West House Lodge Dinner!
As the term is nearing the end, West House, one of the six housing communities on campus, had one of their last events during Fall: a lodge dinner and overnight stay at Moosilauke Loge!
A little background about the beautiful and cozy Moosilauke Lodge: about an hour away from campus resides a grand cabin renowned for its delicious, homemade dinners and breathtaking scenery. On campus, almost everyone recalls the lodge with fond and nostalgic memories, as it is customary for people to end their First Year Trips with a night at the Lodge (First Year Trips is a program where freshmen embark on a three-day trip before the start of classes to meet a few friendly faces before the start of classes.) Due to restrictions in place because of the pandemic, not all current freshmen were lucky enough to make the trip, which meant I was seeing it with my West House friends for the first time!
Another added benefit of the night was that it was all cost-covered: during the 2021 Fall season, dinners and overnights for students have been free, making the lodge an accessible and cost inclusive place everyone can enjoy. For the same reasons, West House events are always sponsored by the housing community's funds, ensuring that anyone who wants to join is able.
So what actually happened at the Lodge? Onto the main event!
At the sounding of the dinner bell, we all looked up from the card game we were huddled around, put our steaming mugs of hot coco down, and raced to the tables, eager to try the famous lodge dinner everyone raves about. Ok, ok, it wasn't that picturesque; we aren't in Legally Blonde or Pitch Perfect, after all. We did have the card games and the hot chocolate, but I was surprised to see people flocking to the dining hall early—everyone was excited to taste whatever smelled so good from the kitchen! Let me just say, the three-course meal did not disappoint!
After dinner, we played games around the campfire before migrating into one of the smaller cabins adjacent to the lodge, where we ate a glorious meal an hour before. In the cabin, we threw it back to middle school with games like paranoia and truth or dare. It reminded me of when I went to summer camp and had an absolute blast just hanging out with friends while disconnected from phones and other distractions. The experience helped us to get to know more about each other and made us closer. People joke about the West House freshman dorms by the Connecticut River (French and Judge) having a rivalry, but honestly, the Judge people are some of the friendliest people on campus. Also, river solidarity!
Overall, I'm grateful to Professor Hitchcock, the BEST house, for planning the trip, not only for the respite it offered from end-of-term stresses but also for the opportunities the events create to develop friendships with people in the House. Although it doesn't have to, housing communities can provide great circles of friends, as where you live influences who you see and interact with on a daily basis. And the West House events provide a place to meet more of these friends who you begin to see everywhere after meeting them!