The Covenant School recognizes that learning occurs in many settings and that it is sound educational practice to permit students to take advantage of unique and special opportunities which present themselves outside the classroom. To that end, all Lower School classes take field trips throughout the year. These trips have clear educational purposes and are related to units of study occurring in the classrooms.
Covenant’s fifth and sixth graders enjoy a retreat each fall to an area camp. The theme for the retreat is “Servant Leadership” or “Leading by Example” and our fifth and sixth graders return to school excited about their responsibility as the oldest students in the Lower School. Along with discussion and team building activities around our theme, there is plenty of time for fun, too! Watermarks Camp, located just outside of Charlottesville, has fantastic facilities. Activities include swimming, canoeing, paddle boating, rope swing, volleyball, skits, campfire chats, and singing.
Rockbridge, a two-day, overnight, annual retreat allows Upper School students to ‘bond’ as a student body and discuss topics such as leadership, relationships, and spiritual life. The entire Upper School (faculty, staff, and students) benefit from this event which nurtures a strong sense of community throughout the school.
In addition, many trips are scheduled each year, often combining academic study with fun. Seventh graders spend two days in Baltimore, and eighth graders participate in a similar trip to Washington, D.C. Eleventh graders go on a class trip to a college each spring with the purpose to see an official college admission presentation and campus tour. This outing helps students identify what to look for in a campus visit so they are best prepared to visit colleges on their own.
An annual trip to New York City for the entire ninth grade class provides three days and two nights of touring and sightseeing. Students take Amtrak from Charlottesville and stay at the renowned Roosevelt Hotel, located in the heart of Manhattan – right next door to Grand Central Station. While in New York, the students follow a pre-selected, themed itinerary of their choosing. Some itinerary themes focus on sports & entertainment (tours of Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and NBC Studios), the fashion industry (tours of boutiques, visits to Macy’s), historical sights (Ellis Island, UN Headquarters), and cultural sights (The Village, The Museum of Modern Art.) Students attend a Broadway show or professional athletic event (Yankees or Knicks – schedule depending) on one of the evenings. The entire group also visits The Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Times Square Church, and the Brooklyn Bridge.