Boyd PEAK Center Ribbon Cutting
On November 7, 2023, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School and the Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation cut the ribbon for the new Boyd PEAK Center on Heathwood’s 122-acre campus.
Last year, the Boyd Foundation donated $1.65M to Heathwood’s PEAK program. PEAK, an acronym for the Pursuit of Environmental Adventure and Knowledge, is Heathwood’s signature leadership program. Founded in 1998, it presents students with hands-on opportunities in wilderness exploration, environmental education, and leadership development. Programs are offered to all grade levels and cover a range of outdoor activities. On Heathwood’s campus, students can climb the 50-ft Alpine Tower, navigate the Odyssey and Sky Park Ropes Courses, learn Wilderness First Aid, and master canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddle boarding on the pond. Off-campus, PEAK organizes many outdoor adventures - locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Students enjoy paddling on the Saluda and Congaree Rivers, camping and hiking in Pisgah National Forest, exploring National Parks across the country, and participating in a variety of adventure activities in Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and other countries.
The Boyd Foundation’s generous gift has enabled Heathwood to build the Boyd PEAK Center. The new facility houses classrooms, offices, and event space. In addition, the Boyd Center will enable PEAK to offer programming to the greater Midlands community.
“I am grateful for the generous support of the Boyd Foundation and incredibly excited about the expansion of the PEAK Program,” said Chris Hinchey, the Head of School at Heathwood Hall. “It will increase the resources available to our students, enable us to host more church groups, corporate groups, and youth groups, and expose others to Heathwood Hall and the amazing program built by Stan Wood. Serving others is an essential component of Heathwood Hall’s mission, and the Boyd Foundation’s gift will assist us in giving back to the Midlands Community.”
Part of the Boyd Foundation’s gift will be used to expand PEAK’s Adventure Basecamp, enhance existing ropes courses, add new ones, and strengthen PEAK’s programs. Most of these programs are led by PEAK Student Leaders, Upper School students who have undergone extensive training. PEAK Student Leaders serve as peer mentors who pass on their love for the outdoors and lessons learned in leadership.
“PEAK has helped generations of Heathwood students push their limits, become better leaders, and develop a love of adventure and the natural world,” said Stan Wood, PEAK’s director. “The Boyd Foundation’s generous gift will enable us to continue PEAK’s important work of forging the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, leaders, and conservationists. We are deeply grateful for their support.”
Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd founded the Boyd Foundation in 2010 to support projects that enhance outdoor recreational opportunities, foster the appreciation of wildlife, and beautify urban areas in the Midlands.
“PEAK is a perfect mission fit for the Boyd Foundation. We are excited to contribute to such a meaningful outdoor program that has impacted so many students,” said George Bailey, the foundation’s President. “For almost 25 years, PEAK has been developing Heathwood students into outdoor enthusiasts and leaders. The Boyd Foundation looks forward to being an integral part of the program’s future.”
The ribbon cutting marks months of planning and construction.