Thetford Outdoor Program

The mission of the Thetford Outdoor Program is to ignite academic curiosity and foster environmental stewardship through outdoor exploration, recreation, and project-based, experiential learning.

The Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) launched in 2014 with the generous support of the Woodbury Foundation. TOP builds on TA’s long commitment to experiential and outdoor learning, and uses TA’s vast natural resources and the diverse ecosystems of the Upper Valley as a living laboratory and outdoor classroom.

In addition to its academic component, the half-day Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course, TOP offers students wide-ranging opportunities for outdoor exploration outside the classroom. The TOP Outing Club is open to all students in grades 7-12 and offers a variety of day and overnight hiking, camping, rock climbing, and canoeing trips through the year.

TOP Summer is a series of multi-day to week-long outdoor recreation and leadership opportunities for Thetford Academy students in grades 7-12. TOP Summer includes opportunities for canoeing on the Connecticut River or the wilds of Quebec, backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, or working with other TA students to develop and maintain Thetford Academy’s extensive trail systems.

Latest TOP News

  • Dear TA Families & Students, Spring is always a whirlwind time of year in a school, as we all aim to stay focused on teaching and learning in the present term, while simultaneously prepping for year-end events and the fall semester. It’s like surfing two waves at once! For students......

  • We at TA are going have to learn how to share Scott Ellis. As many have heard by now, Scott was recently hired by the Aloha Foundation to be the director of the Ohana Family Camp, starting with this summer’s season. This is a very exciting career move for Scott – it......

  • Dear TA Families & Students,  This one-year pandemic anniversary is intense, isn’t it? To go back a year and realize just how little we knew what was coming and how long it would last can make one’s head spin.  Despite 12 months of navigating life and school through a pandemic,......

TOP Student Blog

  • Dig into what students are truly thinking about in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education Course in the Fall semester of 2020. This website includes student’s favorite free writes of the semester....

  • A website with student reflections inspired by Rachel Carson’s Sense of Wonder.

  • by Ethan Marshia It seems like it was just yesterday that we all ventured out on our first journey together. Entering the portal to a seemingly otherworldly dimension. I was just a mere fledgling. This class has given me everything I could have imagined and more. It has allowed me......



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 carried perspectives to a rich and flexible school culture.