Friday, September 9, 2011

The First Tripees

A man hauling packs into the back of a truck.
1938 Trip
On September 10, 1935, a group of 16 freshman ventured into the wilds of northern New Hampshire on the first Freshman Trip. In the year 1934-35 the Outing Club was undergoing some internal scrutiny. There had been a “sharp decline in paid memberships” and the club was accused by some of “aloofness and unco-operativeness.” The first Freshman Trip was characterized in The Dartmouth as an “acquaintance trip” to introduce freshmen to the Outing Club and the “White Mountains and the territory.” Acquaintance trips had been tried before, but this trip was different as it was scheduled to take place before school was in session.

A group of men seated together outdoors.
1939 Trip

A page of typed text.
1935 application
The application for the 1935 trip notes that, “The trip will break into shape with as much care as possible. However, the latter part of the program will involve some strenuous climbs, and the trip up Moosilauke on the first day is a tough one.” The students arrived back to Hanover “sun and wind burned.” No mention is made of the success of the trip, but since the trips have now been going on for 76 years, we can assume it was a hit. Notably, one of the students on the trip was named Daniel Webster. This Dan went on to become a physician, not a statesman like his namesake, but it seems appropriate that the name Webster should be associated with the first Freshman Trip.

The records of the Outing Club are held in Rauner and a finding aid is available.

1 comment :

  1. For those interested, man in the middle of the second photograph is none other than Ross Mckenney of Dartmouth Outing Club fame. See more about Ross Mckenney at:

    Peter Carini
    College Archivist