Check back for the latest posts about life, academics, culture, and great stories from The Outdoor Academy. Subscribe to our blog’s RSS feed and get our news sent directly to you as we post it. Over Spring Break this past semester, my wife Jane and I zipped up to Annapolis, MD to visit Dudley Herbert and his butler Dr. Roger Herbert and Chef Gretchen. For those of you who know and love The Duds as we do, I’m pleased to report that he is in excellent hands and still fascinated with squirrels and his fellow canines. Caring for his staff continues to be job number one. Many of you also know that Roger left his position as OA Director last year to pursue a lifelong dream of teaching Ethics at the Naval Academy. I was so very grateful to get to shadow him for a day in this new role. I mention Roger because, during his tenure as Director, he embraced and advanced the “betterment of human character” aspect of our mission here at The Outdoor Academy. Michael Brown, who preceded Roger in that position, helped set the stage by formalizing the four cornerstones and seven principles of OA. We’ve since developed specific curricular content, which has been introduced to our students mostly through the planning and facilitation of our Student Dean, Susan Daily. “Curricular content” may sound dry, but I assure you, it is a living, breathing, and daily part of our lives here. It is our way of life, in fact, and we are continuing to seek opportunities to amplify its importance in the OA student’s experience. Several years back, Roger introduced a class in Ethics at OA, which was taught to all students in four sessions in various places and times – one memorable class for me was deep in the Smokies among the big trees of the Boogerman Trail. The “moral thermocline” became part of our daily conversations because of those classes and Roger’s efforts continue with our Leadership & Ethics instructor David Morgan. Michael Brown’s framed principles of Integrity and Gratitude still look across our dining room each day, and Susan Daily, our Dean of Students, leads us into the deeper corners of our characters each Monday evening. In one way or another, each day Socrates and Aristotle still challenge us with “are you a virtuous person?”

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