Garrison Forest empowers students to realize their full potential and live lives of purpose.

Garrison Forest School

Boarding Basics

What is life really like as a boarding student at Garrison Forest School? Check out our Boarding Basics guide!

A Day in the Life

What is a Typical Day Like?

7:15 A.M.-8:00 A.M.Breakfast in Alumnae Hall (Exception: 7:15 A.M. -8:45 A.M. on Thursday)

7:40 A.M.- 7:55 A.M.

Check-in with class advisors in Marshall-Offutt lobby

8:00 A.M.- 9:15 A.M.

First Period Class

9:15 A.M.- 10:00 A.M.

X block (can be class meetings or other gathering)

10:15 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.

Second Period Class

11:40 A.M. - 12:15 P.M.

Early Lunch

11:40 A.M. - 12:55 P.M.

Late Lunch Class

12:15 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.

Early Lunch Class

12:55 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.

Late Lunch

1:45 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Last Period Class

3:25 P.M. - 4:05 P.M.


6:00 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.

Dinner- check in by 6:15 P.M (Exception: 6:25 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday for Family-Style Dinner)

7:30 P.M. - 9:00 P.M.

Study Hall

10:00 P.M.

Residential Hall check-in

10:30 P.M.

Lights out for 8th grader & 9th grader

11:00 P.M. Lights out for 10th, 11th and 12th graders

Late Lights/week

  • 9th Grade: 1
  • 10th Grade: 2
  • 11th Grade: 3
  • 12th Grade: 4

No late lights on Sunday night

Weekends @GFS




Weekend Activities

Garrison Forest offers numerous weekend activities for Upper School students. These chaperoned activities are available to day and boarding students (including the 8th Grade boarding students) and are planned by the Residential Life office. Some past activities have included:

  • Halloween events-haunted attractions, pumpkin picking & corn mazes
  • Hiking and biking trips
  • Inner Harbor trips
  • Kings Dominion
  • Local boys school mixers, productions and athletic events
  • Local concerts
  • Medieval Times dinner and tournament
  • Miniature golf
  • Movie trips
  • Museum trips: Baltimore, Philadelphia & Washington, DC


GFS Minibus

The GFS Minibus takes boarders to shops and restaurants on weekends and Wednesday evenings.

  • 7-10 P.M. on Fridays
  • 1-4 P.M. on Saturdays and Sundays
  • Wednesdays for a Giant grocery-store run between 6:30 – 7:15 P.M. (Giant is the name of the grocery store and it is a full-scale store)

Dining Nearby


Starbucks, Smoothie King, Rita’s, U spoon, Cold Stone, Baskin-Robins, Dunkin' Donuts, Panera Bread, Nalley Fresh, Smash Burger, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, TGI Friday, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Buffalo Wings, Ginza, Edo Sushi, Noodle’s Company, Mezcal, the Green Turtle and much more. 

Stores Nearby

Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, DSW, Old Navy, Ulta, HomeGoods, Best Buy, Michael's, Giant Food (grocery store), Safeway (grocery store), Party City


GFS "Superwords"

Garrison Forest "superwords" are a series of words and phrases that students and teachers use every day. Getting familiar with these words offers students a faster way to engage in different activities and will be very helpful in general as students begin their GFS journey.

  • Eyebrow - The loop near tennis courts, between Meadowood and Robinswood
  • Manor House loop - The loop near senior house, in front of Manor House, Shriver and Searle Athletic Center
  • Marshall-Offutt – Where the admission office and Upper school classrooms and administrators are located
  • SAC - Searle Athletic Center named for alumna Betsy B. Searle '74; running track, courts, fitness center, dance studio, etc. are there
  • Alumnae Hall – Dining room
  • O-Zone – Student café and lounge located in Manor House
  • Late start - First period class starts at 9:00 A.M. every Thursday morning
  • Morning Meeting at Garland Theater - All Upper School Students gather for announcements
  • Class Meeting - Led by class advisors and class day and boarding presidents
  • Decision-making – A class for 9th and 10th grade students
  • Assemblies – A time when the whole upper school comes together for a presentation
  • Advisory - Upper School students meet with their academic advisors. Advisors are assigned to first-year students. At the end of the first year, students can choose their advisors for the next academic year
  • SDLC - Student Diversity Leadership Council which discusses diversity issues
  • Forum - GFS student government led by school president
  • Service League Board - GFS community service group. Here is a list of the many community service opportunities
  • Peer Ed – A group of students who have been chosen to teach lessons. Peer educators in 10th and 11th grade talk to 8th graders. Senior peer educators talk to 9th graders.
  • Academic Mentor - Students tutor younger students, typically on campus
  • Paw Print - GFS Student online newspaper
  • Callisto – GFS student annual literary magazine
  • Demerit and Campusing - Students receive demerits for rule violations and will be campused during weekends after receiving 12 demerits
  • RLSL - Residential Life Student Leader
  • Treats-n-Tasties – Student leaders and dorm parents provide snacks every Wednesday night at 9:00 P.M. in Residential Halls
  • Family-style dinner – Dinner on every Tuesday at assigned tables with on-campus faculty families and other boarding students
  • Late lights - An additional time one could ask for to complete work after lights out
  • Supervised Study Hall - A period of time when first-year students have to walk over to the lecture hall or library to do their work from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • GFS weekends - All boarding students are expected to participate in activities of GFS weekends for the sake of bringing the community together
  • Minibus run – A school-owned minibus takes students to shops and restaurants nearby
  • Giant-run – A minibus takes students to a nearby, full-scale grocery store, which is called Giant, every Wednesday at 6:30 P.M.
  • Quest – Individual class bonding overnight trip for 9th and 10th grade students (chaperoned by class advisors)
  • Snoball -Winter dance for Upper School students planned by Forum
  • Fall Fest – A fundraising event planned by 11th grade (festival-like event with games, food booths, etc.)
  • Light Blue/Dark Blue - Spirit teams at GFS named for school colors of Light Blue and Dark Blue (called 'Lights" and "Darks"). New girls are assigned to a team at the beginning of the school year
  • Spirit Week – An out-of-uniform week with different dress themes

What Should I Bring?

Trying to figure out what to bring with you and what to buy once you get to Garrison Forest can be overwhelming. Here's a handy reference to make moving in a lot more fun!

You should bring:

  • Sleep: regular twin sheets, pillow(s), mattress cover, two blankets
  • Organize: hangers for your closet
  • Shower: bath towels, bathroom caddy, toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo, body wash
  • Laundry: detergent, laundry bag/basket
  • Gear: umbrella or rain gear, swimming suit, and snow gear (it DOES snow in Maryland), slippers

You MAY bring:

  • Sleep: comforter or bedspread, sleeping bag, throw pillows, rug, alarm clock
  • Organize: shoe rack, shelf, organizers to hang over closet door for cosmetics, desk organizers, drawer organizer, storage tote, adhesive hooks
  • Life Style: floor lamp, desk lamp, a fan, posters or other wall decorations, valence curtains (and tension rods), calendar, bulletin board, bean bags & lounge chair, your favorite movies (well labeled), mementos, picture frames, a plant, room fragrance, etc.
  • Electronics: music system, camera, computer*, cell phone, batteries, small cube refrigerator, extension cords, surge suppresser
  • Shower: weight scale, hair dryer and other hair appliances
  • Laundry: iron (each residence hall has one, though)
  • Eat: reusable food containers, plates, bowls, cups/mugs, eating utensils, water bottle, bag clips

You may NOT bring:

  • Television, VCR/DVD player
  • Hardwired telephone
  • Electric blanket
  • Hot pots, toaster oven, microwave, heat coil or other electrical cooking appliances
  • Candles or incense
  • Pets

International Students

We suggest you to buy here instead of bringing from home:

  • Sanitary supplies
  • Fan
  • Laundry supplies
  • Bathroom caddy
  • Hangers
  • Binders that are not three-ring, notebooks
  • Bedding supplies
  • Calculators

We suggest you bring (if you have a preference):

  • Sundress for Convocation (an opening-of-the-year school event)
  • Pens with 0.38mm or thinner refill
  • Travel adaptors
  • Hair accessories and hair ties

Garrison Forest offers comfortable, fully wired rooms. View our Residence Halls to find out what is already inside of your new room.

Student Bank

The Garrison Forest Business Office provides students with a safe place to keep their money. Families who wish to use this service must make an allowance deposit for the first three months allowance (at a minimum) before the start of school for student’s personal expenses.

The allowance account permission form allows each family to indicate an amount of money each student can withdraw over a one month period. Personal choice plays a large part in the amount a student needs to set aside for additional expenses. Some classes and athletic programs require additional fees for materials, as do field trips and so forth. The Business Office also cashes personal checks for students.

The Business Office is located on the 2nd floor of Manor House and is open Wednesday and Friday.