Traditions and Special Days

Thetford Academy celebrates the school’s community, history, and traditions with several annual events. These special days serve to not only honor the history of Thetford Academy, but to bring today’s students together to forge friendships and make memories that last a lifetime.

Mountain Day

Established in the 1970’s by Headmaster Fred Torrey, Mountain Day is a school-wide event that gets students out of the classroom and into the outdoors. On Mountain Day, instead of attending classes, the whole TA community goes for a hike. According to tradition, each grade has its “own” mountain, so that a student who attends the Academy for six years has the opportunity to climb six different peaks, all visible from the school.

  • Seventh Grade: Mt. Cube
  • Eighth Grade: Black Mountain
  • Freshmen: Smarts Mountain
  • Sophomores: Cardigan Mountain
  • Juniors: Mt. Ascutney
  • Seniors: Mt. Moosilauke

Students climb with their class and faculty advisors, and the focus is on camaraderie, cooperation, and safety. The purpose of Mountain Day is not to race, nor even to get to the top, but to enjoy the company and the landscape, and appreciate the extraordinary beauty of northern New England.

Founders’ Day

Founders’ Day is the annual celebration of the school’s birthday, held each year in February. Part winter carnival, part arts festival, the daylong event includes class competitions in games and creative contests, an all-school banquet, and traditional ceremonies. The Student Council chooses a theme each year, and each class works on a related “sub-theme” in its preparation of snow sculptures, murals, costumes, decorated sled “floats,” centerpieces, banners, songs, and narrative presentations.

While the students play, the school’s gymnasium is transformed into a festive banquet hall, with places set for nearly 400 people. At the end of the day, students break bread with their entire school community in celebration of Thetford Academy’s past, present, and future.

Field Day

Every year on a Friday afternoon in May, the whole school takes an afternoon to relax and enjoy the Vermont spring weather. After an all-school lunch, students spend the afternoon with their classmates looking at the new yearbook, eating ice cream, and playing soccer, Frisbee, and a variety of other outdoor games. The most popular field day activity, though, is taking a shot at dunking a favorite teacher in the dunk tank.