DOC First-Year Trips / Quotes


Are Trips fun?! Wonder what your experience will be like? Not sure if Trips is even for you? See what other Dartmouth students say about their Trips experience!

“The energy and excitement that I felt from Trips truly made me forget it was my first of many weeks away from home. Trips really helped confirm that Dartmouth was the right place for me. There's something about five days with your future classmates, with no shower, toughing it through the New Hampshire wilderness that made me feel welcome. It's difficult to fully describe the AWESOMENESS that is Trips. You'll have to experience it for yourself. Trust me you won't stop smiling and laughing.”

Malcolm Leverett ’14, Southfield, MI


“Trips is basically everything that is fantastic and wonderful and awesome and amazing about Dartmouth jam packed into five glorious days in the wilderness. It's through Trips that I found a support system that I could rely on throughout my Dartmouth experience. At first, I thought all of the upperclassman were crazy. I read these blurbs and saw the pictures online. I mean, let's be real, five days in the wilderness can't change the world, right? FALSE. IT WILL!!! In a nutshell, Trips is the best welcome to Dartmouth you can receive because after you know that you will bleed green for LIFE!”

James B. Lee ’13, Fairfax, VA


“Trips was by FAR one of the best experiences of my first year at Dartmouth...and it was not only the best experience, but it gave me the opportunity to meet those friends who made my freshman year so unbelievable. I met incredible people who made me feel so welcome that it seemed as if I had never left home. I definitely recommend it to ALL 16's because it will not only allow you to create incredible bonds with your classmates but with Dartmouth College as well.”

Jose Ordonez ’13, Quito, Ecuador


“The entire summer leading up to my first term at Dartmouth, I worried that I made the wrong choice. I hadn't gone to Dimensions, and was worried that I wasn't going to fit in here. However, DOC Trips changed all that - I knew immediately, from the incredible outpouring of energy and welcoming, that I was at the right place. I made friends immediately on a trip that allowed me to explore the Dartmouth community, getting acquainted with both its incredible natural surroundings and those who are lucky enough to call it home.”

Ethan Weinberg ’12, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey


“Trips is a really refreshing experience in so many ways. It was a thrill to push my limits physically and to fall in love with the beauty of New Hampshire. But more than that, it was a remarkable way to create community among people from all walks of life. I think what strikes me about the trips program is how it brings so many different kinds of people together for one purpose. I wish there could be more of that in the world.”

Michelle Shankar ’12, Dayton, Maryland


“I'll be the first admit, I was scared out of my mind when I read those fateful words "bring only one bag" and deodorant was listed under "optional." I was never the camper or the outdoorsy type, but my freshman DOC trip was truly a magical experience and something I will never forget. Experiencing New Hampshire's wilderness with my smelly future classmates, forced us all to let down our guards and escape our comfort zones. I can't imagine my Dartmouth experience without having my DOC trip as the ultimate introduction to my freshman year experience.”

Rob Avruch ’11, Westlake Village, California


“First Year Trips set the tone for my time at Dartmouth. I honestly believe that my Dartmouth experience would be radically different without Trips. It's a time of inclusivity, friendship, and general craziness. All the excitement and anticipation that builds up during the summer before coming to Dartmouth combined with the fun of Trips makes for the most amazing five days of your life.”

Pen Vineyard ’11, Austin, Texas


“When I came into Hanover and saw all of the excitement around Trips, it got me so excited to become a part of it. All of these upperclassmen were putting in a lot of time and effort to make the freshman feel welcome, and it worked. Every other freshman I talked to was just as excited as I was about what was happening around us, and this energy remained throughout the whole Trips experience.”

Jake Routhier ’10, New Canaan, CT


“As a transfer student at Dartmouth this year, I was one of about 30 students coming into this truly unique atmosphere. Having missed the freshman experience at Dartmouth I was really nervous about how I was going to integrate myself into the community and make new friends. Needless to say, I was anxious when I walked up to Robo to set out on my first ever hiking trip with complete strangers. However as soon as I sat down among my fellow trippees and met my trip leaders I knew I had come to the right place. What really struck me about the whole first-year trip experience was everyone's enthusiasm, their easy-goingness and how welcoming everyone was. I felt that among these people I could really be myself while going through new experiences, learning about Dartmouth, and meeting new people. The DOC trips reassured me that I made the right decision in coming to Dartmouth.”

Samantha Stimmel ’09, New York, NY


“My DOC trip was the best introduction to Dartmouth I could have asked for. My trip leaders were two fun, well-informed upperclassmen that ALWAYS had free time to answer questions or grab lunch post-trip. My "trippees" were a diverse bunch from all over the country (we still have reunion dinners!).”

“I was not an outdoorsy person at all before I came to Dartmouth, and to be honest, I still don't consider myself one. But forcing kids to become outdoorsy? That's not what DOC trips are about!! It's a time to forget about high school, grab a kayak or paintbrush or a mountain bike, explore the unknown with eight other people, and make some fantastic friends along the way!!”


Allie Miller ’10, Sherman Oaks, CA


“DOC Trips was my first time camping outdoors. I was a little worried about not having all the comforts of home, but a few hours into my trip I realized I could deal with the wilderness. I’m still not a fan of "outdoor bathrooms", but I got along fine and the meals were quite amazing. The only times my group wasn’t laughing or goofing off was during our naps. I even got to rock climb for the first time in my life. I never thought I would be sad to be indoors and clean, but I was. Thanks to Trips I got back to campus excited to be here and no longer scared to death about college.”

Elsa Rodriguez ’09, Chicago, Illinois


“DOC Trips are such an amazing and powerful experience that it seems kind of cheap to try and explain them simply. I was painfully awkward when I arrived in Hanover - I was nervous about coming to school in general, but was especially nervous about camping with total strangers because I’m not a particularly "outdoorsy" person. When I showed up on the Robo lawn, though, the enthusiasm and excitement of everyone waiting to welcome me to Dartmouth was totally contagious. Going on a trip and getting to know your trippees and trip leaders reminds you of why we all chose to come to Dartmouth in the first place - because it is a school full of passionate, interesting and fantastic people who can’t wait to welcome you to this community. Whether you’re hiking, biking, drawing or writing, Trips introduces you to a brand new family and makes you realize that Dartmouth really is your new home.”

Katie Silberman ’09, Washington D.C.


“Prior to going on my DOC trip, I was extremely nervous about how I would make friends and find my niche at Dartmouth. My DOC trip immediately exposed me to a group of students who were extremely excited about Dartmouth, and that enthusiasm quickly caught on in me and among my "trippees." In addition, it provided me with a small community of people that substantially eased my transition into the Dartmouth social scene.”

Addie Smith ’07


“DOC trips should be mandatory for all incoming freshmen. After trips, before classes even started, the experience instilled in me the conviction that I had made the right college decision for myself. I had been on campus less than one day, and camped in the wilderness with people I had known less than a week, yet I knew Dartmouth was right for me. This is because Dartmouth is not about the campus, but about the people.”

Andrew Flynn ’07, Sacramento, California


“It was such a great experience. You get thrown into something that scares you to death (college) but going on a trip makes you realize what a great adventure it will be. All the people dancing and simply being crazy make you feel a little more comfortable right away ("at least I’m not dressed like that..."). Trips make college fun and exciting right from the get-go. It was great to have met people right away and be forced to "get to know" makes you realize that this is something new and scary for everyone, not just you.”

Sara Studebaker ’07


“DOC Trips is one of those life altering experiences. Only it’s exciting and wonderful and new rather than traumatic in why it’s so en-grained in the hearts and souls of Dartmouth students. I would not be who I am today and Dartmouth wouldn’t be the amazing place it is without DOC Trips. If you try one new thing in your college career, DOC Trips is where it’s at, no better way to start a new era.”

Jonathan Kling ’04, TH ’06


“Trips was awesome. It was one of my first outdoors experiences. Being from New York City, the idea of being in the New Hampshire woods for four days sounded intimidating. However, Trips is what really got me psyched on Dartmouth, and it’s what started me climbing in the DMC.”

Vivek Tata ’06, New York City, New York


“From the first moment, I really felt like I was a part of something fun and exciting. My trippees and I bonded more in three days than I would have thought possible. My trip definitely rocked, and it got me psyched to be at Dartmouth.”

Andrew Hoffman ’05


“No matter what trip you choose, you are sure to have a unique and awesome experience that will give you something to talk about those first weeks on campus when you are meeting all the other freshmen. But the other great thing about trips is that there are some things about the experience that are universal. I can guarantee that you will feel extraordinarily welcomed by the Dartmouth community. You will be amazed by the outpouring of energy, excitement, and advice from all the upperclassmen that give up the last weeks of their summers to make trips happen. No matter where you’re from, what you did in high school, or what you’re interested in, people will be psyched to meet you and hear your story. And I can guarantee you will meet amazing, interesting people that will be important to you for the rest of your time at Dartmouth. I can guarantee you will return from your trip 100 times more excited about Dartmouth than you already were. And I can guarantee that you won’t fully understand the amazingness of DOC trips until you go on one and experience it for yourself! It truly is one of the things that sets Dartmouth apart from other schools, and will stand out in your memories long after your trip is over.”

Sara R. Schnitzer ’05


“I don’t really know why I chose to come to Dartmouth because in high school, I hated the outdoors. I hated being dirty and uncomfortable and most of all peeing in the woods. But my DOC Trip completely changed my perspective. There was no better way for me to get to know people I didn’t know at all than sharing a block of Vermont Cabot Cheese, playing mafia and Salty Dog Ragging. To top it off, the night I spent at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge is undoubtedly one of the best nights of my Dartmouth Career thus far. Apart from the all the traditions that go along with being at the Lodge that I love, it was where I met my closest friends here at Dartmouth. Going on my DOC Trip opened up a side of Dartmouth to me that I had no intention of exploring!”

Betsy Hart ’05


“I felt at home. My Trip was one of those almost indescribable experiences that will always stick in my mind as a time of camaraderie, spirit, and plain old fun. I loved Dartmouth from the moment I visited, but this was the first time I felt like I was actually a part of it, I learned what it means to be green in a big way. The fear and anticipation I felt at first only made the final product even better.”

Beth Rabbitt ’04


“My freshman trip did more to shape my Dartmouth experience than any one other event. The friends I made, the leaders I admired and, most of all, the impressive Dartmouth pride I witnessed shaped my freshman year and subsequently my following three. There is no better way to transition from the comforts of home to the sudden independence of college life than being plunked in the woods with 8-12 strangers. That’s why I keep coming back to be a trip leader!”

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