Recreational Activities

All recreational activities are coed and meet twice a week.

Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding

We travel to Mount Snow (about a 40­ minute drive) on Wednesdays and Sundays.This activity is open to individ­uals of all skill levels. Mount Snow main­tains over 100 trails and has excellent snow making. Rentals and lessons are available and there is also a half-pipe for snowboarders. A minimum number of lessons is required to ensure that partici­pants can negotiate the mountain safely.

Badminton

The Badminton activity started at the initiative of an enthusiastic and proficient group of students from China, where this sport is very popular. It is a recreational activity where basic badminton skills are taught through a few drills and a lot of fun practice and games.

Dance - Ballet

In a supportive environment, technique classes focus on physical aspects such as core strength, flexibility, placement and alignment, articulation and co-ordination. Musicality is stressed as an integral part of combining Ballet's physical demands and artistic requirements. Level I: All are welcome, no prior experience is necessary.

Dance - Ballet

In a supportive environment, technique classes focus on physical aspects such as core strength, flexibility, placement and alignment, articulation and co-ordination. Musicality is stressed as an integral part of combining Ballet's physical demands and artistic requirements. Level II: For dancers with previous experience, offering the opportunity to further expand movement vocabulary, strength, and ability. Pointe, variations, and partnering are offered, as appropriate.

Climbing

This activity meets on Wednesday afternoons for 3+ hours when we usually go off campus to various local climbing areas, exploring a wide range of rock types demanding a variety of climbing styles. We will also make extensive use of the climbing wall in the Field House when the weather keeps us inside. At the wall, we’ll focus on building strength, endurance, and technique, making our climbing outdoors more productive and also helping to reduce the risk of injury. Students in the climbing program will help develop routes and problems on the climbing wall, learn about safety systems on the wall and outside on natural rock, and gain new skill and confidence at all levels of ability.

Renaissance-Style Fencing

Renaissance-style fencing is a historical martial art that aims to re-create the techniques of dueling taught by the masters of the 16th century with the addition of modern safety equipment. In practice, it looks like a cross between modern fencing and the stage combat techniques used in popular movies. We will start with basic positions and foot­work, learn how to use the blade in attack and defense and, finally, practice actual duels against one another.

High Intensity Aerobic Workout

This is an activity that meets from 7:00 to 7:30 AM, five days a week. Based on the theories of Dr. John Ratey, this course employs exercises and techniques meant to bring the students’ heart rates to 75% to 80% of capacity for a 30 minute period of time, with the exercises and routines varying from day to day. The benefits of this class are not only focused on fitness but, as Dr. Ratey would suggest, can help increase a student’s capacity to focus, elevate overall energy levels, and improve mood. Students must have permission of the instructor and dean of students to enroll in this course. Students in this activity will receive one afternoon credit.

Hiking

Hiking invigorates the body, calms the mind and stimulates the senses. Most of our walks will be on trails through the woods and fields in the vicinity of the school. Come prepared to walk with comfortable walking shoes, sneakers or boots, a water bottle, jacket and hat (optional). We will walk in all weather. Walks will be designed to bring us back to campus by the end of the activity period.

Horseback Riding

Riding at Putney can be custom fit to each individual rider’s needs. The focus is on the basics of dressage and stadium jumping and cross country jumping, along with miles of trails to explore. The stable is filled with wonderful school horses of various breeds and levels of training. From riding a school master to working with a green horse, students have many opportunities for development. The riding program focuses not only on riding but horsemanship and animal husbandry. Students learn to care for, tack up and evaluate their horses for confirmation, soundness and general behavior. They get to see the veterinarians and farriers care for the horses. There is the opportunity for leasing if a student develops a special relationship with a school horse. Students may also choose to bring their own horse as room in the stable allows. There is an extra riding fee for this program and need-based scholarship money is available. It is open to riders of all levels from beginner through advanced.

Dance - Modern Jazz

One day a week, dancing to live percussion, we focus on Modern Dance, combining elements of the Horton, Graham, and Limón Techniques, influenced by other diverse styles. On the other day, following a vigorous workout focusing on full-body strength, flexibility, and technique, students explore contemporary styles of jazz with an emphasis on rhythm, energy, and fun! Level I: All are welcome, no prior experience necessary. Level II: For dancers with previous experience, offering the opportunity to further expand movement vocabulary, strength, and ability. Partnering and advanced performance techniques are offered, as appropriate.

Dance - Modern Jazz

One day a week, dancing to live percussion, we focus on Modern Dance, combining elements of the Horton, Graham, and Limón Techniques, influenced by other diverse styles. On the other day, following a vigorous workout focusing on full-body strength, flexibility, and technique, students explore contemporary styles of jazz with an emphasis on rhythm, energy, and fun! Level I: All are welcome, no prior experience necessary. Level II: For dancers with previous experience, offering the opportunity to further expand movement vocabulary, strength, and ability. Partnering and advanced performance techniques are offered, as appropriate.

Moutain Biking

The group rides on school trails and local dirt roads.There is one long ride each week, and one shorter ride that focuses on technique and other specific skills. Each student is encouraged to ride at other times of the week to best develop their skills and fitness. Occasionally, when the weather is inclement, we’ll take time to clean and perform routine maintenance on our bikes.

Recreational Basketball

Recreational basketball is for girls who would like to engage in the basketball activity 2 days a week. The emphasis is on movement and fun, along with skill development.

Pond Hockey

In a fun and invigorating activity, skaters of all levels will learn the basics of the classic, wide-open sport of Pond Hockey. The emphasis is on having fun, learning teamwork, improving skating and stick handling and most importantly getting outside on the ice for some winter exercise. The school provides helmets and sticks, most students use their own skates, although we do have a few pairs.

Recreational Rowing

The spring rowing program is a two-day activity. Participants start the season with dry land training focusing on using the indoor rowing machines as well as developing basic fitness. Once river rowing conditions allow, we transition to practices on the Connecticut River where the focus is on sculling and students have the opportunity to row in a single, double, or quadruple sculls. Students maintain our fleet of boats, the boathouse, and installing our docks.

Running and Fitness

Students will combine running on our beautiful trail system with stretching and strengthening exercises. The combination is guaranteed to leave you feeling fit and healthy. And it’s a great way to work up an appetite for dinner.

Cross Country Skiing

Putney offers both a recreational and competitive cross-country ski program on its 40 kilometers of groomed trails. Skiers of all levels have the opportunity to learn skills and technique. Skiers are expected to provide their own equipment, learn how to take care of it and how to wax skis. Limited equipment is available to novice and recreational skiers. The school provides waxing facilities and waxes for racing and training. Opportunities beyond inter­scholastic racing are available for serious competitive skiers.

Self Defense for Girls

The Martial Arts/Self Defense Afternoon Activity will be a collaboration of styles and mindsets designed to unify participants as a team, while encouraging independent strength and growth. We will focus on training both students’ physical and mental selves to become confident in their bodies and self defense capabilities. Self reliance is our goal.

The activity will start with fairly basic classes using mainly Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques. Every class during the trimester will start collectively by warming up, stretching, and grounding our mindsets together and moving onto helpful drills for that day’s lesson. As the course progresses and as students become more familiar with their own bodies and interests, we will move on to more rigorous workouts and complex techniques. We plan on covering forms, light sparring, strikes, blocks, kicks, grabs, escapes and more from each martial art. After establishing basic knowledge in Taekwondo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, we would like to encourage the collaboration of different styles of martial arts, if possible, that way more students’ individual interests can hopefully be met by the end of the course. In addition, we will be incorporating self defense techniques into lesson plans throughout the course. By the end of the trimester, we hope to have helped create a space for each student to have accomplished both a physical and mental goal through studying martial arts.

Snowshoeing

Snowshoers enjoy scenic tours through the snowy woods, taking advantage of the school’s rural campus and miles of trails. If the snow is limited, the group of 10 or 15 students will go hiking instead. The school supplies snowshoes and students learn how to use them and main­tain them. Participants learn to appreciate the pace of snowshoe travel, the beauty of the winter landscape, and the ability to travel through areas normally inaccessible the rest of the year, such as wetlands.

Conditioning

In Conditioning, we spend the trimester working to develop a comprehensive level of fitness for each student. We gear our workouts towards increased strength and flexibility. We utilize a cross training approach which features running, weightlifting, plyometrics, and other techniques to prepare students for a healthy spring and summer!

Tai Chi

This class offers students an opportunity to explore a variety of Chinese martial arts and culture. Practices integrate body and mind in relation to nature, to animals, and to the universe. The class environment cultivates the spirit of self discipline and respect of self and others, exercising inner strength and endurance. Students will study the principle of yin and yang balance that is embedded in the movement: slow and fast, soft and determined, inner energy and outer energy. Forms are introduced through animal poses, sword practice, and calligraphy. The class traces the tradition, history, and philosophy of kung fu by viewing historical footage along with learning Chinese language.

Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee is organized as a two-day recreational sport in the fall and spring. Ultimate is a wonderful game to play at the high-school level for its emphasis on conditioning and skills, but especially because it is self-refereed at all levels of play. This challenges young athletes to be honest, calling fouls on themselves even as they try their hardest to win.

Weights and Fitness

Students participate in a variety of resist­ance activities.The weight room offers free weights, aerobic exercise machines (rowing, running) and strength-training machines.Abilities range from athletes who are training for other sports to people who just want to get in shape. Individualized programs are designed to meet all fitness needs.

Wilderness Skills

Learn the necessary skills and self confidence to operate in the wilderness with minimal equipment. We will learn shelter construction, how to build and maintain a safe campfire, back country cooking, and identification of edible plants. The activity will culminate with a camping trip and the opportunity to stay in a debris shelter overnight. We will be outside every day, rain or shine, and will alter our tasks based on the weather and season, including fire building in the rain.

Yoga

Students will learn basic Hatha yoga pos­tures in the Kripalu and Ashtanga traditions. Each class will begin with a flowing series of strengthening and balancing postures, followed by slow stretching and a long relaxation period. We will also learn partner postures.