Stepping stones, running under the banyan tree on the Siesta Key campus, crazy competitions at the end of school, and many other festivities - these simple but precious memories and traditions bind together generations of current students and alumni. Out-of-Door alumni are keenly aware that their experience stands apart from those who attended other schools. Students are genuinely excited to be a part of Out-of-Door because, at the heart of the school is a kind and nurturing community that is a family.
Traditions at The Out-of-Door Academy are opportunities to come together as a community and to reinforce the core values of the school. Many traditions at The Out-of-Door Academy are events that involve the entire school, like Convocation, which starts the academic year with formal recognition of seniors as the leaders of the school. Similarly, Homecoming and the Family Picnic bring together students, families, faculty, and alumni to celebrate and reaffirm the strength of the Out-of-Door community. Other traditions, like Turkey Bowl and Spirit Day, reinforce the lessons of teamwork and sportsmanship within the context of friendly, spirited competition.
Stepping stones are one of the school's oldest traditions. The president of Rollins College began a celebrity walk in 1929, comprised of stones donated by famous people and Thomas Edison adapted that idea for his own estate. Friends engraved messages on stones and they were laid together to make a walkway. Students visited the Edison estate and with his friendship walk in mind, ODS students made their own small stepping stones in 1933 to form a path to the Catherine Gavin Memorial Library. New stones are added every year by each member of the fifth grade class.
Since 1979, Extravaganza and The Banyan Ball have raised millions to support capital improvements, school programs, scholarships, faculty salaries, technology, and endowment. Hundreds of parents and friends gather for the elaborate and entertaining evening and they always bid high! Visit the Support Our School page to find out more!
Memories & Events
Grandfriends Day, Thanksgiving Feast, Convocation Ceremony, Homecoming, Crossing the Mulch, Five-a-Day Play, Lower School book fair, holiday pageants, senior-kindergarten buddies, Big-Littles, 100-Days Dinner, Halloween, Grade 8 Leadership Camp, Iditarod, Turkey Bowl, after-prom, and much more - are just a few of the many Out-of-Door traditions that serve to bring everyone together in a sense of community.
This competition is the oldest tradition and beloved by alumni and current student of all ages. Held annually before Spring Break, Spring Break brings all students together for a day of fun in the sun!