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About OPO

Contact us

  • Office: 102 Robinson Hall
  • Phone: (603) 646-2428
  • Mail: P.O. Box 9, Hanover, NH 03755
  • Email:


  • Weekdays
  • 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

The Outdoor Programs Office delivers transformative educational experiences outdoors.  

Dartmouth College has a long history of involvement with the out-of-doors. In 1909 the Dartmouth Outing Club was formed to encourage and support Dartmouth students in winter sports — primarily skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. The club grew quickly and hosted Dartmouth’s first Winter Carnival in 1911. During the 1910s and ’20s it divided itself into special interest divisions, teams, and affiliated outdoor groups. Ski coaches were hired in the ’20s, club managers and woodcraft advisors in the ’30s. By the 1960s, the club was very complex financially and programmatically. It was also managing many outdoor facilities and using other facilities owned by the college but managed by other offices. Clearly the club needed greater administrative support.

In 1970 Dartmouth College created the Department of Outdoor Affairs in order to relieve the Dartmouth Outing Club of many of its administrative burdens, to meet the burgeoning awareness of environmental issues, and to manage the Second College Grant and Moosilauke properties. In 1984 the office was renamed the Outdoor Programs Office as part of an effort to re-emphasize student activities over the management of college properties.

The Outdoor Programs Office has administrative responsibilities covering: the Dartmouth Outing Club, outdoor education seminars, workshops, and courses, such as Physical Education and the Challenge Course, the Connecticut River waterfront and the Ledyard Canoe ClubMount Moosilauke and the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, recreational and educational uses of the Second College Grant and Oak Hill, the Dartmouth Cross Country Ski Center, the Climbing Gym, the Dartmouth Outdoor Rentals program, and the Andrew W. Mellon Grant and Northern Studies Endowment distribution.

The Outdoor Programs Office is a part of the Student Life area in the Student Affairs Division . It exists to further the educational objectives of Dartmouth College by facilitating outdoor opportunities for the Dartmouth community.

For more information on the Outdoor Programs Office, stop by our offices in Robinson Hall. Meet the staff, visit with students, and get to know us! Or, if you can’t visit our offices, give us a call at (603) 646-2428 or email us at

Last Updated: 1/5/23