Outing Club is most popular student org.
By Tara Kyle, The Dartmouth Senior Staff
Published on Monday, September 16, 2002
Founded some 93 years ago to "stimulate interest in out-of-door winter sports," the Dartmouth Outing Club boasts both more members than any other student organization on campus and a longer history than any other college outing club in the nation.
Students can also credit the DOC with the 1911 founding of Winter term's big celebration -- Winter Carnival, weekend of such traditions as the ice sculpture, polar bear swim and, until its much-lamented demise two years ago, Psi Upsilon's "keg jump."
A wide-range of opportunities within the organization's 11 distinct clubs abound for everyone from the committed Idaho outdoors-person to the Park Avenue born-and-bred.
Among the most popular of DOC affiliates, the Ledyard Canoe Club rents out whitewater and flatwater kayaks and canoes from their dock just a short walk down the hill from the Treehouses and River Cluster on a seasonal basis to students interested in looking for a little excitement in between classes. Particularly popular are early morning "pancake paddles" and Summer term "moonlight paddles."
Many Ledyard members compete in student-initiated competitive kayaking and canoeing programs; additionally the club has in recent years engaged in trips to Nepal, Ecuador and Costa Rica, among other exotic locales.
For the less hardcore among us, outdoor physical education classes every Fall, Summer and Spring term teach the basics of paddling, eskimo rolls and staying afloat.
Take a Hike
At the heart of the DOC is Cabin and Trail, perhaps the most accessible of the clubs for students with a general interest in exploring the surrounding wilderness. C&T veterans lead anyone interested in activities such as day hikes for all ability levels, overnight backpacking trips and more eclectic events such as excursions to a corn maze.
C&T also has more serious obligations -- namely the maintenance of 11 cabins, countless shelters and some 75 miles of the Appalachian Trail, including the sections traversing Dartmouth's famed Mt. Moosilauke and 20 miles of trail extending into neighboring Vermont. To this end, C&T members run seminars year-round covering such topics as sign-making, trail reconstruction and orienteering.
Additionally, aspiring lumberjacks can compete with C&T's Woodsmen's Club team, and for early risers the weekly DinerToure program offers an introduction to some of the lesser known culinary hotspots of the Upper Valley.
The Best of the Rest
Members of the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club scales, climb and offer various levels of physical education both outdoors and in the climbing gym located in the River Apartments.
The Cycling Club offers competition and instruction in road and mountain biking and the Dartmouth Ski Patrol watches out for winter enthusiasts at the Dartmouth Skiway while providing medical safety support to other DOC groups year-round.
Snowboarding Club members take day trips to backcountry areas, nearby resorts and competitions; the Winter Sports Club runs activities including skiing, winter camping and snowshoeing.
The Environmental Studies Division works to increase environmental education and activism, while Women in the Wilderness instill members with confidence and leadership training along with outdoor skills.
Bait and Bullet organizes area fishing and hunting trips; Boots and Saddles operates out of the Dartmouth Riding Center in nearby Etna, N.H.