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A Century of Instigating Adventure

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Updated 12/14/09

Dartmouth Outing Club marks 100 years

Founded by Dartmouth student Fred Harris on Dec. 14, 1909, the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009 with a range of events, including Winter Carnival, Woodsmen's Weekend, "AT-in-a-Day," and an alumni banquet this past Saturday. Harris, an adventurous Vermonter and member of the Class of 1911, wanted students to "take better advantage of the opportunities which the admirable situation of our college offers."

doc logoHarris did that and more, as the DOC grew to become a year-round organization with considerable campus prestige and membership. It continues to be the model for similar college outing clubs, and the DOC helped others along by forming the Intercollegiate Outing Club Organization in 1914. Many customs now commonplace on American campuses, such as Winter Carnival, intercollegiate skiing, and outdoor orientation trips for incoming students, were pioneered by the DOC.

"The centennial is a huge deal—the fact that we're 100 years old and going strong is reason to celebrate," says Andrew Palmer '10, DOC president.

Dartmouth's largest student organization, with more than 1,500 members, the DOC organizes hundreds of annual excursions for activities such as hiking, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking, white-water kayaking, rock climbing, and organic farming. Members maintain 75 miles of the Appalachian Trail and 20 cabins in and around the White Mountains and the 27,000-acre Second College Grant.

Click here to sign up for an event!

Or call (603) 646-2429

True to the nature of the DOC, the centennial events are student-driven and pay tribute to the club's rich history. The celebration began on Jan. 1, when a group of 20 students and alumni (including Putnam Blodgett '53, Eric Sailer '60, and Chris Wren '57) hiked Mt. Moosilauke in subzero temperatures. A hopefully warmer event—the Oct. 10 all-Dartmouth hike covering the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (thanks to coordinated point-to-point hikes)—has never been done before by a member organization.

"The alumni and students hiking Moosilauke together on the first day of 2009 was a great way to set the tone for the entire year," notes Palmer. "The anniversary celebration is as much for alumni as it is for the undergraduates. Many of the events and the traditions that exist in the club today are there because alumni made a difference during their day. We get to enjoy everything they accomplished."


2009 Calendar


moosilaukeNew Year's Day Ascent of  Moosilauke (Photo by  Andrew Mertens '12)
New Year's Day
Mt. Moosilauke Hike


Feb. 13-15
DOC Centennial-Themed Winter Carnival
NCAA ski races, snow sculpture, polar bear swim

Feb. 21
Winter Weekend in Second College Grant
Commemoration of 50th year anniversary of Miller Quinn tragedy, dog sledding, and nature tours

Read a Boston Globe story on the Miller Quinn tragedy.


April 24-25

woodsmenWoodsmen's Weekend (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Woodsmen's Weekend

Intercollegiate outdoor skills competition in Hanover
Listen to NPR's "Only a Game" report on Woodsmen's Weekend. (scroll down)

April 10
Dartmouth Organic Farm Celebration
Visit the 200 acres of gardens and woodlands


Date to be determined
Trip to the Sea
Canoe trip from source of Connecticut River to Old Saybrook, Conn.

kayaksKayaking on the Connecticut River. (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

May 22-25
(Memorial Day weekend)
100-Mile Trailwalk
Hike the 75 miles of the Appalachian Trail maintained by the DOC, plus 25 miles of the trail on Mt. Moosilauke


July 11

lodgeMoosilauke Ravine Lodge (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
Celebration at Mt. Moosilauke
70th anniversary of the Ravine Lodge


Sept. 6-17 DOC Trips
Centennial-themed trips for first-year students, display in Rauner Special Collections Library

tripsFirst-Year Trips H-Croo (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)


Oct. 10

trailAppalachian Trail (Photo by Joseph Mehling '69)
All-Dartmouth Hike of the Entire Appalachian Trail
Reserve your section for this event, a first-ever for a member club

Oct. 23-24
A peak bag (hike to the summit) of the 100 best mountains in Vermont and New Hampshire


Dec. 12
Alumni Banquet on Campus
The DOC was founded exactly 100 years ago on this date

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 1/19/10