From Oak Hill Academy’s Director of Student Affairs…
We have found that, overwhelmingly, the students who are most successful at Oak Hill Academy are the students who are plugged in, invested, and active in our boarding school community. One of the best ways for students to get involved in campus life is through extracurricular activities and clubs. Sometimes, this takes a little nudging on our part.
When left to our own devices, we humans often choose the path of least resistance, and the path of maximum comfort. I admit, it is far easier to come home in the evenings and plop down on the couch with a bowl of ice cream and watch The Office reruns, rather than get out in the yard with my three kids and build a fort or kick around a soccer ball.
When given the choice, students often spend too much time in their rooms, on their electronic devices, apart from the campus community, and uninvolved. In the past, we have suggested, encouraged, and pushed involvement – this year we are requiring it, in the form of a new student activity initiative.
Oak Hill Academy is situated in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. We have a professional faculty and staff with diverse interests and talents, and we offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor opportunities for student involvement. This year, students are required to join an extracurricular club, activity, or athletic team, which will meet a minimum of once per week. We have a range of seasonal athletic teams, and offer a wide selection of clubs, including: mountain biking, chess, debate, theater, youth group, community service, equestrian, Boy Scouts, dance, fishing, hiking, music, art, astronomy, and praise band. Students will have the opportunity to sign up for an activity, and try out new offerings throughout the year.
Not only is this a great way to get students out and active, but it also allows them to form relationships with faculty and students in a new setting, outside the structure of the classroom or dormitory.
My encouragement to students this year is to try something new. Step outside of your comfort zone, and take a risk. This year, our theme at Oak Hill is “Opportunity.” Oak Hill Academy is an opportunity to have a fresh start and set goals for the future. Participating in activities and clubs on campus offers opportunity to grow and learn, and opportunity to be a part of our close-knit boarding school community. And who knows? Your student might even learn to ride a horse, spot a comet, weave a basket, perform on stage, or catch a trout.
Director of Student Affairs
Oak Hill Academy