Guide to the Records of the Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Outing Club, 1909 - 2007Manuscript DO-1

Introduction

The Dartmouth Outing Club was founded in 1909 largely due to the efforts of Fred Harris, Class of 1911. Harris founded the club to encourage outdoor activities even during the winter. The DOC-sponsored Winter Sports Weekend in 1910 became Winter Carnival in 1911, and grew from a small collection of intramural sporting events into one of the largest winter festivals in the Northeast.As the sports and activities it sponsored gained popularity, the DOC soon became the largest student organization at Dartmouth. Instrumental to the organization's success in its early years was John E. Johnson, a preacher and businessman, who was one of the club's greatest benefactors.The DOC began offering trips to Mount Moosilauke and the White Mountains to incoming freshmen in 1935, a program which grew into the Dartmouth tradition of freshmen trips. In 1938, the DOC constructed Moosilauke Ravine Lodge at the base of Mount Moosilauke where freshman trips still culminate. John Rand '38 returned to Dartmouth after World War II and was the director of the DOC during the 1950's and 1960's. Rand's tenure saw significant changes in the DOC, as it developed an emphasis on outdoor education and environmental improvement. DOC activities extend into divers areas of interest. The club has constructed, and maintains, cabins and shelters along the Appalachian Trail and in the Second College Grant, and is actively involved in trail maintenance. Other campus organizations are part of the DOC or were originally organized within the club, among them Bait and Bullet (1921), Bicycle Club (1975), Boots and Saddle (1928), the Environmental Studies Division (1969), Mountaineering Club (1936), and Ledyard Canoe Club (1920).After overseeing Dartmouth's competitive skiing program since its inception, the DOC relinquished management of the ski team to the Athletic Department in the 1960's. Its responsibility for Winter Carnival passed from the DOC to a collaborative effort with the undergraduate student government in the 1950's. In 1970, the College created the Office of Outdoor Affairs under the direction of Al Merrill, who also had oversight of the DOC. The office changed its name in 1984 to the Outdoor Programs Office, with Earl Jette director of both Outdoor Programs and of the DOC. The internal governance structure of the DOC was redesigned in 1995-96, moving away from divisions and affiliated clubs to allow for equality of input from all units within the organization.

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