Chris O’Connell ’13 is the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips Program.
Class of 2017 – Welcome to Dartmouth!
Congratulations on your acceptance and for getting through one of the more stressful parts of high school! I remember how overwhelmingly crazy this time of year was with college decisions, so I hope you have had a few minutes to relax, celebrate, and get as excited as you possibly can for your next four years in Hanover.
Students gather on the lawn of Robinson Hall for the start of their DOC Trip.
My name is Chris O’Connell and I am the director of the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips Program – usually just known as “Trips.” I am SO incredibly excited for you all to come to Dartmouth in 8ish months. It seems like a long ways away (…because it is), but it will fly by and before you know it, we’ll be welcoming you to campus for your First-Year Trip!
DOC First-Year Trips first got its start in 1935 when some older students involved in the College’s outing club invited some new students to go hiking with them before the school year started. Since then, the program has evolved, grown, and expanded to be much more than exploring the beautiful New Hampshire outdoors – Trips is an introduction to the College’s traditions, a fun way to meet other ‘17s, and (most importantly) an exciting welcome into this community…your community!
Each Trip is 5 days long and takes place right before the College’s official orientation program in late August/early September. The program is entirely student-run: 60 support crew members, 300 trip leaders, and countless other student volunteers make DOC Trips an incredibly memorable and exciting experience for the incoming class. Each trip has two, well-trained, upperclassmen leaders & 7-10 new students. Don’t worry if you haven’t been in the wilderness before – we offer trips of all levels and varieties, everything from Cabin Camping to Whitewater Kayaking to Community Service to Mountain Biking. We have added a lot of different types of trips over the years, so we hope you’ll find one that interests you!
The hiking trip I had the chance to lead as a sophomore!
I’m a member of the (great) Class of 2013, so it was only four years ago that I went on my own DOC Trip – rock climbing! I had never been climbing before, but I had the chance to learn and check out a beautiful portion of the Appalachian Trail. Three years ago, I got to lead a hiking trip in the White Mountains and had a blast leading a group of freshmen through their first days at Dartmouth. The experience you can have on your DOC Trips is one of Dartmouth’s most unique traditions — it’s a great way to get introduced to people different from yourself, learn about the Dartmouth community, and get connected to upperclassmen who can help you out during your time at the College.
Everyone’s experience with DOC Trips is different, but we are working very hard to welcome YOU – whoever you are, wherever you came from, whoever you want to be in college – to your new home at Dartmouth. Registration materials (with dates & details) for Trips will be sent to you later in 2013, but for now – enjoy this moment and get excited for an incredible four years!
I’m looking forward to welcoming you to campus next fall! Enjoy the rest of your senior year!
Chris O’Connell ‘13
P.S. Can’t get enough of Dartmouth right now? Check out our Trips blog for more stories, photos, and excitement!