Thetford Outdoor Program Class Blog

Welcome to the Thetford Outdoor Program class website. Over the course of the year, we’ll be sharing news and photos from our outdoor learning adventures, as well as resources and reflections created by our students along the way.


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 […]

December 5, 2018   News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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 […]

December 5, 2018   TOP Blog
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 […]

November 30, 2018   Academics . Features . News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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 […]

October 19, 2018   Academics . Features . News . Parents . TA Today . TOP Blog
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. […]

October 2, 2018   TOP Blog
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.

September 10, 2018   TOP Blog
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 […]

June 5, 2018   TOP Blog
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 […]

June 4, 2018   TOP Blog
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 […]

June 4, 2018   TOP Blog
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 […]

June 4, 2018   TOP Blog