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Sunbathing, hanging out at the river, gazing at the marvelous starry nights – welcome to sophomore summer! In a span of two weeks, I’ve done much more cool things and made friends with much more people than I usually did in a typical term at Dartmouth. And they all started with going on Sophomore Trips (STRIPS) with the DOC (Dartmouth Outing Club)!

I went on the fishing and canoeing trip with Jake, John, Tessa, Mikayla, and Sean. We stayed at the lovely cabin right next to Armington Lake AKA the cleanest lake in New Hampshire! We even had the cabin hopping Strip staying with us the first night, so I got to make a lot of new friends! We bonded over cooking vegetables, building a dishwashing system with tongs and boiling water, and having smores night. Even though we didn’t get to do many outdoor activities because it was raining that day, we had a great time together!

On the second day, the cabin hopping crew parted with us in the morning to hike to their own cabin. After saying goodbye, my strippees and I headed out and spent the entire day enjoying the lake. Sean, Mikayla, and I canoed to a dock in the middle of the lake and spent the entire day sunbathing and talking there. John, Tessa, and Jake were more experienced with fishing, so they canoed around the lake and caught a bunch of fish. Mikayla and I, who had never fished before, also tried fishing from the dock, and we caught a beautiful fish that we named Devante! Around 8 P.M., we left the dock and canoed around the lake to admire the beautiful sunset. The night ended with smores and interesting stories, and by that time we were already as close as if we had known each other forever.

Strips ended with everyone gathering at the Moosilauke Lodge. We did a lot of fun activities like dancing, making skits, dancing, reflecting, and playing board games. I had a great time, and I love all the new friends that I had made over only four days. STRIPS brought our class closer together, kickstarting a great sophomore summer for us 21s!

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