Volunteer Profile: Kyu Kim ’18

img_2819-e1502912835652.jpgWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Crooling. 

What do you like to study?

Math, Computer Science, Music

What are you looking forward to for Trips 2017?

Returning to the Dartmouth community and welcoming the 21s onto campus. I’ve been off or abroad since last fall and I am so excited to see fresh and old faces alike!

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip?

I was most afraid of meeting new people and forming a sense of community in this remote college that I had decided to call home. I wanted a fresh start and was terrified of going out into the woods and not showering for a few days as the beginning of my college experience.

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

Collis stir fry, chicken extra crispy, light teriyaki, regular hot sauce, with two eggs over easy on top

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

I’ve spent a lot of late nights in 1902 room, the 24-hour study space in the library. I think my favorite moments are when people walk into that room and hunker down at 2AM to study and keep me company when I am struggling to stay awake. As difficult as it sounds, there is no bonding experience greater than going through hardships with other people.

What’s the most important item you forgot to pack when you came to move in?

Band-aids. I am a clumsy person.

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

Slow down, and explore everything around you to figure out what you enjoy. Dartmouth provides a wonderful four years for you to grow into the person you want to become, while surrounded by some of the brightest and kindest people I have personally met. As a senior, I can tell you the time passes quickly, and it’s so important that you make good use of it.

Volunteer Profile: Julia Huebner ’20

What is your role for trips 2017? Crooling.

What do you like to study?

Human centered design (engineering + psychology), public policy, and anthropology

If you went on a DOC Trip, which did you go on?

Hiking 4

What are you looking forward to for Trips 2017?

Playing off the energy that the ’21s bring to campus!

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip?

I was nervous that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. That’s okay. I still don’t.

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

A peanut butter and nutella sandwich from FOCO.

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

During the spring of 2017, I got some bad news from home while I was out on a run. I texted my best friend that I needed her to come meet me: within 10 minutes, she was by my side. I emailed one of my mentors, a professor at Dartmouth, if I could speak with him during his office hours. Turns out he was out of town, but he offered to call me that night. That’s special; that’s Dartmouth. Bad stuff is always going to happen, but it’s your friends and mentors who make the bad stuff less bad. I hope you will also find people who are unconditionally there for you during your time at Dartmouth.

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

You’ll fail at things (and you probably aren’t used to that). You’ll fail to get into clubs, a cappella auditions, sports teams, jobs, Dartmouth-specific programs, or fail at simple social interaction (been there). Blitz me if you want a list of my own failures and reassurance that yours are okay, too.

Another note to 21’s:

There are people here who are so excited to help you, to teach you, to guide you, to love you. But you have to show up for that to happen. Attend the first day of that random class. Email that professor and offer to take them to lunch. Sign up for tutoring. Book a Dartmouth-owned cabin with friends. Sign up for weekend hikes with the DOC. Go to a random club meeting. You might feel awkward or out of place or be the youngest person in the room, but dang, it feels good to live with few regrets.

Safety on Trips

19025184_1369793099767793_47224954475981053_o
Nakia (left) and another member of the Dartmouth EMS team.

Hi all! My name is Nakia Wighton, and I am an ’18 from Northern Vermont. I am the Risk Management Coordinator for First Year Trips 2017. My sophomore year, I became certified as a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, and now work as an EMT both on campus and at home in Vermont. I also teach First Aid and CPR classes on campus. My role on trips is primarily to make sure that we as a program have the resources and knowledge we need to minimize and manage illness and injury during trips.

When I was preparing to go on First Year Trips myself, my family and I had many questions about safety and medical concerns. I had been camping before, but never for more than a night. What if I got sick or hurt? What did I need to do to make sure I felt my best so I could enjoy my trip? And what if I didn’t like any of the food?  Though it was a new experience, I managed to have a great time on my flatwater kayaking trip. In hopes of easing some anxieties, I have compiled some common questions that people have when preparing for trips.

What happens if I get sick or hurt during trips?

The trips volunteers are here to help you in any way that we can. All of our volunteers are required to be certified in both CPR and First Aid, and many are trained as medical responders and technicians. If you are feeling sick or get hurt, let your leaders know. Both during and after your trip, there will be people available to make sure you get the resources that you need to recover. We have an entire support croo of individuals at the ready to respond to the needs of any trip.

I am new to the wilderness of the Northeast. Is it dangerous?

The natural landscape of each are poses it’s own unique potential hazards- but don’t worry! With the right gear and knowledge, you can manage your risks and have a great time! Here are some common things that people worry about in the wilderness:

SPIDERS: Most spiders in this area are relatively harmless. Some of them do bite, but most are not poisonous. They leave a bite very similar to mosquito bites, though they may be slightly more red. Contact with poisonous spiders in this area is not common, but always let your leaders know if you have recently been bitten and are experiencing any symptoms, as allergies to spiders are possible.

SNAKES: Like spiders, most snakes in New Hampshire are not poisonous and will not harm you. The one venomous snake in the area is an endangered species, and you are very unlikely to encounter it. Like any wildlife, however, it is best not to disturb any snakes that you come across. Simply walk around or avoid the immediate area of the snake. Many types of snakes are common in grassy areas, but these are generally harmless.

WILDLIFE: In general, wildlife will not bother you if you do not provoke it. Avoid touching wild animals or running away. In most cases, animals will avoid humans and this will not be an issue.

Staying Healthy on Trips

Being in the outdoors can be a fun experience, but  there are a few extra steps you can take to make sure you stay well in the outdoors, especially while exercising:

  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! You have heard this many times in your life, and you will hear it many times on trips, but this is super important. Even if you are used to being outside or exercising, you need to make sure you are hydrating properly. Depending upon weather and your activity level, the typical recommendation of 64oz might not be enough to meet your minimum needs. Fill up your water bottles any time you have access to potable water (or water that can be made potable with iodine treatment, which all trips are supplied with). Drink continuously throughout the day, and don’t be afraid to speak up if you need a water break. Signs of dehydration include: headache, dizziness/lightheadeness (including dizziness/lightheadedness that occurs only upon standing), nausea, and vomiting. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, let your trip leaders know immediately. You should rest and drink water (slow, small sips if you are feeling nauseous) until you feel completely better. This is very common, and has happened to most people at one time or another, so please do not feel bad about speaking up. Rest and rehydration are important at this stage to prevent more serious complications. It is also a good idea to have a snack during this time if your stomach is not overly upset, as dehydration and low blood sugar can look very similar.
  2. Eat plenty and often.  Even people with no known medical conditions can experience low blood sugar as a result of prolonged activity. That sounds really scary, but all it really means is that you get to eat lots of snacks! I was concerned going into trips because I wasn’t allowed to bring my own snacks, but don’t worry, we provide plenty of snack variety for you! You may find that you are hungry more than usual during trips, and this is to be expected if you are more active than usual during trips (I mean, how many of us really spend hours hiking, kayaking, swimming, or climbing for days in a row normally?). Increased activity means increased caloric needs, so eat if you are feeling hungry! Eating plenty of complex carbohydrates and protein will help provide you with the energy you need throughout the day and help prevent low blood sugar. Your trip won’t run out of food and leaders will be taking snack breaks often throughout the day. Common symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness, dizziness, headache, nausea, cold sweats, and confusion. If you experience any of these, let your leaders know. You should rest and eat something with simple sugars (fruit, candy, jam, or glucose tablets) in addition to something with complex carbohydrates or protein (nuts, seeds, cheese, breads, pasta) in order to raise your blood sugar and keep it steady. You should also hydrate during this time (symptoms of low blood sugar and dehydration can be very similar).
  3. Stretch! Stretching at night can help prevent sore muscles and help you recognize problem areas so that you can adjust your form or modify your activity to prevent further irritation.
  4. Make sure we have your information! If something has changed with your medical history or dietary concerns since you filled out the forms, let us know! Your trip leaders are given your medical information to review prior to the start of your trip to make sure that they know how to support you. Your dietary information ensures that your trip is equipped with plenty of food that is consistent with your dietary needs and preferences. The more we know, the more we can do to ensure that your medical or dietary concerns do not interfere with your trips experience. Please also be sure to bring any medications and supplements that you take with you- even if you only take them as needed. Be sure to keep your medical equipment (medications, etc.) in a safe place in your belongings so you don’t lose them.
  5. Wear bug spray and check for ticks! Ticks are small insects that bite by burrowing their heads into the skin, allowing them to feed off of the blood of the animal or human. Tick’s are notorious for carrying Lyme disease, which is caused by a bacteria. This may sound scary, but a few simple measures can help prevent the spread of tick-borne disease such as:
    • Wearing insect repellent containing 20-30% Deet
    • Covering skin with pants, long sleeves, and socks (this may or may not be practical depending upon the conditions, but is an option to consider). Choose clothing that is light in color so that ticks can be spotted more easily.
    • Avoid areas where ticks are most prevalent whenever possible, and perform a thorough tick checks after exposure to these areas. Ticks are most frequently found in wooded brush and long grass. When moving through these areas, stick to paths as much as possible.
    • Check yourself for ticks (have someone else help!) multiple times per day, every day while on trips. Ticks are most commonly found on the body in warm places. These include the backs of the knees, armpits, back of the neck, the back, and the abdomen. Remember, ticks need to be on you for 24 hours or more before they can infect you with Lyme Disease. Look/feel for bumps on the skin with a small black body attached. Your trip leaders will receive training about how to look for ticks, so if you have any questions ask them!
    • If you find a tick, don’t panic. Have someone help you attempt to remove it by gently grasping the tick by the body and pulling backwards until the skin tents. From this point wait until the tick lets go by itself. This takes some patience, but the tick will get tired and release itself from the skin after a few minutes. Commercial tick removers can also be used, but generally this method is the best method for removing the whole tick from a human. Many of these measures are also helpful in preventing mosquito bites and mosquito-borne disease. Though West Nile Virus is still rare, it is possible to contract it in Vermont and New Hampshire, but this can often be prevented through use of insect repellent, wearing long clothing, and avoiding standing water.

All of this is to reassure you that we are prepared for and experienced with the New Hampshire outdoors and camping for multiple days. Our leaders and croolings have gone through lots of training to be ready for this and we can’t wait to meet you!

Volunteer Profile: Kelly Caputo ’19

fbcatpic - Kelly CaputoWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Trip leader. 

What do you like to study?

Sociology

What are you looking forward to for Trips 2017?

I’m really excited to provide guidance to the incoming ’21s. My trip made the transition to Dartmouth so much easier, and I hope to make my tripees feel the same way.

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip (or it you didn’t go on a trip, before the start of your time at Dartmouth)?

I was really nervous about starting over and having to go through the awkward phase where you ask people what their name is four times in one conversation. Trips really erased that fear because I immediately grew close to them and could say hi to them by name around campus during orientation!

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

Collis Pasta

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

Coming from Florida, my freshman winter was my first time seeing snow. It was so fun to have my first snowball fight, try skiing (lol), and make my first snow angel with friends at 3 in the morning on my way home from the library.

What’s the most important item you forgot to pack when you came to move in?

I didn’t think I’d need a fan in September up north, but the dorms get pretty hot in early fall and late spring. I bought one soon after getting to Hanover.

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

TAKE PICTURES – Time flies at Dartmouth and you’re going to want to remember every second of it!

Volunteer Profile: Cristian Cano ’20

img_1253-cristian-cano.jpgWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Crooling

What do you like to study?

Biology (especially genetics), Music, and Italian

What are you looking forward to for Trips 2017?

I can’t wait to meet new students and answer their questions! I’ve always been someone who needs a lot of support when making any sort of major transition, so I love being in positions where the roles are flipped and I can instead be the one giving the support.

Additionally, I have a lot of (sometimes contradictory) identities – such as being a first-gen, low-income student who attended a college prep boarding school, or being a person of Mexican-American descent who didn’t grow up speaking Spanish – so I like to think that I can relate to others from a wide array of backgrounds and speak both honestly and sensitively about many topics. If you see me during trips, please feel free to ask me anything – I’m an open book!

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip?

I was incredibly nervous! Admittedly, as the kid who chose theater over sports throughout high school, I’m not exactly “athletic” or “in great shape” – which sometimes feels like a crime, especially at a school like Dartmouth where a solid portion of the student body consists of athletes. For example: I was legitimately worried that I might not be able to pass the swim test, while it felt like everyone around me was just laughing it off as the easiest thing ever. (I did pass, though I was very out of breath by the end of it!)

So, even though my trip wasn’t as physically strenuous as, say, Hiking 4, I was still worried that I’d be the one slowing everyone else down. Thankfully, my trip leaders did an amazing job of considering everyone’s strengths and making sure that everyone could comfortably keep up. By the end of my trip, I felt like I had been physically challenged just enough, but never too much.

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

I know it’s a cliché answer, but there’s nothing like a good tender queso from The Hop! (Pro tip for incoming students: for some reason, Dartmouth students love to shorten the names of everything, and food is no exception. Tender queso translates to “chicken tender quesadilla.” )

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

Writing for The Dartmouth, the *oldest* college newspaper in the nation, has been great! I had always wanted to write for my high school’s newspaper, but to do that you had to be enrolled in the journalism class. I never had room in my schedule for it, so I told myself that I would check out student journalism again once I got to college!

While I wanted to write for a newspaper, I didn’t want to strictly write about news – I was, and still am, much more interested in more personal, almost Buzzfeed-esque stories about people and culture. So when I heard about the Mirror, The Dartmouth’s weekly magazine focused on campus life and culture through both serious and lighthearted pieces, I was sold. I applied at the beginning of my freshman fall, and now it’s become my biggest commitment on campus!

I’ve written pieces about escape rooms and snowball fights, professors’ personal lives and the unseen struggles of student workers, gender and sexuality programming and the organizations that bring live musical acts to campus. I’ve interviewed countless students, professors, alumni – and the president of the Hanover Town Democrats. I’ve even written about the flaws of college journalism! I believe that there’s something special and empowering about being able to write stories that you’re passionate about and tangibly influence the spread of knowledge on campus. The Mirror gives me that freedom in a way that other sections of The D couldn’t.

Plus, it’s pretty cool when you Google your name and your articles show up on the first page.

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

It’s okay to do things at your own pace! All throughout freshman year, I felt like I was lagging behind everyone else: in terms of signing up for clubs, choosing what subjects I wanted to pursue, deciding how I wanted to spend my free time… the list goes on!

At a school like Dartmouth, there will ALWAYS be people who seem like their lives are set. Y’know, like the people in intro level classes who definitely AREN’T being introduced to the material for the first time. (I ran into them a lot, and, as a genuine beginner in my classes, I was scared.)

It’s normal to feel intimidated sometimes, but you have the power to overcome the feeling and keep doing what makes YOU happy. As you’ll eventually find out, everyone is doing such different, unique things that you can’t compare yourself as a person to anyone else. You just can’t.

Volunteer Profile: Carolyn McShea ’18

17834918_10209050588007947_5353359331174674290_o - Carolyn McSheaWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Crooling.

What do you like to study?

Holistic approaches to sustainable design.

What are you looking forward to for Trips 2017?

Trips represents the best of Dartmouth in so many ways. There isn’t a single thing or moment in time that I that gets me most excited; I love the energy surrounding the whole production.

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip (or it you didn’t go on a trip, before the start of your time at Dartmouth)?

Before my first-year trip, I was most nervous about impressing the people around me. Somewhere between one mountain and another I became too tired to care, and then, magically, I started having a ton of fun!

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

Over my sophomore summer, a group of friends and I lived in an off-campus house. There, together, we would often cook big meals with our neighbors. One time we were biking home with groceries and it started pouring. We put on music while we cooked and danced to that and the sounds of the weather outside. It was a magical evening.

Another note for 21’s:

Don’t be too hard on yourself your freshman year. You’ve never done this before, so there’s no reason you should expect yourself to get it all perfect.

Volunteer Profile: Rebecca Luo ’20

IMG_3729 - Rebecca LuoWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Trip Leader. 

What do you like to study?

Everything! I came into my freshman year completely undecided, and that hasn’t really changed yet.

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip?

Before my trip, I was still worried that Dartmouth wasn’t the school for me. I was scared that I wouldn’t make any friends and that I would be miserable during my trip. It hit me pretty hard on the bus ride up to Dartmouth when all the other ’20s were talking to one another, but I didn’t know what to say to anyone. But it turned out to be an amazing experience, and my own trip leaders and trippees were really nice!

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

Grilled cheese sandwiches at the Hop. And I also consume an unnatural number of cheez-its from the McLaughlin snack bar.

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

My relationship with Dartmouth has always been full of very high highs and very low lows. In high school, I wasn’t planning on applying to Dartmouth. I still don’t know what made me finally apply, but I’m glad I did. If I could go back in time, I’d tell myself that it’s okay to not be okay at Dartmouth.

Dimensions and Trips were amazing experiences, but actually coming to Dartmouth in the fall left me feeling disillusioned and a little lost. Fall term went alright, but winter term was extremely difficult for me. I was close to transferring to other schools because I felt that Dartmouth couldn’t have been the right place for me if I was struggling so much.

Now, I think it’s okay to not love Dartmouth 100%. I feel really grateful for having the opportunity to come to this school and learn a lot about myself as well as grow as a person. I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate this space, but with the help of many wonderful people, I’m learning how to thrive in an environment that isn’t always the best. Every bad experience I’ve had at Dartmouth has helped shape me into someone I’m now proud of. Not everything’s peachy keen, but everything helped make me who I am today, so that’s a good start I think.

Another note for 21’s:

Feeling isolated at the beginning of freshman year is a pretty common thing, I think. So if anyone ever feels lonely and wants to talk, grab a meal, or even study with someone, feel free to reach out to me! I love meeting new people, and I hope I can help make some ’21s feel a little more welcome during what can be a really difficult transition.

Volunteer Profile: John Beute ’20

IMG_4159 - John BeuteWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Crooling

What do you like to study?

Anthropology and Psychology

If you went on a DOC Trip, which did you go on?

Flatwater Kayaking

 

What are three words that describe your first year at Dartmouth?

Exhilarating, challenging, rewarding

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip?

I was petrified to enter an unfamiliar setting full of people I had never met before. However, I realized pretty quickly that there was no reason to be scared, as all of the other ’20s were in the same boat (pun intended).

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

My first a cappella show with the Brovertones my freshman fall.

What’s the most important item you forgot to pack when you came to move in?

I don’t think I forgot to pack anything important, but I definitely packed way too many clothes. I brought a solid 10+ shirts and jackets that I didn’t wear once. Packing light is the way to go!

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

Put yourself out there and get involved, but don’t overcommit too early. Ask yourself if the club/activity you’re signing up for is something you really want to do–if it isn’t, think it over. At the same time, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get accepted into a program/organization that you really wanted to get involved in. At Dartmouth, you’ll be surrounded by hundreds of brilliant people that all want to get involved, and it can sometimes get competitive. Keep trying, keep putting yourself out there, and you’ll be rewarded.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

For any ’21s reading this, don’t be nervous! You may feel like an awkward fish out of water when you first get to Hanover for Trips, but the feeling fades quickly once you get out there with your trippees and trip leaders. You’ll have an amazing time.

Volunteer Profile: Rachel Kesler ’19

Rachel3 - Rachel KeslerWhat is your role for trips 2017?

Nature photography trip leader

What do you like to study?

History and Native American studies

If you went on a DOC Trip, which did you go on?

Hiking 3 (E46!)

What are three words that describe your first year at Dartmouth?

Transitional, overwhelming, worthwhile

What are you looking forward to for Trips 2017?

I am so excited to meet my trippees and welcome them to the Dartmouth community! I hope to be a great trip leader and to share some new and fun experiences with my trippees

What were you most nervous or scared about before your own first-year trip (or it you didn’t go on a trip, before the start of your time at Dartmouth)?

I was nervous about how intense the hiking was going to be! But my trip was great about working together and getting to the Lodge in one piece while having fun.

What is your favorite thing to eat on campus?

Does KAF iced coffee count?

Tell us about a highlight of your time at Dartmouth thus far.

Finding my best friends on campus and spending time watching movies and eating pizza with them any night of the week!

What’s the most important item you forgot to pack when you came to move in?

Pillows! So important!

If you could go back to the beginning of your first year here and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?

Give yourself time to find your place on campus. It takes everyone a different amount of time to feel comfortable and it’s not a race, you’ll get there sooner or later and when you do you’ll love it.

Packing For Your Trip

Section A is one week away! Here is a reminder email about the packing list. Don’t wait until the last minute!

Hiking frame packs: Hiking 1-4, Climbing, Mountain Biking, Nature Writing, Nature Exploration, Photography, Hike and Yoga, Ropes Course, Community Service.

External packs and internal packs. External packs are a little more “old school” – they’re the ones with the visible metal bars on the back of the pack. Their advantage: a high center of gravity means better weight distribution to the hips and makes these packs a good choice for clear, well-maintained trails. They also offer good ventilation, helping to keep your back dry. Internal packs are more streamlined – they fit more snugly against your back and the rigid supports are on the inside. Their advantage: a narrower and closer fitting structure allows for better balance and maneuverability on rougher trails. Either type of pack will work for Trips, so it’s a matter of personal preference and comfort. Keep your trip type and description in mind when you pick!

All other trippees (including those on Canoeing/Kayaking trips) should bring a single bag large enough to carry all their clothing and gear, plus a little extra room (duffle bags work well).

Hiking boots and shoes: There are a lot of different kinds of shoes out there made for moving around in the out-of-doors, and if you’ve never been in the market before it can be hard to know what you need. At a high level, the main differences between the types of shoes are stiffness, weight and ankle height. At one end of the spectrum lie light hiking shoes, which are often similar or identical to running shoes. These are flexible, low-weight shoes that are good for single-day hikes but don’t offer enough support for multi-day treks. For Trips, we prefer that you have hiking boots that are a little stiffer, more durable and that have at least a little ankle support (mid-cut or high-cut). More ankle support means less twisting and bending on bumpy terrain.

Speaking of blisters, one of the best ways to avoid them is to wear the right kind of socks. Go for anything synthetic (polyester, for example) or merino wool, both of which will prevent unwanted moisture and chafing. Thicker is better; you’ll be happy for the padding and they won’t heat up as much as you might think. Cotton athletic socks, by contrast, are never a good choice. I repeat, DO NOT WEAR COTTON SOCKS. There’s nothing worse on a trip than wet socks, and very little holds on to moisture quite as well as cotton.

Whatever kind of footwear you end up wearing, make sure you BREAK THEM IN before heading to Hanover for Trips. Many a blister can be avoided by making sure your shoes are well-molded to your feet before you start hiking, and the way to do that is simply to wear them. Around the house, into town to show them off, it doesn’t matter, just do your best to make sure Trips is not the first time your boots meet your feet!

Outerwear and jackets: Again, as with socks, shorts and shirts, no cotton here! Most hooded sweatshirts, for example, are a no go. Fleece pullovers are good, as are pullovers made of other synthetic wicking materials. The only full-on jacket you should need is a rain jacket or poncho – anything else will just end up occupying valuable pack space.

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