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.

Dendrochronology
By, Jesse Sweet The Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course worked on a unit studying dendrochronology. Dendrochronology is the technique of dating events, environmental change, and archaeological artifacts by using the characteristic patterns of annual growth rings in tree trunks. During this unit we focused on the study of red pine trees. We cored trees, […]

January 15, 2020   TOP Blog
Geocaching
By Ezekiel Colburn The Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education Course went on a field trip to multiple geocache spots near Thetford Academy. A geocache is a hidden container marked by a GPS point. The person who hides the geocache can also provide a clue as to where the geocache is located. Our teacher, Scott Ellis […]

January 14, 2020   TOP Blog
The Brand New Low Ropes Course
By, Louis Dybvig Thetford Academy has a brand new low ropes course. Many of the elements were built by students in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course. One element is called Nitro Swing. It has four small platforms arranged in a diamond shape and participants have to swing on a rope and land on […]

January 13, 2020   TOP Blog
First Fires
By, Caleb MacNeil People have asked me what are some of the most important things to know about the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education class at TA. One of my responses is that a key component of the class is the fires. During the first fires of the year, Scott Ellis supervises us. He explained […]

January 13, 2020   TOP Blog
Alumnus Gives Back
By Kaydence Rich The Thetford Academy Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education class visited Mike Hebb at his home in Strafford, Vermont on September 26th. Mike is a Thetford Academy alumnus, class of 64’ and very knowledgeable about a variety of topics. We visited his house to see how he cares for his apple trees, to […]

January 10, 2020   TOP Blog
Zebedee Wetlands Field Trip
By Brennan Vaughan The Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course went to Zebedee Wetlands in October of 2019. Zebedee is managed by The UpperValley Land Trust and is a popular bird watching area in Thetford, VT. At Zebedee there is a trail that surrounds a swamp. On the field trip, Scott Ellis (Thetford Outdoor Program […]

January 9, 2020   TOP Blog
Union Village Dam Exploration
By Faith Crowe Students in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course read a book called Reading the Forested Landscapes by Tom Wessels. This book is about the land we live in and what’s shaped the land. The book shows the reader how they can find clues in the forest that tell a story.  As  […]

January 9, 2020   TOP Blog
A Quest
By Russell Fenton On October 21, 2019, students in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course went on a  valley quest in the state forest. The quest started at the bottom of the hill and went throughout the forest. There were clues along the way to find each step. The clues were descriptive, but it […]

January 9, 2020   TOP Blog
Seven Minutes
By Kai Harris What is a seven minute free write? Seven minute free writes are a time where the whole Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education Program class sits down and writes for seven minutes without stopping. There is always a prompt but what follows that prompt is up to the writer. Free writes are also […]

January 9, 2020   TOP Blog
The Power of Apple Cider
By, Madison Hatch This year, the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course did a unit on studying apples and apple cider. Each student participated in collecting a variety of apples from different locations, making cider and conducting a lab. My favorite part was getting to taste the freshly made cider. Surprisingly, the flavors of the […]

January 8, 2020   TOP Blog
Buckthorn Removal
By, Liam Patterson What is Buckthorn? Buckthorn is an invasive species located in many parts of New England. Here, in Thetford Vermont, buckthorn is very prominent on the school property and in the State Forest. One of the classes here at TA called, Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education, plans to do something about it. In […]

January 8, 2020   TOP Blog
The Overnight
By Charles Longshaw This reflection is from an overnight solo experience for Thetford Academy’s Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education Program. We were out in the wilderness, trying to see if we could make it through the whole night alone with limited materials. All I chose to bring with me were warm layers, hand warmers, a […]

January 8, 2020   TOP Blog
Solos
By Ethan Howe In the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course, a major component of the class is “solos.” Solos are a designated time each week where students return to their solo spot and spend reflective time alone in the wilderness. A solo spot is a quiet place in the forest that each student has […]

December 31, 2019   TOP Blog
Hulbert Outdoor Center Field Trip
By Jack Hastings The Thetford Outdoor program took a field trip to the Hulbert Outdoor Center on November 7th. The class was presented with several low ropes course elements to overcome. One example of the elements we had to complete was a rope swing with two platforms called Nitro Swing. The objective was to get […]

December 17, 2019   TOP Blog
TA’s New Mountain Bike Trail
By, Ethan Marshia The Thetford Outdoor Program has constructed a new mountain bike trail that is now available to the public. Students in the Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education course worked on the trail over the course of two weeks. It is located in the woodlot, across from Academy Road. Each student was responsible for […]

December 16, 2019   TOP Blog