Thetford Outdoor Program

The Thetford Outdoor Program (TOP) launched in 2014 with the generous support of the Woodbury Foundation. The program builds on TA’s commitment to experiential and outdoor learning, and turns TA’s vast natural resources into an interdisciplinary outdoor classroom.

Led by outdoor educator and teacher Scott Ellis, the centerpiece of the Thetford Outdoor Program is a half-day Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course. Nearly all of the learning in this course takes place outdoors, and includes both scientific exploration and literary reflection. Students in the course engage in field experiments and independent study, and each student ends the semester with a capstone project.

TOP also includes several elective courses across TA’s curriculum: Timber Framing, Forestry, Botany, Why Food Matters, Environmental Economics, and Nature Writing, as well as a host of student clubs and activities focused on outdoor recreation, sports, and adventure skills.

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. .

Outdoor Education Courses

Outdoor Education Faculty

Scott Ellis

Coordinator of Thetford Outdoor Program

Outdoor Education |

Gary Engler


Outdoor Education, STEM | Science

Christopher (Casey) Huling

Social Studies

Humanities, Outdoor Education | Social Studies

Abby MacGregor

Humanities, Outdoor Education | English

Chris Schmidt

Design Technology and Outdoor Education

Arts, Outdoor Education, STEM | Design Technology, Engineering & Technology