Gallery | A Look Back at First-Year Trips

A spirit of adventure and community connects today’s tripees with their predecessors.

In 1935, as a means of boosting membership, the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) extended an invitation for a “get acquainted trip” to members of the incoming Class of 1939. Sixteen first years and a few trip leaders set off on that inaugural first-year trip.

By the 1960s, half of each incoming class was participating in the new tradition. In recent years, over 90 percent of each incoming class has elected to go on the optional trips, which remain student-led and nature-focused.

Every year, trips begin in Hanover with “croo” members and trip leaders introducing “tripees” to one another through ice-breaking activities, including learning how to dance “The Salty Dog Rag.” Individual groups set off the following day to connect through experiences in nature that can include hiking, mountain biking, climbing, canoeing, farming, and sailing.

After two nights in the outdoors, groups reconvene at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, as so many classes have done before them.

All photos courtesy of the Dartmouth Library. 

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First years from the Class of 1943 take a break together while on their trip.
First years from the Class of 1943 take a break together while on their trip.

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1946 Freshmen Trip crossing the dam at Moosilauke Roger Brown leading
1946 | Trip leader and future DOC President Roger Brown ’45 leads first years across the dam at Moosilauke.

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Dickey speaks to first years, 1956
1956 | President John Sloan Dickey speaks to first years at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

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First year trips 1950s - DOC running a table in front of Robinson Hall to sign new students up for the club
1950s | Members of the Dartmouth Outing Club sit at an information table in front of Robinson Hall in hopes of finding new recruits in the fresh batch of first years.

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1968 | A group of students on Mount Moosilauke during the Class of 1972’s first-year trip.
1968 | A group of students on Mount Moosilauke during the Class of 1972’s first-year trip.

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First Year Trips, 1972
1972 | Members of the Class of 1976, the College’s first coeducational class, set off on the first leg of their 70-mile trip to Mount Moosilauke.

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Trip leader Viva Hardigg ’84 leads Jennifer Nichols '87, Martin McCarter '87 Max Cobb '87, and Karin Clough '87 on a hike in the fall of 1983.
1983 | Trip leader Viva Hardigg ’84 leads Jennifer Nichols ’87, Martin McCarter ’87, Max Cobb ’87, and Karin Clough ’87 on a hike.

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Dinner with President James Freedman, First Year Trips
Late 1980s | President James O. Freedman, at center in a striped sweater, finds a place at the dinner table at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

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First Year Trips, 1987
1987 | Members of the Class of 1991 pause for a group shot before embarking on their trip.

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first year trips, 1990
1990s | Silly games and hijinks have long been part of the trip experience.

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2006 | Before setting off on their trip, students get to know one another by learning a few dance moves that will come in handy later at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.
2006 | Before setting off on their trip, students get to know one another by learning a few dance moves that will come in handy later at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.

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2018 | Members of the Class of 2022 dance at the newly rebuilt Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.
2018 | Members of the Class of 2022 dance at the newly rebuilt Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.