The Sweet Briar Outdoor Program


The Sweet Briar Outdoor Program (SBC Outdoors) strives to create outdoor recreational opportunities that foster personal growth, responsibility, leadership and environmental sensitivity through experiential learning in small group settings. Check out the trail map and all the activities on campus as well as those trips off campus.

The Sweet Briar Outdoor Program strives to:

  • Create opportunities for students to have meaningful interactions among peers, staff and faculty
  • Make meaningful curriculum connections through relevant experiences outside of the classroom
  • Offer programs and activities that encourge morally and ethically responsible behavior, sportsmanship and cooperation
  • Educate students in the value of leisure time through development of lifetime skills, leadership and the practice of wellness
  • Teach value and conservation of the environment through Leave No Trace Wilderness Ethics


Every Wednesday, come Indoor Rock Climbing or Kayaking in the pool with us!

Indoor Rock Climbing: 


Rise Up Climbing Gym offers several routes that cater to everyone from beginner to advanced. Come and build your skills as you challenge yourself to the next level. Want to try a different challenge? Rise Up also has several bouldering walls. The Outdoor Program instructors are there to teach, encourage, and guide you as you climb on. There isn't a mandatory informational meeting for this trip, but there is a refundable $5 fee to hold your place on the trip, which will be returned to you when you show up for the trip.


Kayaking Pool Sessions: 


Whether you are interested in kayaking for the first time or perfecting your hand roll, this is the place for you! Bring a swimsuit or clothes that can get wet. The Outdoor Program will provide you with all the necessary gear. Just show up to the pool at 7:30 and get ready to have fun!


Here are some of our unique trips this Spring! 



Want to ski or snowboard up at wintergreen?! Never been before?! No problem!! Our outdoors program can rent you gear, you will get a lift ticket, rentals and a beginner lesson! Sounds sweet right? Okay so first step is you need to swing by the office and sign up. BRING MONEY AND PAY TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT. Since we only have a limited number of vans we are very much first come first serve. Second step: You need to attend the mandatory informational meeting. Third step: Show up in the office on Friday at 3:00 ready to go! We get to the mountain around 4:30 and we stay on the mountain until 10:00. Expect to be back by midnight on Friday. If for some reason you can't make the information meeting let us know and we can work something out. Hope to see you there!







Wanna channel your Indiana Jones? Come caving with us and explore the depths of the Earth. Outdoor Program Instructors and Mike Hayslett, resident Master Naturalist, will lead participants into and through the depths of the earth. We wil explore cave formations, ecology and maybe even get a close look at a bat! Absolutely no experience is necessary for this beginner trip. Just a sense of adventure. Make sure you sign up in the Outdoors Program Office and attend the Mandatory Informational Meeting!


Hang Gliding:



Come have a world class experience as you glide over the massive sand dunes of Jockey’s Ridge State Park in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The instructors at Kitty Hawk Kites will walk you through ground school and pre flight check before letting you take off into the wind. Join the Outdoor Program for two nights of camping in tents with shower/bathroom access and one day of awesome hang gliding. Make sure you sign up in the Outdoors Program Office and attend the Mandatory Informational Meeting!


Fly Fishing:



Come join the Outdoor Program as we head to The Cascades in the beautiful mountains around The Homestead for fly-fishing! There are beginner lessons for those who have never fly-fished before, but those who are experienced can head straight to the stream. We will enjoy our lunch by the stream, check out the falls, enjoy the mountain air, and maybe even see a river otter as we cast out our lines.

Bring your swim suits because afterwards we’ll drive to the Jefferson Pools, a hot spring where Thomas Jefferson would go to relax. Who could ask for a more relaxing day?

The trip includes your day fishing license, gear, the Fly Fishing Clinic for Beginners, and Jefferson Pool admittance, plus transportation. Lunch is provided by Prothro. Don't forget to attend the Mandatory Informational Meeting in the Outdoor Program Office in order to reserve you spot!


Snow Hike:



For this unique winter trip, we always hope for snowy weather! This trip is dependent on enough snow to shut down the Parkway, when the Parkway is shut down we then go out to it in order to have an awesome, snowy, and social hike! Joe Malloy leads the trip with his dogs and there is plenty of room to spread out and get to know everyone on the hike!

This trip will fill up fast, so make sure to stop by the Outdoor Program Office and deposit $5.00 in order to save your spot! Also, make sure you attend the Mandatory Informational Meeting.


Reflective Retreat: 




1. A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security.
a. A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
b. A period of group withdrawal for prayer, meditation, or study

This trip began as a day hike, then turn into an overnight, and each year participants have asked for more! This year, join John Casteen, Creative Writing Professor, and Outdoor Program Instructors on a three-day, two night retreat in Shenandoah National Park. We will be staying in beautiful cabin nestled in the woods where we'll make stew together and spend our days hiking, connecting to place, reflecting and writing. This trip is open to writers and non-writers. Don't miss out, the trip fills up fast, so make sure you reserve your spot by signing up in the Outdoor Program Office and attending the Mandatory Informational Meeting!


Go to our Trip Schedule in order to check out all of our trips and their dates!