Every third and fourth former attends a ropes course challenge day at Woodberry’s Challenge Course. Led by student Ropes Course Instructors — selected through a rigorous process and extensively trained to handle the responsibilities of leading groups and ensuring safety — the boys participate in low ropes challenge activities and tackle climbing the Alpine Tower and the Carolina Climbing Wall. At the end of the day, boys have bonded with classmates, learned problem-solving techniques, and gained the confidence that comes from challenging themselves and succeeding.
With both Varsity and JV teams offered, Competitive Indoor Climbing challenges boys mentally and physically. Woodberry's indoor climbing gym, located on the lower level of the Leonard Dick Memorial Gymnasium, gets renewed frequently to challenge team members with new routes. Team members work on strength, flexibility, and technique so they can match their skills in "comps" at climbing facilities around the region against other teams in the Washington Area Interscholastic Climbing League.
There is no substitute for an experience that takes boys out into nature, says Nolan LaVoie, Woodberry's director of outdoor programs and leadership development. That's why every fourth former embarks on a four day backpacking trip led by Wilderness Adventures in Eagle's Landing, Virginia. The expedition promotes class bonding while engaging boys in the transformative experiences. Rising IV form students may click here for additional information.
Mountain bikers train both on nearby dedicated mountain biking trails and a team-built pump track for races against other teams in the Virginia High School Mountain Bike Series. The team competes in both the fall and spring. Sporting custom biking jerseys, boys learn the techniques and get the conditioning they need to shave time off their rides and have fun out on the trail.
Woodberry offers 1,200 beautiful acres surrounded by the seven-mile Perimeter Trail, bordered by the Rapidan River, and shaded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. Opportunities for outdoor education and leadership development abound
This fall and spring afternoon activity lets students get outside to enjoying hiking, fishing climbing, paddling, and skeet shooting. Participants might take a day hike along Perimeter Trail or go on an outing to nearby Shenandoah National Park. After learning kayaking safety skills in the indoor or outdoor pool, they take their boats out on the Rapidan's smooth waters or the Rappahannock's rapids. And climbing, belaying, and knot-tying are learned on rock faces both on and off campus. The program makes great use of Woodberry's 1,200-acre campus and world-class facilities.
Some boys spend their fall at the Julius C. Smith III '40 Sporting Clays Field and Pavilion as members of the skeet team. With friendly intrasquad competition, safety, and skill improvement as team goals, skeet has been an enduring tradition at Woodberry. Members of the skeet team also participate in the WFS Outdoors program.
Containing 160 titles and housed in the William H. White Library, Woodberry’s Adventure Literary Collection offers boys a chance to experience outdoor adventure through literature. A bookplate inside each book reads, “Gift of Herb Kincey, WFS class of 1953; To inspire readers to take on physical challenges, to seek out adventure, and to explore wild places.”
Third and fourth formers interested in making a positive leadership contribution to Woodberry's outdoor education program are invited to apply for funding to participate in a summer wilderness-focused expedition.