Founded in 1935, Dartmouth Outing Club First Year Trips have provided students with a unique introduction to Dartmouth College and its community. “Trips”, as we call it, is a totally fun five-day outdoor pre-orientation program designed to welcome incoming students to Dartmouth in style! For over 75 years, the program has been entirely run by students, for students, which is a beautiful, beautiful thing.
DOC First-year Trips exist to give all incoming students an exciting and unforgettable welcome to the Dartmouth community. Trips provides them with an introduction to the College’s traditions and spirit, as well as a safe and positive outdoor experience through the Dartmouth Outing Club. Trips creates common ground for first-year students, a space to build lasting friendships and social support systems, and facilitates a connection to dedicated upperclassmen who act as role models and mentors at Dartmouth and beyond. In recent years, approximately 96% of the incoming class participated in the DOC Trips program, which is staffed by a team of approximately 350 student volunteers.
History & StructureTrips started way back in 1935 when a bunch of upperclass DOC members invited a few first year students to go on a hike before classes started. Since then, the program has improved (and grown) dramatically. In the late ’80s, the DOC decided that Trips should be for all incoming students, even those without any outdoor experience.
Trips is the largest outdoor orientation program in the country! Every year, we work to make the Trips program a little better, and this year is no exception. We’ve come a long way in 77 years, and this year is your chance to experience it for yourself! The primary goal of DOC Trips is to enable current students to welcome the incoming class to Dartmouth while providing them an introduction to their classmates and the outdoors. We provide Trips of many different levels from beginner to advanced and many different types from canoeing to yoga and hiking. Each trip consists of six to twelve new students and two upper-class student leaders.
Trips all last for five days, starting in Hanover and ending at the College-owned Moosilauke Ravine Lodge in Warren, New Hampshire. DOC Trips are open to all interested students and therefore, the Trips program is staggered over ten sections, each arriving on its own day then heading out. Trips have become a strong Dartmouth tradition for many incoming students. The program is also entirely student-run between over 270 trip leaders, 50 support crew members, and a 17-person student directorate. There are also 4 EMTs on call at all times during Trips to ensure the program runs smoothly and stays safe.
For Prospective & Incoming Students
All incoming students, including exchange and transfer students, are invited to participate in DOC First-Year Trips.
We will contact all incoming students in early June with registration information. Absolutely no outdoor experience is required and there are a wide range of activities for students to participate in during the program.
While the program has a fee, costs should never prevent any student from participating. We offer partial and full financial aid to all students who have demonstrated need. Similarly, accessibility concerns should not prevent anyone from participating. We work closely with the College's Office of Student Accessibility Services to make all desired accommodations possible.
Explore the website:
and the blog:
for calendar information and experiences regarding the program.
DOC First-Year Trips relies on student volunteers to serve as trip leaders and support crew members. Each winter, we release volunteer applications and notify selected students in early spring. Generally we accept approximately 300 trip leaders and 55 support crew members. We also have an active wait-list to lead a trip.
Completion of training is required for all student volunteers. We offer training sessions throughout the spring and summer terms. Trip Leader Trainers will contact trip leaders, support crew members, and wait-listed students with information regarding the training requirements and schedule. Please contact the TLTs if you have questions regarding training:
All volunteers must be CPR and First Aid certified. This may be done through Dartmouth EMS, the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, or similar organization.
ContactThe DOC First-Year Trips directors are in the office part-time from January to September. During the rest of the year, please contact the Outdoor Programs Office at 603.646.2428.
E-mail is always the best way to reach us: DOC.Trips@dartmouth.edu. You can also call the Trips office at 603.646.3996.
Don't forget to check out our blog: http://docfirstyeartrips.wordpress.com/, Facebook, and Twitter (@DOCtrips)!
Last updated on May 22 by Christopher A. O'Connell
contributors: Diana M. Pechter