« All Posts by this Blogger

After 14 months at home, I'm finally back in Hanover! Recognizing that I'm a person that likes to push things off "for later," I created a bucket list of 33 Dartmouth must-do's over the next 3 years. I'm unsure if I'll be able to complete them all, but I'm excited to take you on this journey with me. I've already started to cross off a few items on the list—making pottery and jewelry at the HOP, organic farming during STRIPS (sophomore trips), and completing my first-year trip leader training. 

However, one of the coolest sophomore summer experiences I've had so far was during the second day of classes. I noticed a free paddleboarding lesson sponsored by the Outdoor Programs Office (OPO) at Dartmouth and made the 20-minute trek from my Topliff dorm to Ledyard Canoe Club, situated right on the Connecticut River. I was joined by leader Gunnar Johnson, a grad student from Tuck, and a '23 on the triathlon team (intimidating, I know). 

Gunnar taught us how to put on the paddle board fin and find an appropriately sized paddle before launching into a five-minute crash course. And then, they were off—me, not so much. I panicked, almost crashing into a tree, but Gunnar was incredibly patient, reminding me which way to turn the paddle and how to find my center of gravity. After 30 minutes of paddling on my knees, I mustered up the courage to shakily stand up, and we made our way over the bridge into Vermont. 


We stopped at a small watering hole, where many Dartmouth students go for a swim, and sailed back to the docks within 5 minutes, using the wind to guide us. Paddle boarding was completely out of my comfort zone, something I thought I could never do. In fact, I almost chickened out half an hour before the session, but I'm so glad I didn't. I'm going to be spending a lot of time at Ledyard this summer (I already signed up for two more canoeing sessions) and dragging my friends over to show off my newfound paddling skills. 

The watering hole, a 45 minute paddle down the river

Posts You Might Like