Events include 100 trips, conservation work, an explorers' symposium, and Riverfest.
The Ledyard Canoe Club is celebrating 100 years at Dartmouth with 100 river trips, a celebration of storied expeditions, and river conservation work at its annual Explorer's Symposium in April 2020. There will also be special events and alumni trips during the 2019-20 school year.
Since its founding by students in 1920, the canoe club has been dedicated to building community around canoeing and kayaking and conserving the world's wild rivers. The club took John Ledyard for their namesake, a man who, in 1773, as a Dartmouth student, grew tired of his studies, felled a pine tree, dug out a canoe, and set off down the Connecticut to become an explorer.
Gretta Pickett '21 says Ledyard's traditions, like the annual trip to the sea following Ledyard's route, started in 1921, combined with the strong sense of community, make the club an important part of her Dartmouth experience.
"It's an awesome community and a really great place to get outside and push myself," she says. "Most of my best friends are in Ledyard, and it's been a place where I've felt included and happy and feel like I'm growing as a person."
Just before the fall term, the club sponsored Pickett, Alana McClements '22, and Clara Goldberger '22 on a trip to the Madawaska Kanu Centre in Canada, where they paddled the Riviere Rouge and the Ottawa River and earned their whitewater paddling certifications. They will now be able to lead Ledyard whitewater kayak trips, a goal the women embraced in part to close the gender gap for women leading Ledyard whitewater trips, Pickett says.
"As a trip leader, having some responsibility in the club and feeling like I can share something with people has been special for me, especially incoming '23s and just people who haven't spent as much time outside—to share that part of Dartmouth with them."
Ledyard's centennial events include:
For more information, contact [email protected]. The Ledyard boathouse on the Connecticut is open Monday through Friday during fall term; hours are noon to 6 p.m. weekday, and on weekends hours are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. The club also offers canoe and kayak and paddle board rentals and instruction for the community.
William Platt can be reached at [email protected].