Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Into the Wild

Photo of students about to leave for Trips in the 1950s
The last few weeks of August on the Dartmouth campus traditionally signal the end of a full and exciting summer term for the Sophomore class. They also herald the impending arrival of a new cohort of first-year students, many of whom will choose to start their Dartmouth experience by embarking on a long-standing tradition called Freshman Trips. The Freshman Trips program was originally started by the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) in 1935 as a way of connecting with incoming students who had matriculated at Dartmouth specifically because of the Outing Club's reputation for outdoors adventure. The idea had begun in response to regrets voiced by graduating seniors who wished that they had known about the Club and gotten involved earlier in their college careers.

Color photo of two female students out in the woods on Trips in 1992Initially, there were only a few dozen men who opted to participate; nowadays, hundreds of students sign up for a distinctly Dartmouth-style orientation to college life in northern New Hampshire. Given the high numbers of interested freshmen, the Trips program also runs a training regimen for the students who lead these green recruits out into the wilderness. Here at Rauner, we have the joy of assisting in their orientation each August by laying out a selection of materials related to the history of Trips. The DOC's archives here at Rauner are vast, and there is a lot of great stuff about Freshman Trips within the many boxes that constitute the collection. Trip Leader applications, participant surveys, menus, publications, maps, photographs, and many other interesting items underscore the long and beloved tradition of what is, for many freshmen, their first encounter with their alma mater.

Freshman Trips menu from 1971

To see materials related to Freshman Trips, come to Rauner and explore the records of the Dartmouth Outing Club (DO-1) or the Freshman Trips photo files.

No comments :

Post a Comment