Fall Project Week


For one week in October, the doors swing open and the world becomes the classroom to Altamont students. During Fall Project Week students immerse themselves in everything from maritime ecology to “Books, Blues and Barbeque,” visiting places around the corner and around the world.


Project Week, the brainchild of former Altamont Headmaster the late Martin Hames, was created in the late nineties as a way to consolidate annual class trips during one week and give all students the chance to learn in interesting settings. A scholarship fund, named in honor of Hames’ mother Mary Hames, provides help with expenses for students who might not otherwise be able to travel. Please click here for more information on the Mary Hames Fund and for the application.


Below is a sampling of past FPW trips.

Fifth and 6th graders enjoy The Camp McDowell Environmental Camp where they have fun exploring the 900-acre outdoor classroom. The hands-on science program helps students understand the natural world with such classes as “Forest Critters,” “Pond and Stream,” “Down to Earth,” and “Rock Query.” Other activities include outdoor fun and games and a night hike. In addition, students learn team-building and problem-solving skills while they get to know their new classmates.

Seventh graders travel to Camp High Rocks in western North Carolina, which provides an atmosphere that deemphasizes competition and elevates community and personal growth. Students hone their adventure skills with such activities as rock climbing and ropes courses to backpacking and canoeing. At the same time, students try new things while they learn to trust one another, and work through difficult situations as a team, helping develop confidence, good decision-making skills, and a sense of social responsibility.

The eighth grade travels to Washington, D.C. for a close look at our government at work, a trip that enriches their current history class. The itinerary included a visit to the White House, a photo opportunity with Congressman Spencer Bachus, a tour of Antietam National Battlefield, a day at the Smithsonian museums, and an evening performance at historical Ford’s theater.

Books, Blues, and Barbeque: Jimmy Wiygul’s Books, Blues and Barbeque trip is legendary at Altamont. From Faulkner's Rowan Oak to Parchman Farm, from the Shack-Up Inn to Graceland Too, from Delta tamales to Memphis ribs, and from Elvis to Emmett Till, we will explore the beautiful and the bizarre of the most southern place on the planet: the Mississippi Delta. 12 student limit! 12th graders only

Chicago: This all-inclusive project exposes students to the art, architecture, and theatre of Chicago. Through varied activities, the week will stretch each student's awareness of the importance of time and place to the arts. Performance experiences and multicultural dining included in the trip will further the understanding of the ways America has drawn on the immigrant strengths to forge a national culture. 10th - 12th graders only

Local Outdoor Adventure: Through a series of day trips and outdoor activities, students will explore the beautiful outdoor areas Alabama has to offer. Highlights of the trip include 2 days of rock climbing, one of canoeing, and one running the zip line at Red Mountain Park. Students should expect to be outside all day. 9th - 12th graders

Miree Leadership and Service Workshop: Strengthen your leadership and communication skills while making immediate and long-term change in the Birmingham community. In the style of reality show The Apprentice, two teams will tackle the real issues of a needy local non-profit. The workshop will introduce students to leadership and group communication concepts through team planning sessions. Teams will then implement their plans in service to others, resulting in a win-win week for all! (Note: Due to the various needs and hours of operation of those we may serve, the workshop schedule will require non-traditional hours differing from the 8:00-3:15 school-day hours. Please be prepared to serve in the late afternoon and evenings if necessary.) 9th - 12th graders

Savannah: This trip will expose students to the unique culture of Savannah and its surroundings through literature, art, architecture, and cuisine. Participants will hunt for peacock feathers at Flannery O'Connor's farm, explore and 18th-century fortress, wander through Bonaventure Cemetery, listen to Gullah storytellers, and devour succulent seafood. 18 student limit, 9th -12th graders