designed, but boys are encouraged to do their very best. The entire class comes together at the end to celebrate individual and collective accomplishments.
The Senior Trip takes boys back to where they began their high school days in the Appalachian Mountains. Here seniors will finalize their college applications, and begin their preparation for college with talks from the Headmaster and others. It is a tremendous way to end one’s time at The Heights, and, as expected, the stories around the bonfire are endless. “Remember that time when Mr. So-and-So made us….”
Many of our students are natural outdoorsmen. Many are not. Most fall in a spectrum somewhere in between. But all of our boys grow by giving these opportunities their best, and by helping classmates along in the path to fortitude and virtue.