May Program Examples

Get a Glimpse of the Oldfields May Program

Each year a variety of experiential learning programs are offered. Students can choose one or two-week opportunities to take a deep dive into an existing passion or learn something totally new!  The programs span the spectrum from on-campus activities to international travel, from across town day trips to locations all over the country.  What they all have in common is that our students view the world and themselves in a new way upon completion of this life-changing experience. Below our some examples of experiences from which our students could chose over the last several years.

Iceland on horseback

Imagine exploring the volcanic terrain of Iceland via horseback! On this adventure students, of all levels of riding experience, learn about the culture and history of Iceland, visit thermal hot springs, and leave their mark on the local community through service and outreach projects.

Riders of all levels get the chance to ride the famous Icelandic ponies on our daily cross country trekking adventures. Students visit many of the iconic Iceland sites while on horseback and immerse themselves in the local culture.

Eiffel Tower


French teacher, Frederic Bielaszka-DuVernay, shares his beloved country with ten students  on a two-week tour through France. The first week will be spent in Paris, where the students will walk the historic neighborhood of Marais, visit the Sainte-Chapelle, Notre-Dame of Paris, Eiffel Tower, Tomb of Napolean,  Musee Rodin, and the Louvre. The students will then to Montpellier during the second week to spend time with a host family and tour Languedoc-Roussillon and Provence. 

The Yucatan Adventure

The Yucatan Adventure May Program is a 12-day, 11-night program that explores four major cities and towns (Cozumel, Tulum, Valladolid, and Isle Mujeres) in Mexico's Yucatan region. The program focuses on learning about Mexican and Mayan history. Significant time will be spent scuba diving and snorkeling. The program also spends two full days providing service to a local community near Tulum and affords an excellent opportunity for students studying Spanish to practice in a native environment. 

The Story of the United States

Explore Washington, DC, Baltimore, and New York City (the epicenter of diversity!) as we embark on a journey to learn and celebrate the different cultures and peoples that have made us, sociologically, the most varied and culturally rich population in the world. Through examination of the history of many groups, we will strive to understand their experiences when they came to this country, the lives they have built here, and the countless contributions they have made. Not only will we study their histories, but also their languages, customs, foods, religions, and other aspects of life that make them unique. If we have a better understanding of the immigrant experience of various cultures and peoples, we will be a more tolerant, understanding, and kind nation.

S.W.E.A.T Dance Intensive

During the S.W.E.A.T. (Students Working to Execute Advanced Technique) Dance Intensive May program, students will participate in two weeks of classes and workshops led by professional dancers and instructors. Through 30+ hours of dance, students will increase their knowledge of technique, strengthen their skills, and develop a greater appreciation for the dance profession. Master classes will range from African dance to musical theatre, hip hop to ballet. Dancers will travel off campus for local workshops and performances. The goal of this dance intensive will be to put together a collection of pieces created by each choreographer that will be filmed in and around our beautiful campus. This performance, a culmination of the students' work through our program, will be shared with the full community.

Explore the Civil War 

Calling all history buffs! Living in Maryland affords a unique opportunity to explore the events and battlefields of the Civil War. Students in this program will visit Harpers Ferry, WV, site of John Brown's raid on the federal arsenal; Manassas, VA, site of two major Civil War battles; Antietam, MD, which provided President Lincoln the cover to issue the Emancipation Proclamation; and Gettysburg, PA, site of a turning point in the Civil War. 


Drawing From Nature

Did you ever want to capture the beauty of nature all around you and not know where to start? 

This May Program will explore the natural world from the perspective of an artist, as students learn the skills necessary to translate what one sees into a personal expression of their experience. We will work outdoors in various locations on campus and at nearby parks and gardens doing landscape drawing.  We will create indoor images that will allow students to capture the wonders of animals and their personalities. Materials we will work with will include watercolor, marker, watercolor pencil, and ink. Along the way, each student will record her experience by drawing, researching, and identifying the plant and animal species that are found in our environment. 

Students Fly

Space and Flight Explorers

Explore the history and science of space exploration, including the earliest pioneers of spaceflight, the moon landing, modern rocketry, and the future. We will visit the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution and contains many historic spacecraft and aircraft as well as thousands of space-related artifacts. We will study the history of spaceflight and space exploration, including the major NASA missions. We will see documentaries and recreations of major moments in space exploration.

On-campus, we will have a series of competitions throughout the week based on actual principles of spaceflight and aviation. We will build and launch reusable model rockets, design and test heat shields with a propane torch, and students will even get the opportunity to fly a plane at a regional airport! 

Stop Motion & Claymation Film-Making

Have you ever dreamt of becoming your own producer, filmmaker, and editor? Do you want to experience the art of animation, witness the magic of claymation techniques? Would you like to visit the American Visionary Arts Museum? Would you enjoy watching movies that utilize these techniques? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this May Program is be for you! This program is designed for students to learn about stop motion/claymation as they look into the techniques and style of Tim Burton and other talented artists.  Bring your creativity and imagination. The program culminates by sharing your film with the school community. 

Explore Maryland: Mountains & Shores

During this two-week outdoor adventure program we will spend time exploring Maryland from its mountains to its sandy shores. We will spend our days navigating the woods through challenging and scenic hikes, exploring various waterways while kayaking, rafting, boating, and fishing, as well as ziplining above the tree lines. This program will allow the students to learn about the great outdoors while experiencing it first hand. We will visit areas throughout the state of Maryland such as Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland, where we will explore the lake by boat. Hikes will include visiting the famous Swallow Falls and sites at other scenic state parks. We will explore Calvert Cliffs State Park, hunting for fossils and the remains of prehistoric species, including sharks, whales, rays, and seabirds. We will enjoy the sandy shores of the Chesapeake Bay.