An exceptional boarding school community for boys in grades nine through twelve.

Community Service at Woodberry

Why Community Service is Important 

Legendary headmaster J. Carter Walker believed that community service was an integral part of the educational experience at Woodberry Forest School. He wrote: 

“Foremost in our thinking is our obligation to correct the mistaken idea that the purpose of education is selfish; on the contrary, we try to teach our boys that education is training for service to others rather than for success for one's self; to give rather than to get; for sacrifice rather than for gratification.” 

Our community service program aims to develop tolerant, selfless individuals who understand others, appreciate their needs, and find community service work personally satisfying. We require our students to perform community service so they can experience the joy of serving others. 

Community Service Requirement 

Each student must perform at least 60 hours of community service before graduation. At least half of these hours must be "contact hours," spent in direct contact with those benefitting from their service. 

How to Fulfill the Requirement 

Although there will be opportunities for boys to accumulate service hours while they are at Woodberry, their busy schedules limit their service project choices. They should plan to perform the majority of their service work at home during the summer break and/or breaks during the school year. Most students seem to derive more satisfaction from making one or two major contributions rather than attempting numerous smaller projects. 

Documenting Community Service 

To facilitate record-keeping at Woodberry, please ask the organization or person supervising the student’s volunteer work to submit written verification of the type of activities he performed and the number of hours he worked. This letter can be mailed to Ryan Alexander or sent by fax 540.672.1026 or by email

Service Award 

The 60-hour service requirement is merely a guideline; many students do much more. Each year Woodberry presents the Service Award to the senior who has performed the most community service work. We have honored many students who have earned several hundred hours of community service work during their tenure at Woodberry.


Billy Osterman '14 and Perry Hammond '14 completed the Little House Mountain Trail in June, 2013. The pair realigned the first mile of the trail on House Mountain outside of Lexington, Virginia, using funds from the Woodberry Forest Class of 2008 Community Service Grant. Billy and Perry built the trail by hand and will erect a Trail Map, dedicating it to Woodberry Forest School.

Woodberry Forest School

Woodberry Forest, VA 22989   Phone: 540-672-3900
Woodberry Forest admits students of any race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, and national or ethnic origin to all of the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic or other school-administered programs. The school is authorized under federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students.