TOP Blog

May
12

TOP to Offer Outdoor Opportunities this Summer

The Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) is offering three amazing outdoor opportunities this summer.   Trail Crew, June 17 – 21 The summer Trail Crew maintains and builds trails on Thetford Academy’s 295 acres of woodlands and surrounding forests. A paid work opportunity and a great experience for students to add to their resume, Trail Crew is […]

By William Bugg | Features . News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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Apr
12

Understanding Your Carbon Footprint and Forest Carbon Sequestration

Follow the link below to see the Carbon Footprint Map https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1VQQtn5R8FLrq9G6xxoFkWc5PlbU_t8Kt&ll=43.81298907749616%2C-72.24176045000002&z=16 Students in the Environmental Studies and outdoor education course have been working on understanding their carbon footprint and how forests can reduces atmospheric CO2.   Each student started with calculating their carbon footprint for one year. To do this they needed to know their electricity […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Apr
10

Maple Sugaring Video Presentation

This is a Pecha Kucha inspired presentation of maple sugaring made by students in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor education course in the Thetford Outdoor Program. Learn how to collect sap and make maple products.

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Mar
14

TOP Hosts Maple Sugar Social: March 22, 2019

The chickadees have changed their call and that means it’s maple season! Join the Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) at TA’s new sugar house for its first Maple Sugar Social. This community event is free and open to the public. Come by for sap boiling, syrup tasting, sugar on snow, tours of TA’s sugar bush and […]

By Patty McIlvaine | Alumni . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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Jan
18

TOP Capstone Projects

Take a look at what the students from the Outdoor Education course did for their capstone projects this term. Why to Join TOP Video By Carter Banks Click here to watch My goal for the project is to inspire students to take this class, and give them an honest look at what what being in […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Jan
09

TOP Campout at TA Yurt: Jan. 25-26

The Thetford Outdoor Program is hosting a campout for 7th to 9th graders at Thetford Academy’s yurt in the Thetford Hill State Park on Friday, Jan. 25, to Saturday, Jan, 26. The group will meet after school (at 3 p.m.) on Friday in Scott Ellis’s classroom and then hike up to the yurt for the […]

By William Bugg | News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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Dec
05

Middle School Girls Go Camping in the Snow

Nine 7th grade girls spent the night at the Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) yurt in the Thetford Hill State Park adjacent to Thetford Academy on Friday, Nov. 30. Chaperone and science teacher Rose Dedam shared, “We did some nighttime sledding on the soccer field, hauled our gear up to the yurt on sleds, and had […]

By William Bugg | News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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Dec
05

The Sugar Shack

By, Jackson Kingsbury The Thetford Outdoor Program has built a Sugar Shack. The Sugar Shack was one of the biggest projects that the class took on this year. Each student was given one job to lead. I was responsible for the construction of the rafters, while Becca was responsible for the doors. We all helped […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Nov
30

Students Build Sugar Shack

TA’s sugar shack is starting to take shape.  Adjacent to the timber framed outdoor classroom just south of the student parking lot, the structure will be completed in the upcoming days — with several months of time to spare before this year’s sugaring operation begins. With help from Mike Wells and Jere Linehan, Scott Ellis’s […]

By William Bugg | Academics . Features . News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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Oct
19

Scott Ellis Earns SHAPE VT Leadership Award

Scott Ellis, coordinator of the Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP), was recognized by the Society of Health and Physical Educators of Vermont (SHAPE Vermont) with the Physical Activity Leadership Award during a ceremony Oct. 19 in Killington. The state-wide award recognizes outstanding individuals who actively promote lifelong health and physical activity. Ellis, who teaches Thetford Academy’s […]

By Patty McIlvaine | Academics . Features . News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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Oct
02

Dendrochronology Project

     The Outdoor Class conducted an experiment to see if age affects the height of red pine trees. Red pines were cored to measure age and a clinometer was used to measure height. Eight total trees were tested in different sites. Four of the trees tested were naturally growing and the other four were planted. […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Sep
10

VINS Visits TA

Students from the Environmental Studies and Outdoor education course will be presenting this year at the VINS Science Symposium. Michelle Amato from VINS came to TA to tell the class about this amazing opportunity.

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Jun
05

Outdoor Classroom Sign

By Thomas Worth There is now a sign leading up to the outdoor classroom. Now students and community members will know where to go when they come to the yurt for the first time. I made my sign by burning the letters into the wood by hand. It took me a full 5 days of […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Jun
04

New Fire Pit

By Hugh O’Donnell For my capstone project, I decided to build off of my idea from the last capstone project I did in the fall and refurbish the fire pit in the outdoor classroom. The last fire pit I created was made of stacked stones, and I decided to create something a little more modern […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Jun
04

Outdoor Program Highlights

By Spencer Williams To watch a video of the outdoor program highlights click Here This year the outdoor class did Three big projects that I see as highlights of the year.  We built a yurt, went on an overnight, and we did a maple sugaring unit. Building the yurt was a big accomplishment. We built […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Jun
04

Yurt Recognition Sign

By Hunter LeFevre For my capstone project I made a sign to recognize everyone who helped build the yurt. The sign is two feet by two feet and made out of cedar wood. It was routed on a CNC router, then it was stained, painted and sanded. I really like how it turned out. I […]

By Scott Ellis | TOP Blog
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Nothing from June 24, 2019 to July 1, 2019.

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“Consider that the mind is capable of an endless growth.”—Asa Burton, one of the founders, urging citizens of Thetford to establish TA in 1819
We set high expectations. We challenge all members of the school community to reach their highest potential.
Our mission is to celebrate the unique worth of all students, to nurture their strengths, and to challenge them to fulfill their potential.
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