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Dartmouth Parents Thread

coureurcoureur 11196 replies190 postsRegistered User Senior Member
edited January 2014 in Dartmouth College
With the new '14s coming on board I am establishing this thread as a place for Dartmouth parents to share information and advice. I have participated for years on a similar thread for Harvard parents, and it has been very useful. With my second daughter now a '13 at Dartmouth, I think we could use a similar thing here.

To start off, any parents going to Dartmouth Family Weekend at the end of April? We are. For those who have already attended one of these, what are the highlights? Which events are not to be missed?
edited January 2014
2254 replies
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Replies to: Dartmouth Parents Thread

  • ConsolationConsolation 22863 replies184 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    We enjoyed a baseball game in the beautiful spring sunshine, a very amusing movie about the [in]famous Yale/Harvard game of 1969, an evening at a pub in Collis with student musicians on stage, viewing the campus from the top of Baker, a guided tour of the murals on the lower level, a series of informational presentations at the Hop, going out to dinner with S and friends and their parents (note to kids: 10PM is TOO LATE for a dinner reservation!!), and just generally having the time to stroll around campus without pressure to pack or unpack or get on the road. Most of the parents we met shared our experience: our kids did not expect to spend ALL of their time with us, even though it was Parents' Weekend. I mean, breakfast???? Were we kidding?!? :D They managed to drag themselves out of bed on Sunday morning for the breakfast prepared by their RAs, though. It was a very pleasant weekend. There were all kinds of lectures and things that sounded interesting to me that we missed.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26660 replies174 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    The Aires (acappella group).
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  • momofrowermomofrower 134 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We enjoyed climbing to the top of Baker but also, to our surprise, the guided tour of the rare book collection was fascinating. Dartmouth's crew teams also schedule their races at home during parent's weekend and those are fun to watch from the boathouse. The Hood Art Museum is also interesting. Our son is a junior now and we miss these weekends. We went in spring of his freshman year and again during sophomore summer, but there doesn't seem to be anything during junior year.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22863 replies184 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm looking forward to the sophomore summer one to fill in some of those gaps. Luckily, we live about 3 hrs drive away, so going isn't a huge undertaking.

    BTW, for those who enjoy/tolerate the off-beat and are on a tight budget, the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction is a convenient and very cheap place to stay. WRJ and the Coolidge are definitely part of The Land That Time Forgot. Those who need all the mod cons would not be pleased, though! :)
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18420 replies324 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    momofrower, I guess by junior year the Administration figures they don't have to do anything "special" for us!
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  • garnetsgarnets 64 replies5 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    We'd love to know what trip your child took and how they liked the experience. Our daughter, a '14, is itching to sign up! Thanks for starting this thread!
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  • infrmdmominfrmdmom 70 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Son went on Moderate Hiking. Was not a great experience. Have heard great things about the more strenuous trips ie, kayaking...Hard hiking. Timing has quite a bit to do with it. My son did one of the last trips so that he did not have to come home before orientation and he felt it would have been better to go earlier and then go back for orientation.
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  • infrmdmominfrmdmom 70 replies2 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Sybbie, how are you dealing with D withdrawl. I can't believe ds is done. I wish we had visited more. Ah well. I have a hs jr who is looking very favorably at D.
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  • coureurcoureur 11196 replies190 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    My daughter was assigned to the "Extreme" hiking group, which frightened her that she might not be up to the challenge. I told her they must have mistaken her for Sacajawea. But it worked out fine. She loved it.

    She went straight from her trip into orientation which was fine, since we live on the west coast and going back and forth another time would have been an expensive chore.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22863 replies184 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    S went on a hiking trip and enjoyed it very much. I *think* it was probably moderate-to-difficult. I do recall that it was one of the early ones, since we live in an adjoining state. He was home for a week before orientation.
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18420 replies324 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    S went on a hiking trip also -- not the extreme one but a fairly rugged one -- and while he enjoyed it very much also, I think he was disappointed that there were only four or five people on the trip, plus the "leader." He enjoyed it, but it wasn't the most fantastic experience he ever had.

    The day we drove DS up his Freshman year, he had a practice for his sport late in the afternoon. So we moved him in, drove him to the field, and hugged and kissed him good bye there. I felt like I was leaving him in the middle of nowhere, but of course he survived and has flourished.
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  • Redondo DaveRedondo Dave 267 replies36 postsRegistered User Member
    Son also signed up for Extreme Hiking. Had the time of his life. All kinds of "surprises" happen during the hike that are DOC traditions. The night at the lodge was fun and he got to know so many kids even before Orientation. We came for orientation and my son seemed liked he was the mayor of Hanover as he said hello or waved to many kids. It is fun to see the newbies as they hang out in small groups or "shmobs". Everyone so excited and getting to know each other. Met his roommate and his family and are very close with his family to this day. It was difficult for my wife leaving him there as we left; but we knew he was in for the time of his life.

    The freshman family weekend was a lot of fun. We got to visit with the various clubs and the newspaper that my son was involved with. Met his friends and his friends' parents which was the best part of the weekend. I remember going to the Dartmouth vs. Columbia baseball game and watching how the students heckle the other team. We stayed at the Norwich Inn and walked about 2 miles to the Hanover. You get a better sense of the environment by walking around. It was very warm and there was a Lumberjack competition taking place on the green. Went up to the top of Baker which everyone should do as it is only open twice a year. On the last morning that we left, we went to a supermarket in West Leb and picked up a bunch of snacks, fruit, and gatorade for my son and his roommate.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20686 replies1991 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Hi infrmdmom ,

    There is still some boxed stuff that has not moved since it entered the house after graduation.

    I think that some days it is just Hanover in NYC as there are a lot of alums in NYC and my D has a lot of friends here. One of her best friends (my west coast child) is moving from California and taking a job in NYC. Chicky and the gang are coordinating flights, cars and places to stay in order to go to Green Key next month. However, one of the friends is going on assignment in Australia for 6 months and won't be able to make it. They did not go up for homecoming this year but they said there is no way they are missing green key.

    They used to give a trip called Leisurely Hiking (and that was right up my D's alley). They stayed at one of the DOC’s cabins and hiking in the surrounding woods each day. My D who is a real girly girl, had an amazing time on the DOC trip as there is truly something for everyone. I do beleive that there is something about them being unwashed in woods that really bonds them as her fellow trippees are amongst her group of best friends. Members of the class of '58 visited them on their trip and made them breakfast. They will eat the traditional green eggs and ham and will dance upon their return. If you are close to Hanove, your daughter may be going on the DOC trip, returning home then going back to hanover. If she does come back home when see her and give her a hug (but not a big one at least until after she has showered).
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26660 replies174 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    all DOC trips are not-to-be missed. Son went rafting, but not the white water version. It was his first time camping and he had a blast.
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  • bluebayoubluebayou 26660 replies174 postsRegistered User Senior Member
  • ohmadreohmadre 566 replies21 postsRegistered User Member
    D went kayaking - loved it. After a teary farewell in the line to get processed for the DOC trip, I did not speak with her again until after she had returned from that experience for a day or so. The enthusiam with which she reported the event was incredible to me. The trip sort of set the tone for the whole first quarter, really the whole 4 years. It was, for her and for a majority of students I think, the perfect way to transition into this new world.

    I really miss having a reason to go to Hanover! Will have to invent one. Loved sophomore summer family weekend - hiking Moosilake plus all the school-sponsored events. Loved freshman family weekend and getting to know the families of the floor-mate gang of friends - even as they all developed many new friendships, some more important, during the 4 years, there was a lot of mutual regard and respect among the students who made up her freshman schmob - they all kind of had each others' backs.

    Another thing I loved learning of, as a parent, is the culture of inclusivity at D. Freshman are annually the benefiiciaries of a lot of love from upper class students - and they in in turn are eager to pass it on. For example, they vie for the chance to be involved in the DOC orientation trips for the incoming classes.

    One subtle thing that startled me was the quality (at least as perceived by me) of the air in the Upper Valley - all those pine - all that FRESHNESS! And frankly, I found that the cold of Hanover was of a different quality (and less noxious) than some other parts of the country at lower latitudes which are more plagued by cloud cover and/or wind and damp. A crystal cold, clear day is really beautiful - and easier to deal with than bone-chilling wind.

    As you have more frequent opportunity to visit, there is a lot to do in and around the area as well - maybe a topic for another discussion. As I say, wish I had a really good reason and a motivation half as wonderful as seeing my D flourish, to go back. Have fun parents!
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  • getalifemomgetalifemom 344 replies20 postsRegistered User Member
    S did one of the canoeing trips and LOVED it! He is an experienced canoer (word?) and outdoorsman, but most on his trip were not. They all seemed to enjoy the experience, but S especially because he picked up on some of the "jokes" ahead of time. He is not easily impressed but raved about how well-run everything seemed.

    He's doing an LSA term this summer or otherwise would apply as a '14 trip leader. Because he will be gone most of the summer, he can't get in the training. He plans to try for it next year, though.

    If at all possible, have your student go on a DOC trip. S stayed after for orientation and didn't come home until Christmas. He was homesick but made the adjustment to college life satisfactorily. Fortunately, his grandparents and I were able to visit him in early November for a few days. One of my favorite things to do while there was get up early and walk the campus, semi-accidently intercepting S and walking him to class one morning. It was nice being part of his new life for a brief moment and he seemed not to mind too much.
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  • firstonetogofirstonetogo 41 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hello. Thanks for starting this parent's thread. My daughter is a '14. She applied Early Decision so we've known for awhile. We're all thrilled! I've never "posted" online before but I'll get over my nervousness in order to get some support. I don't want to embarrass my daughter, but she'll get over it if I do!

    As for the DOC question. We live in Ohio so she's hoping for a later trip and then straight to orientation. We were planning to drive her stuff up and help her move in, but we certainly can't hang out for 5 days until she returns from her trip. So maybe she would fly up with minimal belongings and then we'll meet her before orientation? Now this presents a few problems as well. Here comes the embarrassing part...my daughter has never been on an airplane! We have always driven everywhere. I know she'd be fine, but she'll probably have to changes planes midway there and I'm not sure where "there" would be: Boston? Manchester?

    Oh no, my neuroses are coming out! And we've just met...

    As you can see, any information would be appreciated!
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  • ohmadreohmadre 566 replies21 postsRegistered User Member
    Hi Firstonetogo:

    Excited for your daughter and your family. I am also from OH and I wanted to suggest that your daughter might not have to fly this first time. Our daughter had a later trip and just stayed on campus after the trip. There was about a 2 day gap before orientation, but meantime, she had made a group of friends on the DOC trip, and by the time it was over, a good number of other students were checking into their rooms after trips as well. Setting up her room herself was a fun, not lonely, thing by that point.

    Dartmouth will let your daughter park all her belongs in her room while she is on the trip (not move in, set up anything, but at least get a key and deposit her things). So if you wanted, and did not mind missing orientation yourself (which, for the most part is student-oriented) you could all just drive up with her at the time of the trip. We stayed at a hotel nearby the evening before the trip, got over to campus in the morning to pick up the key and find the dorm room and move in the gear, and left in the afternoon as she was checking in for her DOC trip - which, as I mentioned above, was emotional, but the trip leaders took over and it was all good after that.

    As for flying, its fairly easy to get to Hanover from Logan in Boston because a Dartmouth Coach Dartmouth Coach: Connecting Upper Valley to Boston, Logan Airport, Stamford, CT, and New York City pulls right up to one of the terminals - I am not sure about the logistics from Manchester, but others can advise. Send me a p.m. if you want.
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  • ConsolationConsolation 22863 replies184 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    firstonetogo, my son's first year roommate was from the midwest, and he and his family drove with his stuff before his trip. He had one of the late trips for kids who can't go home afterwards. I can't recall the details, but the college lets kids coming from a distance leave their stuff somewhere while they are on the trip--either in their room, or in some secure storage area.

    So you could drive her there with her stuff and she wouldn't have to fly, although you would have to say goodbye then, unless you wanted to do a New England mini-vacation while she's on her trip. It's a great time of year to visit Maine, NH, and VT, actually.

    If she does fly and you follow, Manchester is obviously a much smaller airport and easier to navigate. I seem to recall that there are special buses from Logan and Manchester around that time---BUT if her flight is significantly delayed and she misses it, there may be fewer options getting to D from there. I seem to recall someone here whose D had this problem at Manchester. For that reason, I would suggest that if she flies you try to make sure that she is scheduled to arrive several hours before the bus leaves, and that you have a Plan B that she knows about. She might also be able to connect with another student on the Facebook group with whom she can arrange to travel from the airport.

    And also consider that there are probably CC parents in the area who would be willing to act in loco parentis if the worst happens and she is stranded! There is a whole in loco parentis thread.

    Cross posted with Ohmadre!
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