TA News

Summer is “TOPs” for TA’s Thetford Outdoor Program

The Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) at TA doesn’t follow a school-year schedule – to the contrary, one of it’s “TOP” seasons is summer, when the summer outdoor leadership programs kick off. This year, TOP has a full slate of outdoor adventures planned for students, with something for everyone and access points for all ability levels. While of course one goal of a TOP trip is creating a memorable and fun outdoor experience, the program also provides valuable learning opportunities for student participants.

Each week-long TOP adventure includes a day of safety training, planning, and skill building. During the experience – whether its a canoe trip down the Connecticut or backpacking the Appalachian Trail – students learn important communication skills, have leadership and learning opportunities, and overcome personal and physical challenges. Returning participants can advance through the program into TOP internships and eventually, trip leadership positions.

To date, TOP has completed its trail crew and Connecticut River canoe trip. The GLOW outdoor adventure for “girls, ladies, or whoever” has been navigating some tough weather, but are still having a great time rock-climbing, canoeing, and hiking. Up next, TOP will take a group of students on a 30-mile backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail, and another group will have a “Vermont Adventure,” dipping their toe into a variety of Vermont’s best outdoor experiences over the course of a week. The summer will conclude deliciously with Garden Camp, a five-day introduction to successful gardening practices and sustainable food systems from TA’s own school garden.

Check out some photos below of what TOP’s been up to this summer and stay tuned for more TOP news in August!



We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.


We value initiative, courage and dedication. We take personal responsibility for the goals we set and work hard to achieve them.


We work and learn together. We see teachers as coaches, students as team members, families as partners, and learning as practice and action.


We provide individuals with personalized support and guidance. We care about each other and the larger community.


We respect differences among people. We welcome the contribution of varied perspectives to a rich and flexible school culture.