that the trip binds the class together, fullyincorporating fourth-form new boys intothe class that started to form the prior yearon Turner Hall and Taylor Hall.
And because Dean of Students NolanLaVoie, who’s overseen the expedition foreight years, works hard to split the classup into groups representing a wide rangeof sports teams, hometowns, and outdoorexperience, even old boys who’ve alreadyspent a year together at Woodberry candiscover new connections and friendshipswhile on the expedition.
“The best part for me this year was
canoeing,” said Jack Thomas, from
Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “My
partner that afternoon for canoeing was
Jordy [Burnette of Atlanta], who I didn’t
really know before we were in the same
group on the expedition, even though we
were both at Woodberry last year.”
Now, almost twenty years after the fourth-form expedition began, Woodberry isexpanding the expedition program toall four grades. A third-form expeditionlaunched in September 2019, andexpeditions for the fifth and sixth forms arein development, with plans to begin thosetrips in September 2020.
The fifth-form expedition will use theWoodberry campus as a launching pointfor intensive academic experiences, whichmight cover topics such as a detailed studyof nearby Civil War battlefields, an arthistory course that makes use of museumsin Washington, DC, and Richmond, or aseminar on the US Constitution that bringsboys to Montpelier, the nearby home ofPresident James Madison.
Sixth formers will work with theAppalachia Service Project, which providescritical home repairs for people living inthe Appalachian regions of Virginia, WestVirginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Thefour expeditions will tap the diverse skills,experiences, and interests of the entireWoodberry faculty and give them uniqueopportunities to work alongside students ineach form.
Rev. Tyler Montgomery, Woodberry’s
As Woodberry’s expedition programgrows, each year will feature uniqueopportunities.
Connecting to Woodberry’s valuesand each other. Location: CampHorizons, Harrisonburg, VA
Connecting new boys and old boys.
Connecting with the natural world.
Location: Wilderness Adventure atEagle Landing, New Castle, VA
Connecting with intellect. Short,intensive academic experiences onsubjects not easily covered in theWoodberry curriculum. Location:Woodberry’s campus, with day trips tonearby sites relevant to the courses
Connecting with others throughservice. Location: Various sitesthroughout Appalachia
chaplain and assistant to the headmasterfor student wholeness, is coordinating thedevelopment of the new programs. He saideach expedition will have a unique flavorbut ultimately focus on helping boys builddeep connections.
“All the data say we are hardwired toconnect with other people and to form thoseconnections around things with meaning andpurpose,” Tyler says. “But connections can’tbe forced, so what our Expedition Week doesis turn the heat up by providing experiencesthat make connections more likely.”