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First-Year Trips

For Current Students

For Incoming Students


Frequently-Asked-Questions About 
First-Year Trips!

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Check back in early summer, 2024 for more updated information about First-Year Trips 2024!

Greetings to incoming students, families, and supporters! We are so excited to introduce First-Year Trips or “Trips” to you. We know you may have many questions about what First-Year Trips is and what it looks like–we hope this document will help answer some of those questions. We are always available for further clarification and discussion; please feel free to email or give us a call at 603-646-3996. 

What is First-Year Trips? 

First-Year Trips, a program within the Outdoor Programs Office, is an orientation program that helps incoming students begin their transition to Dartmouth in a supportive, welcoming environment. Students are placed into small groups, each of which is led by two upper-level Dartmouth students. As a trip, students and their Trip Leaders spend multiple days participating in one of a variety of activities that cater to a wide range of interests and comfort with the outdoors, including hiking, paddling, exploring museums, rock climbing, relaxing at a cabin, and more. Trips include a range of sleeping accommodations from staying underneath a tarp with no access to bathrooms to staying in an accessible location with access to indoor bathrooms! Feel free to email us if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility and sleeping in shared spaces during Trips. 

First-Year Trips is a decades-old tradition that helps unify each class of incoming students, and we encourage everyone to participate in First-Year Trips. Absolutely no outdoors experience is required or expected to participate in and enjoy Trips. The wide range of activities available on Trips allows all students to find an environment and experience that is meaningful for them, and we will work with students to address any concerns and provide any necessary adjustments or accommodations.

What happens on First-Year Trips?

Before you arrive at Dartmouth, you will be assigned a trip type that takes into account your preferences as expressed in the registration form. You will begin Trips after you arrive on campus for New Student Orientation. Your trip group will consist of two upper-level Trip Leaders and roughly seven other incoming students. Together, you will spend three days and nights participating in activities related to your trip type, which will include time outdoors. On your third day, you will come together with other trips at either the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (“the Lodj”) or the Dartmouth Skiway Lodge (“the Sklodj”) for a closing Trips experience. After spending the night at your Lodj, you will head back to campus the next morning.

Who can go on First-Year Trips?

All incoming first-year and transfer students can participate in Trips, regardless of outdoors experience, ability, participation in other pre-orientation program! If you are a fall varsity athlete and are not sure if your schedule will accommodate participating in First-Year Trips please reach out to your athletic coach.

If you have any questions or concerns about your ability to participate, please email us at

What do I need to bring on Trips?

All necessities will be provided for you on Trips – food, shelter, transportation, and group equipment. Different trips need different gear – you’ll get a packing list when you receive your trip assignment in the third week of July. Some trip types require individual gear such as hiking backpacks. If you have all you need already, great! If not, try to borrow from friends or neighbors or acquire second-hand. If you can’t find what you need, Trips has gear that can be borrowed, including hiking backpacks, sleeping bags, and hiking boots. 

All borrowed gear is free of charge, at no cost to you. You will have an opportunity to request gear after you have received your trip type assignment. Priority for borrowing gear will be given to students on financial aid.

Last Updated: 11/6/23