Certainly a favorite tradition for the boys, the daily delivery of Milk and Cookies often sets off a frenzy of activity as they rush for a mid-morning snack. Though it is always amazing to see how many cookies a student can fit into one hand, the true magic of Milk and Cookies is the wonderful camaraderie displayed as the boys enjoy a social break to spend a moment with friends.
Belmont Hill’s traditional dress code, with boys wearing a jacket and tie each day, is rooted in the belief that young men have higher self esteem and take more pride in their work when their appearance reflects the serious nature of their education. It is not meant as a barrier to one’s individuality, but as a way to prevent students from becoming status conscious or stereotyped based on the clothes they wear. Many of our alumni often look back with great pride at their days of donning the jacket and tie each day.
Public speaking is a long and proud tradition on the Hill. Two signature events that offer boys the opportunity to present in front of their classmates are the Woodbury Speaking Contest and Poetry Fest. For the Woodbury's, the boys pick a topic of their choice and through the years have delivered talks that are humorous, insightful, poignant, and more. Poetry Fest is centered on the belief that poetry is meant to be heard more than read. Boys memorize a poem of their choice and perform it on stage. While there are other public speaking opportunities on campus, the Woodbury's and Poetry Fest are certainly some of the most eagerly anticipated days at school.
Each day on campus, we come together to continue the tradition of a daily student-faculty family-style lunch. This time together encourages boys to make connections with faculty members and fellow students. A faculty member presides over each table, and students serve as waiters for their classmates. Table assignments change every two weeks.
Many believe that the special spirit that exists at Belmont Hill is best seen in the truly selfless manner students exhibit in rooting for fellow classmates. The Loop, Belmont Hill’s long-established student-rooting section, is a perfect example. “I think that for a school our size it is important for all of the boys to come out and support each other at all of the games,” says Athletic Director George Tahan. “It’s huge for the teams. The Loop is just fantastic. I don’t even have to ask them to come.”
Chapel Talks are truly a defining Belmont Hill moment. Hamilton Chapel, the School’s historic, non-sectarian place of assembly, provides an intimate setting where Greg Schneider, Ronald M. Druker '62 Head of School, delivers messages that range from life lessons, to timely topics of the day, to words of encouragement. Boys on the road to becoming men of good character have much to learn, and not all those lessons are confined to the classroom. The messages from Chapel Talks are often profound and enduring, resonating with the boys long after their days on the Hill.
A longstanding tradition, each year Form VI boys carve their own panel, which will eventually be hung on the walls of the School as an enduring symbol of their time at Belmont Hill. It is a permanent and prominent mark of the student’s membership in the Belmont Hill community.