Athletics & Recreation
Through the Office of Student Engagement, students enjoy a variety of fitness and recreational activities on and off campus, including:
- The Meyer Recreation Barn (MRB)
- Outdoor Fitness Facilities
- Intramural Sports Teams
- Off-Campus Adventure Trips
- SVC Athletic Opportunities
The Meyer Recreation Barn
The Meyer Recreation Barn (a.k.a. MRB or Fitness Center) is the campus athletic and wellness facility. The MRB houses an aerobics room, climbing wall, free weights, sauna, and showers. The exercise equipment includes selectorized/cable, cardiovascular, and plate-loaded machines. There is DirecTV access for some cardiovascular machines, and a CardioTheater system that allows patrons to listen to a variety of television and movie channels while working out. Students and staff may check out sporting equipment such as basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs, tennis rackets, and badminton and croquet sets. The Bennington Athletic Department (BAD) offers a range of yoga, karate, and fitness classes that are held in the MRB during the term. In 2014, MRB purchased more than ten new pieces of equipment including treadmills, ellipticals, steppers, and bikes.
Outdoor Fitness Facilities
Bennington offers an outdoor recreation facilities for students who are looking to stay physically fit outdoors, including soccer fields, archery range, ultimate frisbee spaces, and basketball courts. Students can also walk or bike the campus Blue Trail, an easy hike winding through the wooded parts of campus and connecting to several trails throughout the region, including the Mile-Around WoodsLong Trail, Vermont's oldest long-distance hiking trail, is a short drive from campus. A brand new biking trail also connects Bennington College to the town of Bennington, VT, and runs from Hicks Avenue – Near the Benmont Avenue bridge – behind the Walmart and Price Chopper plazas, behind the Hannafords plaza, past the Morse Industrial Park, under the Route 279 overpass, up Route 67A, ending at Bennington College. Through the Bennington bike-share program, Bennington College community members can also borrow a bicycle at no cost through Campus Safety.
Intramural Sports Teams
Bennington’s intramural program sponsors activities such as volleyball, bubble soccer, dodgeball, ice skating, laser tag, and Ultimate Frisbee. Games are coed and open to athletes of all skill levels. In addition, several club teams compete with other colleges in the area:
Basketball: Bennington students can join a twice-weekly pick-up basketball team at an indoor court in North Bennington. The games are co-ed, and all skill levels are welcome. The basketball team also occasionally travels to other colleges in Vermont and Massachusetts for intercollegiate games.
Dodgeball: Bennington's intramural dodgeball league is always a huge success. More than 100 students, faculty, and staff make up a league of 14 teams that compete for prizes, bragging rights, and inevitable glory. Leagues happen each term with our fall season culminating in a Halloween tournament with prizes for best costume.
Frisbee: Now in its third year, the Ultimate Frisbee team has become a staple on campus. The Bennington "Vermonster" not only host matches against area schools such as UVM, Bentley, and Dartmouth, but they continue to compete in tournaments across New England and the Mid-Atlantic, including USA Ultimate-sanctioned events such as the Northeast Classic and North New England D-III Conferences. Check out their Facebook page.
Soccer: During the fall months, Bennington's coed soccer team competes against other small colleges and prep schools throughout Vermont and Massachusetts. All levels are welcome and encouraged to join the team.
Off-Campus Adventure Trips
Bennington offers an outdoor recreation program that sponsors a variety of off-campus outdoor activities. Fall term excursions include a range of activities from canoeing and hiking to caving and rock climbing; spring activities include cross-country skiing, white-water rafting, overnight snowshoeing trips, and mountain biking.
In warmer weather, students can visit the nearby Walloomsac and Battenkill Rivers or Lake Paran for fishing, canoeing or tubing, and swimming. Bennington and its surroundings are also home to numerous natural watering holes, water tubs, and water slides.
In the winter months, Bennington College is only a short drive to some of the best skiing and riding in the Northeast, as well as some of the region's best snowshoeing and cross-country skiing trails. The Crossett Library carries an expansive collection of area guidebooks for these and many other outdoor activities.
Southern Vermont College (SVC) Athletic Opportunities
Through a partnership with Southern Vermont College and the NCAA, all Bennington students are now eligible to tryout and compete with Southern Vermont College's Division III athletic programs. Possible opportunities include: men's and women's soccer, men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's basketball, women's lacrosse, baseball, softball, men's and women's cross-country, and outdoor track and field. Interested students should contact Allison Kuhlman for more information.