At Blue Ridge School, we believe it’s important to offer nontraditional outdoor activities along with our competitive team sports. The BRS Outdoor Program takes advantage of our location nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering more than 10 miles of trails through wooded foothills. The program gives boys a chance to learn to mountain bike, canoe, fish, ski, hunt, and work as a team.
The afternoon Outdoor Program is offered during the fall, winter, and spring trimesters. Both on-campus and off-campus activities emphasize team building and respect for the environment. Activities feature low- and high- ropes challenges, hiking, mountain biking, trail building and maintenance, rock climbing (indoor and outdoor), rappelling, canoeing, caving, ultimate frisbee, disc golf and more. The fall season focuses on training for a variety of adventure races - e.g. the annual Brokenback Challenge, Bacon Holler Hustle Duathlon and culminates with the Michaux Team Challenge in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The winter provides access to Wintergreen Resort for skiing and snowboarding. The spring adds increased opportunities for paddling local rivers and fly fishing for native trout.
The Outdoorsmen Program provides an opportunity for boys to learn the skills it takes to survive in the outdoors – skills ranging from building a fire to learning to shoot arrows and rifles to learning to hunt. Students learn about the natural environment and our place in nature.
The Outdoorsmen Program encompasses the skills needed to navigate in the woods and to hunt correctly and safely. The boys begin in the fall learning basic orienteering and map reading along with deer behavior and tracking skills. They also work out to build up strength and fitness. Then they master archery, followed by weekly training and practice on the rifle range. Both archery and shooting require similar skills: patience, discipline, and the ability to focus. The boys learn to focus on their stance, their breathing and how to hold either their rifle or bow – both of which are physically strenuous.
The Mountain Bike program is an afternoon sport in both the fall and spring trimesters. Along with training climbs on the nearby gravel roads and trail maintenance days, the team rides on the amazing trail network on campus. Each season the team competes in several races including the NICA series in the fall and the Virginia Race series in the spring.
For photos of many Outdoor Program activities, click here.
The Groves Family Legacy Tuition Program honors Robert W. “Bobby” Groves III ’67 and his family. Bobby and his wife Anne were the first alumni parents to enroll a child at BRS. Their son Billy graduated in 1995 and their nephews Johnson and Robert Stevens were equally successful here, graduating in 2003 and 2006, respectively.
Blue Ridge is incredibly proud of this legacy and for the sterling example that Bobby and his family have set.