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.



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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! 

Kayaking and Canoeing: 

Join us for a weekend of kayaking and canoeing. We’ll start in the SBC pool, fitting you in a kayak, teaching you how to wet exit, T-rescue and necessary strokes to successfully maneuver your watercraft! We’ll then take our skills to the river! We will paddle a section of the beautiful James River. Participants will gain experience reading the water and identifying water features. We’ll practice ferrying, and peeling in and out of eddies. Before the day ends you’ll navigate your way down Balcony Falls! This is a beginner friendly trip. We’ll provide you with all the gear you’ll need! 


Skiing and Snowboarding:


Head to Wintergreen resort with SBC Outdoors to have fun in the snow and ski or snowboard! Friday evenings throughout the spring semester. The cost is $35 for students ($45 for guests) and includes a lift ticket, ski gear rental, and helmet. The Mandatory Information meeting is the Monday preceding the trip at 7 pm in the Outdoor Program Office. 

Galentines Brunch and Climbing:

Join SBC Outdoors for brunch at Market on Main followed by indoor rock climbing at Rise Up! For an explanation on what exactly Galentines Day is, check out this link!


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. The mandatory informational meeting is 4/11 at 7 pm.


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 mandatory informational meeting for this trip is scheduled for 3/28 at 7 pm. 



Have you ever thought about how much "stuff" you really need to keep yourself happy and comfortable? Join us for our backpacking trip to have a great time with only as much stuff as you can carry on your back! Backpacking is physically challenging, but TONS of fun! We'll have great views, good food, supporting community, and make countless memories on this trip.



Intermediate Caving:


Wanna channel your Indiana Jones? Come caving with us and explore the depths of the earth. Outdoor Program instructors, with the help of an experienced caver, 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! AJust a sense of adventure. Make sure you sign up in the Outdoor Program office and attend the Mandatory Informational Meeting! You must have been caving with us before in order to attend this trip.


Outing Cabin Certification:

Want to get away for the weekend, but don't have a car?? Hike to the Outing Cabin! Once you are certified by the Outdoor Program, you will be able to rent the cabin any time and get away for however long you need! Take a friend with you or spend some alone time in nature! The certification process will being on Saturday, October 24, at 3 pm. 




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