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First Year Trips

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Frequently-Asked Questions

We know you might have some questions about the DOC Trips program, so we've put together some answers to the most common ones. However, if you have other questions or want to speak with one of the directors about the program, don't hesitate to contact us!

What will the trip be like? Trips is a great way to meet other incoming Dartmouth students and get excited for your time at the College. Trips will introduce you to the outdoor activities available at Dartmouth and in the First year tripssurrounding area. But more than that, it will provide an opportunity to get to know your classmates and older students who will welcome and support you in your time at Dartmouth. Trips gives incoming students some common ground with which to begin their college experiences.

What’s the deal with the schedule? Trips is divided up into 10 “sections” of around 100 people each, lettered A-J. The first four sections are for students from the Northeast United States, who will return home after their trip and before orientation begins. Sections E-J are for students flying in who will arrive with everything on the day their trip begins, and store everything but their trip equipment in their dorm while they go on their trip, moving in to dorms immediately afterward.

What are the most popular trips? We offer a wide variety of trip types so we hope you will find some trips that sound exciting and interesting! Every year, we do our very best to assign you to a trip that you prefer, but sometimes that is not always possible. The most common trip types are hiking (at various levels of intensity) and cabin camping - these trips are incredibly fun and include exploring some beautiful parts of New Hampshire. We encourage you to be open minded about what trip activities you are interested in, as many of the best parts of DOC Trips are not related to the actual activity you're doing.

Are Trips assigned first come - first served? No - everyone who registers for Trips by the deadline is on a level playing field when it comes to receiving a trip type and section.

How can Trips manage specific accommodations? We are very dedicated to making Trips accessible for everyone. We recognize that some students may need additional accommodations related (but not limited) to religious practices, disabilities, dietary restrictions, allergies and medical needs. While many students manage their own health/accessibility needs, we would prefer that you let us know any and all of your needs so we can assign you to an appropriate trip. In the past we have worked well to accommodate any student need; we work both with individuals and with Student Accessibility Services to best plan Trips so that it is accessible to everyone. We encourage you to elaborate on any of these things on the registration form, or if you would prefer to explain over the phone, give us a call. All accessibility and medical information will be kept confidential.

Beyond equipment, is there anything else I need to do to prepare? You should come ready to expect the unexpected, and you should prepare yourself for talking to a lot of people you have never seen before. That’s what coming to college is all about — meeting a lot of people and eventually finding some people and some issues you really care about (you may forget some names along the way, too—that’s ok!). Trips wants to do the best it can to help you with that first steps towards finding your place and your passions. (Remember that everyone else is just as nervous as you about coming to a new place and meeting new people...so let go of your fears and get ready for an exciting trip!)

Do I need everything on the equipment list? Yes, bring everything on the list. If you need to borrow equipment, you can sign up on the online form which we emailed you - we have sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and backpacks that you can rent at no cost. Additionally, New Hampshire can be cold in August and September, especially when you are out on the trail. In particular, having a raincoat is very important in keeping you both dry and warm. Once you have everything, try not to bring too much more—extra weight adds up fast!

What about buying equipment? Will I look like an idiot with my grandma’s old frame pack from 1935? You don't need to go buy lots of new equipment! Old-school gear is MUCH more hardcore than something with the tags still on it...don’t waste lots of money getting gear that looks sweet, when you haven’t been out in the woods a whole lot. Wait until you’ve done some hiking in the fall before you invest in a new frame pack. Make sure your boots don’t give you any blisters, make sure you have some warm fleece or other non-cotton clothes, grab your rain gear, and you’re set! 

Where can I find cheap non-cotton clothing? It is very important that you have non-cotton clothing! Cotton clothes do not dry quickly and we want you to stay dry and warm no matter what the weather conditions might be. Exploreequip used clothing shops, Army/Navy surplus stores, and other thrift shops for inexpensive, non-cotton clothing. If you have questions, please let us know!

Should I bring food with me? Feel free to bring a snack or a lunch for the very first day, because check-in does not start until 2pm. Dinner on Day 1 through lunch on Day 5 is all covered by us, so don't bring any other food with you--we promise you will have tons of yummy food to eat! 

Should I bring my cell phone along on my trip? All cell phones, car keys, wallets, ID's, etc. are not allowed on your trip. Our Hanover support crew members will take these items from you when you check-in and will store them in a safe place until you return from your trip. Please let your parents know that they will not be able to reach you while you are on your trip. If they have questions, they can call us from 9am to 5pm at 603-646-3996. 

Where do I shower and go to the bathroom during my trip? You will not have access to showers on Trips. Please do not bring shampoo, conditioner, soap, etc. If you do, Hanover crew will collect it when you arrive. Bathroom and sleeping facilities differ depending on your trip type. Please visit this page for more information about that. 

When does my trip really start? Your DOC Trip starts when you register in the afternoon of the first day of your section (between 2-4pm). The first evening you will be in Hanover, playing games, eating dinner, doing a pack check, and spending the night with your trip group. Bright and early on the second day, you’ll head north to get outdoors and start the adventure away from Hanover.

Where do I go once I get to campus? We should be pretty hard to miss once you make it to the Hanover Green. If you are worried about getting your bearings, make your way to Robinson Hall (fifty feet south of the Admissions Office, McNutt Hall), and we will show you where to go from there. Or, look at the campus map for where to register for Trips (Robinson Hall), where to pick up your ID card (Class of 1953 Commons Dining Hall), and where to get your key (North Massachusetts Hall, lower level). 

If I’m driving from the Northeast, where can I park during my trip? If you are driving yourself to campus for your trip, please park your car in A-Lot, which is a 10 minute walk from campus. The address to A-Lot is: A Lot, Smith Rd., Hanover, NH 03755. We suggest using Google Maps to find it. 

What if I can’t get a flight early enough to arrive on time the day of my E-J trip? Try to take the earliest flight possible and hop right on the bus from the airport (see www.dartmouthcoach.com andwww.greyhound.com for schedules). If you cannot find an early flight, please make arrangements for the night before in a hotel, or with friends or family in the area (Boston, New Hampshire, anywhere in between) and take a bus to Hanover the day of your trip. A list of local hotels is available. All questions about accessing your dorm room should be directed to the College's housing office at 603-646-3093.lodge fun

If I have trouble on my way to Dartmouth, who can I call? Please call the Trips office at 603-646-3996 if you have any trouble getting to Hanover. We will be on the phone from 9am-5pm during the day and we will be checking voicemail periodically as well. If your plane is late, if you need help, or if you cannot make it to Hanover on your specified date, call and let us know. We want you to come, so we’ll do our best to accommodate any last minute setbacks.

Last Updated: 12/16/15