Outdoor Programs Office

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

The Outdoor Programs Office has administrative responsibilities covering: the Dartmouth Outing Club, outdoor education seminars, workshops, and courses, the Connecticut River waterfront, Mount 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 distribution.


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 Mount 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.

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 opo@dartmouth.edu.


In an effort to collect the wide variety of policies and procedures established by the Outdoor Programs Office for it's programs as well as those developed in concert with the Dartmouth Outing Club, this page is being developed.

Checklist of Club Partner Responsibilities for Planning Major

Trips and Special Events.   

• Schedule initial planning meeting with club member leading the trip or organizing the event at least 1 term in advance.  Topics to discuss include Hanover and off-site logistics, risk management, emergency contacts and plans.   Schedule regular follow up meetings leading up to the event/trip.  This is an opportunity to help students learn how to plan responsibly, without learning from mistakes that could be costly.

◦ Trip/event leader must be an enrolled student who is on campus during the term immediately before the trip

◦ Make sure leader has copies of relevant emergency protocols, contact numbers, etc.,

◦ Make sure leader consults any previous reports or manuals from previous trips

• Confirm that the trip/event leader discusses plans with:

◦ Kathy re finances and any flight or rental car arrangements

◦ Julie re vehicle or cabin reservations

◦ Mike re equipment

◦ Club Advisor/Rm Committee Chair re: any need for advance risk-management committee review

◦ Schedule a pre-briefing with colleagues if that would be helpful

• Update colleagues regularly at staff meetings and via email

• Make sure trip/event details are posted on google docs; make sure format is readable

• Club partner should be in town to support local special trips/events – and ideally make contact in the field.

◦ For distant trips/events, club partner should be reachable by phone

◦ If the club partner can’t be available, there should be a detailed briefing and hand-off with a colleague.

• Make sure trip leader has a firm plan for getting gear returned and cleaning up promptly if Robinson or other locations were used as a staging area

• Schedule a post-trip debriefing

• Make sure reports were filed for any accidents or near-misses and that accident reviews are scheduled if needed

• Make sure trip leader updates manual or files a trip report as appropriate

Planning Extended Trips

Extended trip list from Kathy:

1) Trip leader makes budget-talks to their advisor, bring copy of initialed budget to Kathy

2) Trip leader come talk to Kathy about trip logistics-(rental cars, overnight accommodations, map purchases)

3) Put together spreadsheet of participant names on Google Doc in Spring Break folder

4) Kathy will check for financial aid, get list to Julie, let trip leader know when people can start paying Julie

5) Leader look at Google Doc periodically to see how payments are going

6) If trip needs a cash advance, leader come to Kathy-under $500 can be cash, over $500 has to be a check ( can take up to 10 days to get a check) plan ahead

7) Before leaving for trip stop by Kathy’s office for p-card and paperwork for itemized receipt documentation

8) Coming back to campus-bring any leftover cash advance funds and receipts to Kathy

9) P-card along with receipts and documentation back to Kathy