TOP Summer Leadership Program

Each summer, the Thetford Outdoor Program offers several opportunities for Thetford Academy students to have immersive outdoor leadership experiences and adventures. TOP Summer Leadership programs fill up quickly, so enroll today to ensure your spot on one of these amazing adventures.



Trail Crew – June 21-25, 2021

This week-long work experience engages students in all aspects of trail maintenance and development. Students will work building and improving trail networks in the Thetford Hill State Forest, Upper Valley Land Trust property, and on TA’s vast, 295-acre forested campus.

Students will build bog bridges, install signs, maintain, improve, and develop current trails–including an expansion of TA’s new mountain bike trail.

The crew meets Monday- Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with four days of work and one day team activity or hike. Students will be compensated $100 for the week.

Trail Crew applications are due no later than May 24th. Apply now!


Connecticut River Canoe Trip – June 27-July 2 & July 18-23, 2021

TOP will host two week-long canoe trips on the Connecticut River in 2021. The first day of the program is on campus, getting prepared and practicing skills.

The second day, students will travel to Wells River, VT, where they will begin a four-day paddle to White River Junction.

Along the way the group will be camping at primitive campsites, developing leadership skills, and interacting with the beautiful scenery along the paddling trail.

There will be two trip leaders with extensive wilderness camping experience and a student intern guiding the trip. 

Group equipment including tents, dry bags, canoes, paddles, life jackets and food are included and personal equipment can be loaned upon request. A complete packing list will be provided to all participants and equipment checked prior to departure.

There is a $350 fee for this program to cover food, permits, staffing and equipment costs.


Appalachian Trail Backpacking – July 5-9, 2021

Students will explore the Appalachian Trail on this four-day backpacking trip. Starting on campus with a day of trip preparation and skill building, students will learn how to hike safely in a wilderness setting. The trip will start on the Appalachian Trail in Lyme, NH and end in North Woodstock NH. 

Along the way the group will be camping at primitive campsites, developing leadership skills, and interacting with the beautiful scenery along the trail. There will be a leader with extensive wilderness camping experience and a student intern guiding the trip. 

Group equipment including backpacks and food are included and personal equipment can be loaned upon request. A complete packing list will be provided to all participants and the equipment will be checked prior to departure.

There is a $300 fee for this program to cover food, staffing and equipment costs.


Rock Climbing in the Adirondacks – July 12-16, 2021

The Thetford Outdoor Program will be hosting a one week rock climbing trip in the Adirondacks. On day 1, students will practice their skills locally in South Royalton, VT, before traveling to Keene Valley in the Adirondack State Park.

The group will base camp in Keene Valley and travel to climbing sites near by each day. Participants will be top rope climbing, belaying, building leadership skills and finding appropriate challenges for their climbing skills. The trip leader is trained in American Mountain Guides top rope climbing instruction and wilderness first aid. There will also be an assistant instructor and potential intern. 

Group equipment including climbing harnesses, climbing shoes, helmets, climbing gear, and food are included. Personal camping equipment can be loaned upon request. A complete packing list will be provided to all participants and the equipment will be checked prior to departure.

There is a $300 fee for this program to cover food, staffing and equipment costs.