Sunset Snowshoeing
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For all you adventurous souls...

One thing that really sets Dartmouth apart in my opinion is that we have an entire Outdoors Programs Office (OPO), which means we have full-time adult employees on-staff dedicated to helping students enjoy the vast New Hampshire wilderness and beyond. While the Dartmouth Outing Club is an incredible student organization, they wouldn't be able to do nearly as much as they do without their concrete link to the school through OPO, including for-credit outdoor experiences!

Every Dartmouth student needs three physical education credits to graduate as a part of their distributive requirements, and if 'physical' isn't your thing, there's plenty of other options, including the arts or volunteer work. But if you are one for getting up and active, the DOC and OPO work together to offer outdoor excursions that satisfy that requirement as one of your options, and so far, I've had incredible experiences through the program. For instance, last weekend I had sport leader class through the Dartmouth Mountaineering Club (DMC), and they hired a somewhat-legendary mountain guide to bring us around Rumney for a weekend and teach us some higher level technical climbing knowledge. Not only was it an incredible experience and a whole lot of fun, but I quite literally got course credit for learning things I would have spent my free time learning anyway. In addition to that, I also got an awesome job teaching the beginner climbing class, which is another student-taught P.E. course where we would bring our instructees outside and teach them the ropes. Not only was it a great way to introduce others to some awesome new skills, but it paid well too, and it counted as part of my DMC leader training on top of it all. As a whole, the DOC and OPO make it easier than ever to try new outdoors activities, and the classes are super accessible as well.

At Dartmouth, the outdoors can literally be your classroom. I truthfully couldn't be more thankful for this, as not only am I learning incredible new things on the academic end, but my knowledge conerning my outdoorsy hobbies has expanded just as much. I didn't realize coming in how integrated the DOC was into the college itself; it's more than just a club, it's closer to an academic department run by incredibly knowledgeable students. And they encourage you to take risks, to push yourself but to do it safely, and that allows Dartmouth students to be leaders not just in the campus community, but in the greater outdoors community as well.

Outdoorsy or not, come see it for yourself! I promise, you'll get hooked before you know it.