Months before the Class of 2024 arrives on campus, preparations for the Dartmouth Outing Club’s First-Year Trips program are well underway. Yesterday, Trips director Kellen Appleton ’20 and associate director Jake Klein ’20 announced the group of students who will form the directorate to oversee this year’s iteration of Trips.
The directorate encompasses every aspect of Trips, from the Hanover Croo captains — who train the students that will welcome members of the Class of 2024 as they arrive on campus, to the outdoor logistics coordinators — whose responsibilities involve more behind the scenes work.
This year, the new trip leaders will learn from Eduardo Corea-Dilbert ’20, Katie McCabe ’21 and Naomi Miller ’21. Working behind the scenes, Annie Yanofsky ’21 will serve as the risk management coordinator, while Elise Rust ’21 and Jessica Chen ’21 will work as the sustainability coordinators. Heading Vox Croo are Elliot Ng ’21 and Emily Stehr ’21, while Reyn Hutten ’21 will lead Oak Hill Croo. Sarah Jennewein ’21 will lead Klymbing Croo. The outdoor logistics coordinators are Alex Wells ’22 and Gigi Gunderson ’21, while Alisya Reza ’22 and Mia Nelson ’22 will serve as the outreach coordinators. Rachel Florman ’21 and Sam Lefkofsky ’21 will be the Hanover Croo captains, and Coby Gibson ’21 and Eden Price ’21 will be the Grant Croo captains. Working to direct Lodj Croo will be Kevin Donohue ’21 and Noel Siegert ’21, who will be joined by Kitchen Magician Rachel Kent ’21.
Appleton, who worked on Vox Croo in 2017 and served as its captain last year, said he hopes to focus on Trips’ inclusivity this year by making it clear that trips are for everyone. He added that he hopes to increase participation from the incoming freshman class — which was 88 percent last year — while also getting more current students involved in Trips. True to this goal, the biggest three crews — Hanover Croo, Lodj Croo and Vox Croo — will be led by students who have not participated in these groups before, according to Appleton.
“Trips is a space where anyone can volunteer if they want to,” Appleton said. “We’re bringing in as many faces as we possibly can.”
In reviewing applications for the directorate, Appleton said he considered both practical skills and aspects that would contribute to the inclusive atmosphere on Trips.
“It’s like this balancing act: finding people who are really good at logistics of like, moving things around and making sure that nobody gets lost in the woods,” Appleton said. “And then people who are, you know, vulnerable, empathetic, reflective of all these things that are going to make people better transition into college.”
One of the changes aimed at increasing a sense of inclusivity on Trips is the addition of a new directorate position: the Kitchen Magician. Appleton said that in recent years, the Lodj has faced challenges meeting the dietary needs of all Trips participants. Appleton hopes that this new position will provide a remedy for this problem and make Trips more accessible for a variety of people.
Reza, one of this year’s outreach coordinators, said that an emphasis on inclusivity goes beyond getting new people to participate directly in Trips. She said she plans to reach out to a variety of student groups about how to cultivate a sense of belonging on campus through honest conversations.
“What we really are interested in is reaching out to campus and listening to what they have to say about Trips,” Reza said. “If we want to be more inclusive to communities on campus, then we also should be trying to hear what they have to say.”
Corea-Dilbert, who will serve as one of the trip leader trainers this year, served as a trip leader in 2018 and volunteered on Lodj Croo this past year. Along with the rest of the directorate, Corea-Dilbert is responsible for reviewing the applications of the students who apply to lead or serve on different crews. Like Appleton and Reza, Corea-Dilbert said he hopes to have a group that is representative of Dartmouth’s student body.
In designing the trip leader training, Corea-Dilbert said he aims to continue last year’s emphasis on mental health.
Echoing the sentiment of several directorate members, Corea-Dilbert said that his interest in Trips comes from the positive experience he had and that he hopes to create those same experiences for others.
“One of the main reasons why I applied, and one of the main reasons why I keep coming back to [Trips], is just because I felt the Trips magic,” Corea-Dilbert said. “That’s just something that I want to be a part of again.”
Nelson is a member of The Dartmouth staff.