Activities and Electives
Extracurricular activities at Hampshire Country School are not “extra” in the sense of supplementary or superficial. They are a central feature of the HCS experience.
It is through these activities that students develop lifelong interests, solidify friendships, learn the fun of teamwork, and work toward achievable goals. For most children and adolescents, all of this can happen at any school or camp, but most HCS students have been isolated from extracurricular opportunities in other settings. Perhaps they have been reluctant to try out for a team or audition for a play. Perhaps they have failed to display the necessary concentration for practice or rehearsal. Perhaps episodes of uncooperative or inappropriate behavior have led to their dismissal from activities.
Whatever the reason for their previous isolation, Hampshire Country School students do participate, usually by choice, in a wide range of activities. Sports, music, drama, and other activities are easily accessible; the atmosphere is supportive; and students of all abilities participate together. During their time at HCS, most students appear repeatedly on stage as actors or musicians, take music lessons, go camping and canoeing, and participate in a wide range of recreational sports.
Despite a full schedule throughout the week, life at Hampshire Country School is not rushed. Students still have ample time to enjoy reading, sort their card collections, watch snapping turtles lay eggs, build with Legos, race model cars, play a variety of board and strategy games, and chase through the woods and fields. Scheduled as well as impromptu activity periods take place after each school day and several times during the weekend.
SPORTS & OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Team and individual sports emphasize participation, friendly competition, and basic skill development. Soccer, flag football, softball, basketball, tennis, and floor hockey are all played on a regular basis.
Noncompetitive outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, swimming, sledding, ice skating, snow fort building, snowshoeing, exploring, and camping.
Many activities take advantage of the school’s extensive and unusual natural environment. Short and long hikes explore the lakes, woods, streams, and small mountain; and the lakes are regularly used for canoeing during warm weather.
Hampshire Country School has a working farm, with cattle, sheep, chickens, goats, pigs, other animals. A few students develop a serious interest in the farm and spend many hours each week taking care of the animals and performing daily farm chores. Other students enjoy helping out occasionally and participating in farming as an afternoon activity.
MUSIC, ART, & DRAMA
Beginning and intermediate music lessons are available for students interested in playing piano and brass instruments. Art activities may include drawing, painting, pottery, and a variety of crafts. Students and faculty often work together to produce a short drama production or series of skits for special occasions such as family weekends.