Early ChildhoodStudents in the EC Division are introduced to the natural environment on the Heathwood campus through canoe rides on the pond and nature walks on the Weston Trail.
Lower SchoolLower School students engage with the PEAK program through special classroom experiences led by the PEAK staff, and after-school programs that introduce an exciting variety of adventure programming, including Adventure Nights and campus campouts.
All MS students take an Outdoor Education class each year. MS students also have the opportunity to climb, paddle, bike and camp through a rich series of adventure programs. MS Expeditions provides multi-day grade level trips that offer hands on components to the classroom curriculum.
Upper SchoolUS students may become involved in the PEAK Student Leadership program, serving as leaders and facilitators for PEAK programs that serve all age groups, including adults. Wilderness Explorations, an adventure-oriented outdoor education class, is offered as an elective class.
Experience the Learning
The PEAK Program is Heathwood Hall’s signature outdoor leadership and experiential education program. With curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in every academic division, PEAK gives Heathwood students hands-on opportunities in Leadership Development, Environmental Education and Stewardship, and Wilderness Exploration.
PEAK programs . . .
- promote an understanding and appreciation for the natural world,
- develop and enhance specific sets of outdoor and wilderness skills, including those associated with paddling, climbing, mountain biking, backpacking and Leave No Trace wilderness ethics,
- encourage positive and meaningful decision-making, communication, problem-solving, and team-building skills,
- expand self-imposed circles of comfort and ability by promoting safe opportunities for healthy risk-taking,
- inspire feelings of confidence, qualities of leadership, and a willingness to compromise,
- encourage social responsibility and engage the local community to improve the quality of life for others.
In addition to curriculum-based formal Outdoor Education classes, the PEAK Program offers after-school adventure programs, multi-day adventure outings and expeditions for Heathwood students, programs and events for special interest and non-profit groups, community education programs, corporate leadership training and team building programs, and summer camps and expeditions.
Stan Wood, Director
Stan Wood came to Heathwood in 1983 after graduating from the University of South Carolina. He worked with athletics at the school for 14 years, coaching a variety of sports including softball, basketball, football, and track. He helped initiate the track program at Heathwood, and his varsity boy's basketball teams won two state championships. He served as Director of Athletics from 1990-97. Under his leadership, the school added the cross country and swimming programs. He also helped the athletics program transition into the Charlotte division of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association and later into the South Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association (SCISA). In 1998, Stan stepped out of his role with athletics and established the PEAK Program for Leadership, Education and Adventure by creatively enhancing experiential education programs already in place at the school and by adding new programs that took advantage of the natural habitats found on the campus and the school's inherent commitment to providing opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Stan graduated from two immersion programs offered by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), has been an instructor for both the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association, is a Master SCUBA Diver and a certified Rescue Diver, and has been trained as a Wilderness First Responder. Stan regularly leads a wide variety of wilderness outings for all age levels through the PEAK program. He has also led outdoor-oriented and/or international trips through the Upper School Winterim program for the past 30 years, and has served as the director of that program since 2015. He also serves as the School's Director of Safety and Security, helping to ensure the implementation of safety and emergency preparedness plans throughout the campus.
Kelly Turbeville, '13, Associate Director
Kelly Turbeville joined the PEAK Program as Associate Director in the spring of 2017 after an early graduation with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education from Brevard College, where she was also a four-year letter winner in soccer. The innovative and immersive program at Brevard provided Kelly with numerous teaching and technical outdoor skills. In addition to her regular curriculum, Kelly participated in and planned two 21-day wilderness expeditions in North and South Carolina. This knowledge has transferred to her position with the PEAK Program seamlessly as she helps plan many of the program's weekend and week-long excursions. She is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, trained in basic first aid, and is a Leave No Trace Trainer. When she is not passing on her love of adventure to students at Heathwood, Kelly can be found skydiving, mountain biking, kayaking, or camping. She is a graduate of Heathwood Hall (class of '13), where she served as a valuable PEAK student-leader and played many sports including soccer, which she helped lead to a state championship in 2013.
Brice Spires, '09, PEAK Associate
Brice Spires has been part of the Heathwood community since he enrolled as a student in 1997. After graduating from Heathwood in 2009, Brice attended the University of South Carolina, graduating with a degree in History in 2013. Brice has been a part-time PEAK Associate since 2009, and has earned multiple certifications in Outdoor Education and Leadership, building on his experience as a Boy Scout who earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Brice became a full-time faculty member in 2015, teaching Middle School History and continuing his work with the PEAK program.
Elizabeth Grove, '95, PEAK Associate
Elizabeth Grove graduated from Heathwood in 1995, earned a BA in Secondary Education from Clemson University, and then her Masters in Counseling (Ed.S) from the University of South Carolina. Growing up on a farm and spending summers as a camper and counselor in the mountains of North Carolina helped her to develop a passion for camping, hiking, and all things related to water. Additionally, she gained valuable experience in rock climbing, rafting, high ropes, and backpacking. Prior to joining the PEAK team, Elizabeth served as a professional horse trainer and riding instructor for many years. Her education and counseling backgrounds proved to be valuable in preparing young riders for the emotional, physical, and mental challenges that are inherent in competitions. The PEAK program allows Elizabeth to have fun while getting to know students outside the classroom, working to build relationships that will strengthen her role as the upper school counselor. As an alum, a faculty member, and also a Heathwood parent, she is proud to work with our community to protect, enjoy, and share all that Mother Nature has to offer.
- Through curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular programs, the PEAK Program touches every single student at Heathwood Hall, from 2-year olds to 12 graders.
- PEAK Instructors are involved in planning and facilitating grade-level trips for students in six different grades 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 12th.
- Over the last 10 years, PEAK programs have taken Heathwood students to 11 different countries (Ecuador/Galápagos, Peru, Costa Rica, Morocco, Mexico, Cuba, Fiji, Bahamas, Dominica, Honduras, Canada) and over a dozen National Parks and Recreation areas (Glacier, Olympic, Kootenay, Banff, Waterton Lakes, Redwoods, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Great Smoky Mountains, Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Grand Canyon, Crystal River, Mt. Washington and Adirondacks).
- PEAK programs annually serve over a dozen organizations from beyond the Heathwood community.