DOC First-Year Trips / Info for Leaders / Being a Leader

Being a Leader

Leader News

Leader assignments for DOC First-Year Trips 2014 are posted! Login to see your trip.

Hi Trip Leaders! We are so excited to welcome you to DOC First-Year Trips! Your role is at the heart of what Trips is about: building community and personally welcoming new students to Dartmouth. We are the Trip Leader Trainers (TLTSs) and we are responsible for pretty much everything to do with the incredible group of students who serve as Trip Leaders! A lot of our work is behind the scenes, but we are psyched to work together over the next few months to prepare you to be an awesome trip leader.

Along with the rest of the Trips Directorate, our role includes:

  • Writing and assessing the leader applications
  • Organizing and facilitating the Trip Leader Training sessions
  • Managing the TLT blitz account and answering any questions from YOU!
  • Planning and running the Gilman Island Training Refresher Session...the final portion of your training (and trip leader bonding) that occurs the day before your trip begins.

This page has a LOT of good information for you, so be sure to check it out. We will update it periodically with the latest information you need as a trip leader. But first, we want to introduce ourselves! If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, we want to hear them! Feel free to reach out to any of us personally if there is anything we can do to better support you. If you have scheduling or training questions, please send an email to the TLT account.

Trip Leader Updates

  • The Spring 2014 training schedule will be posted this May! Please refer to the calendar page for more information.
  • It's time to start thinking about your gear for your trip! Check out the information below for details about your packing list and what equipment to bring for your trip!
  • Have questions for the TLTs? Submit any questions you might have about being a trip leader or the program as a whole, and we'll post responses online throughout the next few months. If you'd like to speak with one of us in-person, please feel free to email us individually.
  • Have you submitted your First Aid & CPR certification? ALL leaders must submit a valid certification to the DOC Trips Safety Master as soon as possible. All leaders must have valid medical certifications in order to lead a trip!
  • Trip Leader Training

    Our excellent Leader Training Program consists of three distinct sessions, which can either be taken separately or all together during an All-In-One session. In addition, each Trip Leader must be First Aid and CPR certified for the duration of his/her trip (both the Trips program and the Dartmouth EMS offer courses to complete these certifications). Lastly, each trip leader must complete one Outdoor Experience pertinent to the type of trip you are leading. We will contact you with the details about this portion of training.

    • Risk Management Session (RM): Here you will learn everything you will need to know about how to make your trip as safe as possible. This session will teach both concrete practical skills (e.g. how to prevent blisters, where to go during lightening, etc.) as well as safe decision-making skills for any potentially risky situations (moose attack?!?!).
    • Community Building Session (CB): While half of being a trip leader is getting your trippees safely through the wilderness, the other half is building a community and forming relationships within your trip that will last long after your return back to Robo lawn. Together we will discuss topics such as how to make your trip as welcoming of an environment as possible, fun and creative activities to make your trip memorable, and the continuation of your trip leader role back on campus. Finally, we will explain the logistics of Trips from your start on Gilman to your time at Moosilauke!
    • Wilderness Skills Session (WS): During WS you will learn the basic hard wilderness skills you'll need during your trip. Depending on your trip, you will focus on various topics such as map reading, using a Trangia (it is okay if you do not know what a Trangia is, that's what the trainings are for!), and setting up a tarp that will keep your trippees dry. This seminar will be mostly outside and on the move, so please wear appropriate footwear.
    • All-In-One Session: This day-long (fun!) session gives you the opportunity to experience all three sessions consecutively. For your convenience, you may also attend the All-In-One session for just one or two of the session components (for example, you can do CB as an individual session, and then attend the All-In-One for the WS and RM requirement).

    See the Leader Calendar for the dates each session is offered.

    Equipment for your DOC Trip

    DOC Trips has a very limited supply of outdoor gear to borrow for your trip and it is distributed to incoming students FIRST. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that every leader who needs gear from us will be able to borrow it. Please READ and follow the directions below as you prepare for your trip:

    Step 1 - READ: Look through your packing list online to determine what is required, suggested, optional, and not allowed. You may not need serious backpacking gear for your trip; for example, most cabin camping trips will be totally fine with a duffel bag instead of a frame pack. Carefully read over what you need, figure out what gear you already have, and move on to step #2!!

    Step 2 - ASK AROUND: Before you go buy lots of new camping gear, ASK classmates, friends, family members, other Dartmouth students etc. if you can borrow their equipment. You do not need new equipment - old-school gear is totally fine so long as it works properly! We don't advise you to borrow hiking boots, but ask around and see what items you can borrow for your trip! Once you've asked around for gear to borrow, it's time for step #3!

    Step 3 - BUY: Now that you have identified what you need, what you already have, and what you can's time to purchase any other items on your packing list. We suggest visiting your local Army/Navy Surplus Store, thrift stores, rummage sales, or outdoor gear stores (such as REI, Sierra Trading Post, or EMS). Staff at these stores can assist you in figuring out what kind of gear will meet your needs and budget. If you only plan to use these items once, don't spend much money. However, if you plan to use this gear in the future, it might make sense to invest in more durable outdoor equipment.

    **IMPORTANT** - Every year, some trip leaders make the mistake of bringing brand-new hiking boots on their trip. You WILL get blisters on your feet if you are hiking in boots/shoes that have never been worn's not fun and it will distract you from being great trip leader! If you are getting new hiking boots or shoes to hike in, we highly recommend you buy them several weeks in advance and wear them around for several days so you can 'break-in' the new shoes. Wearing your new hiking boots for several days before your trip allows your boots to adjust to the size and shape of your foot...and reduces the amount of blisters you will get!

    Final Option: Please explore ALL of your other options before you request to borrow equipment from us. Blitz your friends, groups/clubs you're a part of, your first-year floormates, etc.. to ask if you can borrow their gear for a few days. If you are totally, without-a-doubt unable to find or purchase the gear you need for your trip, we MAY be able to lend you equipment. DOC Trips gear is free to borrow, but we give almost every item to incoming students FIRST before we lend any to trip leaders.

    **To request to borrow equipment, please complete our online Leader gear request form.

    Students may borrow the following items from DOC Trips:

    • Sleeping bags
    • Sleeping pads
    • Frame packs/hiking packs
    • Fishing rods (Note: for fishing trips only)

    DOC Trips provides all group gear, including stoves, food, tarps/tents, and any equipment needed for your specific type of trip.

    Questions? Contact us and we are happy to assist you!

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