TOP Summer Leadership Program

Each summer, the Thetford Outdoor Program offers several opportunities for Thetford Academy students to have immersive outdoor leadership experiences and adventures. TOP Summer Leadership programs fill up quickly, so enroll today to ensure your spot on one of these amazing adventures.

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.

Summer 2021 Opportunities

Trail Crew (FULL)
June 21-25, 2021

This week-long work experience engages students in all aspects of trail maintenance and development. Students will work building and improving trail networks in the Thetford Hill State Forest, Upper Valley Land Trust property, and on TA’s vast, 295-acre forested campus.

Students will build bog bridges, install signs, maintain, improve, and develop current trails–including an expansion of TA’s new mountain bike trail.

The crew meets Monday- Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with four days of work and one day team activity or hike. Students will be compensated $100 for the week.

4/6/2021 TRAIL CREW IS FULL: Contact Scott Ellis to get on the wait list!

Connecticut River Canoe Trip
June 27-July 2 (FULL)
& July 11-16, 2021

TOP will host two week-long canoe trips on the Connecticut River in 2021. The first day of the program is on campus, getting prepared and practicing skills.

The second day, students will travel to Wells River, VT, where they will begin a four-day paddle to White River Junction.

Along the way the group will be camping at primitive campsites, developing leadership skills, and interacting with the beautiful scenery along the paddling trail.

There will be two trip leaders with extensive wilderness camping experience and a student intern guiding the trip.

Group equipment including tents, dry bags, canoes, paddles, life jackets and food are included and personal equipment can be loaned upon request. A complete packing list will be provided to all participants and equipment checked prior to departure.

There is a $350 fee for this program to cover food, permits, staffing and equipment costs. FULL: June 27-July 2 Canoe Trip. Contact Scott Ellis to get on the wait list.

Appalachian Trail Backpacking
July 5-9, 2021 (FULL)

Students will explore the Appalachian Trail on this four-day backpacking trip. Starting on campus with a day of trip preparation and skill building, students will learn how to hike safely in a wilderness setting. The trip will start on the Appalachian Trail in Lyme, NH and end in North Woodstock NH.

Along the way the group will be camping at primitive campsites, developing leadership skills, and interacting with the beautiful scenery along the trail. There will be a leader with extensive wilderness camping experience and a student intern guiding the trip.

Group equipment including backpacks and food are included and personal equipment can be loaned upon request. A complete packing list will be provided to all participants and the equipment will be checked prior to departure.

There is a $300 fee for this program to cover food, staffing and equipment costs.

4/12/2020 BACKPACKING TRIP IS FULL: Contact Scott Ellis to get on the wait list.

our VALUES

Excellence

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

Commitment

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

Cooperation

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

Caring

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

Diversity

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