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How to Become a Leader

So, you'd like to become a DOC Leader and be a part of the rich history and tradition of the Dartmouth Outing Club?!? Keep in mind there are somewhat separate processes for becoming a leader in the regular DOC and for the DOC's First-Year Trips program, although we'd love to have you do both and are always working to streamline the process. If you've done the training for FYT, you can contonue to lead for the DOC! During the rest of the year, your first step could be getting involved in one of the DOC member clubs. Each of them has an officer whose role is to assist new members in their training to become a new leader. You can also become a Local Leader, a simplified process to prepare you to lead nearby trips for the DOC.


Leader Training

All trips and activities in the Dartmouth Outing Club are planned, organized, and led by Dartmouth students. In order to ensure that DOC leaders are capable of dealing with the many unpredictable situations which may occur on an outdoor trip, the Club requires that all members become proficient in appropriate skills before leading trips.

Driver Certification

While not required for becoming a leader, it is highly recommended and extremely useful. For information, check out this page on how to become Dartmouth College Driver Approved.

DOC Leader Requirements

Every leader in the Dartmouth Outing Club must complete the following five requirements: Medical Training, Risk Management, Group Dynamics, Outdoor Skills, and Logistics. These requirements do not have to be satisfied in any particular order. A termly schedule of seminar offerings can be viewed here.

Each club has its own leadership program which fulfills the Outdoor Skills, and Logistics parts of the DOC Leader Requirements, and also have other requirements necessary in addition to the DOC Leader Requirements before their leaders can lead trips in those clubs. For more information, read through the policies. 

First Aid and CPR

Every DOC leader must have current First Aid and CPR certification. Wilderness First Aid training is preferred, and is required for some activities, and equivalent or higher certs will also be accepted. 
Wilderness First Aid and CPR classes are offered at least once per term at Dartmouth. Red Cross First Aid and CPR classes may also be offered (not a Wilderness First Aid class). There is a fee for these classes, but some financial assistance may be available from the DOC. 

Basic/Level 1 Trips

In order to facilitate access to the club's resources and activities, no leadership seminars or training is required to organize non-technical trips.

Because the individual organizing the trip will still be representing the club, the Chair(s) must approve both the trip and the organizer. This approval should take into account the organizer's ability to manage group dynamics and logistics and to properly represent the club's values and aims.

If the trip involves driving, any drivers must be approved through the normal process.

The type of trips covered by this exemption are meant to be ones where minimal risk is involved. They are frontcountry, non-technical activities, such as might be run by any other student organization.

Examples of such trips might include, but are not limited to:
*Apple Picking
*Lodge Dinner
*Rides to remote facilities/events (climbing gyms, movies, D Acres, festivals, state fairs, etc)
*Short nature walks, as distinct from hikes (Balch Hill, Mink Brook, Pine Park, etc. If in doubt, ask club advisor) - criteria: good cell coverage, very easy terrain, short distances, not more than .5 mile from road access.


Local Leaders

Local leaders can lead certain categories of simple trips.

*Level 1/Basic trips as above
*Beginner Hikes
*Beginner snowshoe trips/winter hikes
*Beginner XC ski trips
*Flatwater paddling on the CT river

Beginner trips as above are defined as being low mileage (6 miles or less for spring-summer-fall hiking or XC skiing, 4 miles or less for snowshoeing or winter hiking); below tree-line; no more than 35 minutes driving from campus and no more than an hour's travel away from the trailhead.

To learn about becoming a Local Leader, click here.


Club Specific Requirements

To view the leader training and approval process for each club, visit the policy page and click through to the club of your choice. 

Last Updated: 1/18/23