Skip to main content

About DOC

More

Connect with DOC

Home

About the DOC

The Dartmouth Outing Club is the oldest and largest collegiate outing club in the country. Anyone — member or not — may stay at our cabins, go on our trips, rent our gear, and take our classes.

About the Dartmouth Outing Club

The Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) was originally formed in 1909 to “stimulate interest in out-of-door winter sports”, and quickly grew to encompass the College’s year-round out-of-doors recreation. The club has undergone constant evolution over the course of its 100+-year history to meet the ever-changing needs of its members.

Today the club has over 1,500 student members (about a quarter of the College’s student population), and about as many non-student members, making it (to our knowledge) the largest collegiate outing club in the nation (as well as the first). The DOC organizes trips in the out-of-doors, provides outdoor leader and medical/safety education, maintains over fifty miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and is the first introduction to the College for most of the incoming students. The DOC also plays an active role in stewardship of the environment through the Organic Farm Club and its close relationship with Sustainable Dartmouth.

Due to its size, the Dartmouth Outing Club is organized as an umbrella organization for about a dozen member clubs, which each specialize in an aspect of outdoor recreation. Membership in the DOC is open to all members of the Dartmouth community, and to others who share common interests, so get involved! The formal constitution of the DOC can be viewed here. To sign up for trips, visit Trailhead, our online sign up portal

Student Directorate

The DOC Student Directorate consists of the President, the Vice-President(s), the heads of the member clubs, and such positions as the President decides to create. The Directorate is responsible for club-wide policies and activities. Its office is located in room 13 of Robinson Hall.

Officers

The Officers consist of the President, Vice-President(s), Treasurer, Secretary and Alum Relations Rep. The Officers usually meet every week to plan club-wide activities, discuss policy, etc. The Student Directorate meets weekly as well.

23 Spring Officers

23 Summer Officers

23 Fall Officers

24 Winter Officers

Support

The Outdoor Programs Office (OPO) provides administrative support to the Dartmouth Outing Club. The Outdoor Programs Office is part of the Division of Student Affairs at Dartmouth College. Each club also has one of the OPO staff members as their partner, the first person to go to when they have questions about DOC, OPO, or College policies or procedures.

Vision

The vision of the Dartmouth Outing Club was outlined in a student-authored document released in the summer of 2008. The document was signed and supported by the directorate and each club head of the DOC, and articulates the current student vision for the program. Download the pdf

The Dartmouth Outing Club is student driven. This goes beyond having students simply lead the activities of the DOC. Instead, students are ultimately responsible for every step in the planning, execution, and success of each activity. Specifically, the students set the goals, arrange logistics, determine the qualification level for participation, and make pertinent decisions in the field. Students are also responsible for member club budgets, elections, and even the core structure of the club. This stands in contrast to activities that are student run, where the ultimate responsibility lies with a college employee. The extent to which the DOC is truly student driven makes it unique, and these ideals are what we cherish most in the club.

The DOC chooses to create leaders through a peer review process. This is a key aspect that sets us apart from similar groups and is crucial because certifications alone do not make a safe leader. Students must prove to their peers that they can be trusted with responsibility for others' safety. Peer review of potential leaders is a self-checking system that couples subjective review of an individual's judgment in the field with objective assessment of technical skills. This practice requires all members to take ownership of the club, benefiting both the club and the individual's experience.

The DOC is an independent organization. Students work closely with the College's Outdoor Programs Office for logistics, support, and mentorship. OPO also acts as a liaison between, and advocate for, students and administrators. The OPO staff is able to communicate on equal footing with faculty and administrators. Additionally, OPO deals with such club business as memberships, vehicles, finances, and PE classes. Finally, OPO retains an institutional memory beyond the scope of an undergraduate career. This allows ideas and traditions to endure as student energy waxes and wanes. It should be clear that OPO does not run the DOC; it facilitates the DOC's endeavors. The DOC's trust in OPO depends upon student involvement in OPO's affairs, including budgeting and hiring.

The DOC provides an opportunity for experiential learning to the entire student body. The breadth of trips the DOC offers - from students, for students - ranges from whitewater kayaking to winter trekking, cabin respites, rock climbing, and beyond. Students with no outdoor experience prior to matriculation can graduate competent and confident leading their peers in the outdoors, fostered all the way by their peers. The DOC strives to provide students a sense of place beyond campus. As stated in its constitution, the DOC furthers "the educational objectives of Dartmouth College and its principle of community, by stimulating an appreciation of nature and environmental stewardship... and above all, the development of such personal traits as initiative, integrity, tolerance, self-reliance, and leadership." These qualities remain as integral to the DOC's vision as they were at the club's founding in 1909.

The DOC is active and expansive. Students completed construction of Harris Cabin, the single largest student construction in the DOC history. The DOC also built a timber-framed sugarhouse, a shelter at Velvet Rocks, and a solar greenhouse - all student-driven projects. The clubs of the DOC planned and executed four spring break trips: climbing in Nevada, kayaking in North Carolina, trekking in the Gila Range, and hiking in the Canyonlands of Utah. All told, ninety students participated, and interest exceeded the spots available. The DOC also funded international expeditions to six continents including trips to the Himalaya, Zambezi, Patagonia, and beyond. Closer to home, clubs have taken hundreds of students out on beginner trips in all activities, and seen membership increase to approximately 1,500 undergraduates.

Last Updated: 1/30/24