What had started with just 16 tripees and a few trip leaders had grown by 1970 to the point where nearly half of the incoming class participated in Freshman Trips. Today the program involves over 90 percent of the freshman class and more than two hundred upperclassmen student leaders.
After two nights in the outdoors, the groups reconvene at the Ravine Lodge at the base of Mt. Moosilauke and are treated to stories from administrators, faculty, or alumni about their own Dartmouth experiences.
This common experience has become a vital part of acclimation to the Dartmouth community, and many first-year students make some of their best and longest-lasting friendships with their tripees. Because of this, Freshman Trips have come to symbolize the strong sense of community and camaraderie that brings former students back to Dartmouth year after year.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
|1946 Freshmen Trip|
crossing the dam at Moosilauke
Roger Brown leading
The military allusion was prophetic; later that year, the United States entered World War II. The resulting decrease in civilian student population and the curtailment of travel, compelled the DOC to limit the 1942 trip to the first 50 applicants. The entire trip that year was based at Moosilauke (the hike up the mountain was described as not difficult: “girls frequently make the trip up and down the Mountain in a day”). Since Dartmouth accelerated its academic calendar during the war, the 1942 Freshmen Trip took place in July over the course of a weekend, returning the Class of 1946 to campus in time to register on Monday, July 6.
Allowed to use only one truck in 1944, the DOC was forced to limit the trip even more, to 30 students. However, it did not take long after the end of the war for Freshmen Trips to experience their due success. Within a decade, the number of students participating reached 200, divided into two sections of several trips each, all fed, transported, led up and down mountains, informed and entertained with the precision Harry Bond had feared… but which has done nothing to detract from the success and enthusiasm for this happy introduction to Dartmouth for over 70 years.