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Dartmouth Outing Club

Updated on November 10, 2011

Dartmouth Outing Club

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Outing club rebuilds cabin on CT river islandDartmouth Outing Club 1909Vintage Dartmouth Outing ClubVintage Dartmouth Outing ClubAT day with the Dartmouth Outing Club
Outing club rebuilds cabin on CT river island
Outing club rebuilds cabin on CT river island
Dartmouth Outing Club 1909
Dartmouth Outing Club 1909
Vintage Dartmouth Outing Club
Vintage Dartmouth Outing Club
Vintage Dartmouth Outing Club
Vintage Dartmouth Outing Club
AT day with the Dartmouth Outing Club
AT day with the Dartmouth Outing Club

Out in the boonies and loving it!

Besides being known as the infamous party school, the inspiration for National Lampoon's Animal House, and being the smallest of the Ivy League schools, Dartmouth College is also well known for being out in the sticks. Unlike Harvard (Boston) or Yale (New Haven) and a lot of the other Ivy League schools who have an urban campus, Dartmouth is way up the Connecticut River in the foothills of the vast White Mountains in an area known as the Upper Valley. Its the only college that has the Appalachian Trail running through the middle of its campus!

So in other words Dartmouth is far removed from the urban environment but rather then lament its setting among rivers, forests and mountains, through out its history, Dartmouth has embraced its setting among nature and so have the students, facility and alumni who attend and work at Dartmouth. Dartmouth has a swimming requirement for graduation

Consider these facts about Dartmouth and the outdoors:

  • Dartmouth has a Outdoors Programs Office
  • Dartmouth owns a ski mountain - The Dartmouth Skiway
  • Dartmouth has frontage on the Connecticut River
  • Dartmouth runs the Ledyard Canoe Club
  • Dartmouth runs the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge
  • Dartmouth Cross Country Ski Center
  • Dartmouth Organic Farm
  • Oak Hill Mountain Biking
  • Plus more! rental cabins, timber production, forestry etc.

Dartmouth's commitment to the outdoors is so great that students are required to pass a swimming test (50 years) in order to graduate. It also requires on summer term from all of its students so that they can enjoy summer outdoor activities as well as all of the skiing, skating and hockey playing that goes on during the winter sessions.

Dartmouth Outing Club Photograph by Edward Fielding

Dartmouth Outing Club by Edward Fielding
Dartmouth Outing Club by Edward Fielding

Dartmouth Outing Club

In 1909 the Dartmouth Outing Club was formed to encourage and support Dartmouth students in winter sports — primarily skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. The club grew quickly and hosted Dartmouth’s first Winter Carnival in 1911.The carnival still goes on today although if would seem from the footage from years ago (no helmets!), today's students are much tamer then those of years past. Perhaps when one is too busy texting friends to look for cars when crossing the street, you certainly don't have time to try ski jumping on a whim. Sigh!

During the 1910s and ’20s it divided itself into special interest divisions, teams, and affiliated outdoor groups such as Bait and Bullets, the Ledyard Canoe Club, Cabin and Trail, Mountaineering Club, Organic Farm etc. Today the club organizes outdoor trips and maintains a large section of the Appalachian Trail. The club is very inclusive and the greater public, neighbors of Dartmouth can all benefit from the efforts of the club including the cross country skiing, skating on Occom pond, canoeing on the Connecticut and participating in the trips or talks.

This relationship with the local community is a very strong benefit for the college and the communities that support the college plus the students actually get to interact with the real people who live in the Upper Valley rather then stay within an artificial campus bubble as you might find in urban campuses.

Winter Carnival at Dartmouth


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