Dartmouth Outing Club First-year Trips will see new lodge, two new trips and same-gender co-leaders

by Jennie Rhodes | 5/8/18 2:05am

Trips season is officially in full swing. This year, 280 trip leaders and 62 Croo members were accepted to the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips program, according to Trips director Lucia Pierson ’18.

The acceptance rate for Trip leaders was 54 percent, while the acceptance rate for Croo members was 40 percent, Pierson said. There were 600 applications for leaders and Croo members this year, which is consistent with previous years. While there were more trip leader applications than Croo member applications, Croo had a lower acceptance rate because of the limited number of positions available, Pierson said.

According to Lodj Croo co-captain Paula Mendoza ’19, this year’s Trips Directorate focuses on the theme of diversity. As the incoming classes of Dartmouth become more diverse, the Directorate strives to have Trips reflect that diversity, she said.

“We want to embrace everyone’s differences and everything they have to offer,” Mendoza said.

According to Pierson, two new trips were created this year to cater toward more students’ interests: Cabin Camping and Cooking and Cabin Camping and Performing Arts.

Trips will also now have same-gender trip co-leaders. Trip leader applications are graded through a blind application process where gender is not revealed until after all scores are tabulated. In previous years, however, Trip directorates rejected women with higher scores than men to keep the one-to-one male-to-female trip leader ratio — something Pierson says the current Directorate found “problematic.”

In the original acceptances, there were 25 pairs of female co-leaders, according to Pierson. In order to ensure that male tripees have the opportunity to have their questions answered by male leaders, Pierson said that the directorate will try to place the female co-leaders with trips with great deal of Croo interaction.

Another change to Trips this year is that it will return to the newly-renovated Moosilauke Lodge. Last year, because of the construction on Moosilauke, trips culminated at the Dartmouth Ski Lodge.

Moosilauke will be much more comfortable than both the Ski Lodge and the old Moosilauke Lodge, DOC deputy director Brian Kunz A&S ’00 said. The new Lodge will be bigger than before and have a larger dining room and renovated kitchen.

Kunz said the larger Lodge will also allow the Trips program to have fewer but larger trip sections in the future.

“Our hope is that once we know the layout of the new Lodge, we can have bigger sections,” Kunz said. “We would like to eliminate the first four sections to reduce tripees that have to go home before coming back to the dorms.”

Mendoza said she is excited to be able to use the new amenities the renovated Lodge has to offer. Part of Lodj Croo’s role is to cook all the meals for the incoming trips when they are at the Lodge. The Croo had a harder time cooking with old stoves and ovens in previous years, according to Mendoza.

“Going to a place where things are newer and more reliable is really exciting,” she said.

Lodj Croo co-captain Emma Chiu ’19 said she believes that tripees will feel a stronger connection to the Lodge because of its long history with Trips.

“One of the great things is when you see alums rolling through, visiting when Trips are happening, and still being so excited about Trips,” she said.

The renovated Moosilauke Lodge prompted the Directorate to reevaluate the traditions of First Year Trips and make changes so every activity is affecting trippees in the most positive way possible, according to Pierson.

“[The renovated Moosilauke Lodge] brings an attitude of fresh starts,” Pierson said. “Trips has existed for so many years. There’s so many things we do just because that’s the way they have always been done, but we don’t agree that’s the case anymore.”

According to Chiu, discussion circles at the Lodge have previously touched on trippees’ identities. In conjunction with the theme of diversity this year, the directorate has discussed having these circles expand upon how identities play a role when coming to Dartmouth.

“We want trippees to be aware of other student experiences, how they are affected pre- and post-Trip,” Chiu said.

The new Moosilauke Lodge will also have access for disabled members of the Class of 2022, according to Mendoza.

According to Pierson, the directorate has been talking to students who have brought up concerns about accessibility on Trips about ways to alter programming so that it is more accessible for students with physical disabilities. Trips will implement clearer communication about the kinds of physical activity each trip will entail, such as including information about how long the walk from the cabin to buses can be on certain trips, Pierson said. The Directorate is also arranging more comfortable sleeping arrangements for students with hip and back problems, according to Pierson.

“Physical diversity at the Lodge is a big deal,” Mendoza said. “It makes Trips more accessible and safe.”

Chiu said she cannot wait to welcome the Class of 2022 to Dartmouth.

“One thing I wrote about in my Trips application my freshman year was how included and loved I felt by a group of strangers,” Chiu said. “In my directorate application, I talked about how after volunteering, I know how it feels to be on the other end and have love for people you haven’t met before. I am so excited to share Dartmouth with them.”

Chiu and Mendoza are former members of The Dartmouth senior staff.