Questions & Answers

Questions From Our Live Q&A

On June 7, we hosted our first live Q&A for DOC Trips.  Thanks so much to all who tuned in and asked questions.  While the DOC Trips website and registration forms have all the information you need, check out some of the commonly asked questions from members of the Class of 2016.  As always, feel free to contact us with any questions.   

Q: How does move-in day work for students going on a DOC Trip?

A: DOC Trips are staggered over 10 sections, with one section starting each day.  Generally, students who live in the Northeast are assigned to a trip on sections A-D, so they come for their DOC Trip, return home, and then move-in on the official College move-in day (September 4).  Students who live outside the Northeast are generally assigned to a trip on sections E-J.  For these students, you can access your dorm room before your DOC Trip begins, drop off all your stuff (but don’t set-up your room quite yet!) and officially move-in once your trip is over.  Please note that students on Section J will return from their DOC Trip on September 5th, so their official move-in day is one day after the College’s official opening. Visit the Orientation website for more information & explore this helpful Q&A from the Deans Office.

Q: What is the swim test all about?

A: At Dartmouth, completion of a 50-yard swim test (2 laps of the pool) is a graduation requirement.  All incoming students have the opportunity to complete the swim test on the first day of their DOC Trip.  Students going on a water-related DOC trip (kayaking, canoeing etc…), you will need to take their swim test in order to participate on their trip.  Other students can complete the test if they’d like to get it out of the way early on in their time at Dartmouth.  We suggest that students try to do the test on DOC Trips.  Check out a recent blog post by Angie Yang ’13 regarding the swim test. The P.E. department manages the swim test graduation requirement, so if you have questions about completing it, feel free to contact them.

Q: What do I need to bring on my DOC Trip? Where can I get gear and equipment for my trip?

A: We provide a packing list for each type of DOC Trip.  Most of the items are the same for every trip though.  Gear, such as sleeping bags, frame packs, sleeping pads etc… can be borrowed from the DOC.  We will ask you later this summer if you plan to borrow equipment from us so we can plan accordingly.  We also encourage you to look at discount stores, online retailers, or to reach out to friends & family to borrow equipment if needed.

Q: What do students do between their DOC Trip and move-in day on September 4?

A: Students who go on a trip during Sections E-I move-in before the College’s official orientation program begins.  There is a “Pre-Orientation” program and team of students/staff who provide activities and events for students to participate in during those few days.  It’s also a great time to explore campus, meet up with your friends from DOC Trips, and get comfortable with your new home! Check out the Pre-Orientation schedule from 2011 to get an idea of what to expect.

Q: Are parents supposed to come for DOC Trips, Pre-Orientation, and/or Orientation?

A: This is really up to you and your family, but there is not much for parents/families to do while you are on your DOC Trip.  For students who move-in right after their DOC Trip ends, parents & family members will often meet them in Hanover on the day they return to help them move-in to their dorms.  The first day of the College’s official orientation program (September 4), there is some programming for parents.  Check out the Orientation website for more details.

Q: Are varsity athletes able to participate in DOC Trips?

A: Yes! We have already been in touch with the coaches of all varsity teams regarding your participation in DOC Trips.  Almost all teams/coaches permit their athletes to participate in DOC Trips, although they might ask you to go on a specific type of trip or on a particular section.  For athletes concerned about food during Trips, we can meet your dietary needs if you let us know in advance! Contact your specific coach for more details.

Q: What are the chances of getting the trip & section you want on the registration form?

A: The short answer – it depends on what everyone else prefers on their registration form.  The long answer – Every year, certain sections and trips are many people’s first choice, so it becomes difficult to accommodate everyone’s requests.  However, we make every effort to assign you a trip and section that works well for your schedule, your interests, and your comfort level.  When registering for DOC Trips, let us know every possible section & trip you would feel comfortable going on…that way you’ll be sure to get one of your top choices.  We ask that you indicate one hiking trip or cabin camping trip as one of your preferred options as around 50% of the potential trips are hiking/cabin camping related.

We’ll be hosting another live video Q&A the week before DOC Trips begin (so in mid-August or so), so stay tuned for details!  If you have any questions, always feel free to contact us via email or phone.  

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