Chelsea Academy Students, Faculty, and Parents Take to the Hills

On Friday, September 15th, Chelsea students and faculty, along with some hardy parents, took to the hills for their annual Fall Hike and House Competitions. Lower and Middle School students headed up the White Oak Canyon Trail, in Syria, VA, with its dazzling waterfall and refreshing swimming holes, while Upper School students took on the challenge of scaling Old Rag Mountain.

Every fall since its founding in 2008, Chelsea has swapped the classroom for the hiking trail. According to Head of School Jonathan Brand, “Encouraging an appreciation of nature and spirit of adventure is embedded in our mission, and we are blessed to have so many glorious natural resources at close hand, as well as a student body and faculty eager for the challenge and camaraderie of hiking together.”

One highlight of the day was a brief encounter with a fellow hiker on the Old Rag Trail visiting from Bulgaria. After admiring the students’ energy and enthusiasm on the trail and learning they were all from the same school, he remarked with a smile, “Ah, mountains, not computers!”

After the hike, the groups met up at one of the Chelsea family’s homes near Sperryville for a series of spirited competitions among the four houses. Each house worked together in activities ranging from a crabwalk relay to a tug-of-war, with plenty of cheering from the sidelines. The evening wrapped up with a barbecue and bonfire attended by parents and siblings.

At the end of the evening, as she walked from the bonfire to her family’s car, one young student was overheard telling another, “I didn’t think I could do it, but now I am so glad I tried.”