By Dartmouth - Tuck August 24, 2012 Leave a Comment

I just returned to my house in Hanover after a week long camping odyssey.  I’m tired and sore but in a good way.  The outdoor trip, part of the various pre-term programs Tuck offers, included dangling from a high-ropes course in the rain, canoeing down the Connecticut river, hikes through the gorgeous mountains of New Hampshire, a four-night-long game of Mafia (a role-playing game best played around a campfire—it’s addictive, believe me!), and most importantly, 20 new friends that I’ll get to spend the next two years with.
Tuck offers many other trips, including intense Outward Bound trips, hiking and volunteering in South America, and maintaining trails and volunteering in the local Dartmouth area.  I signed up for a camping trip because the closest I got to wildlife in L.A. over the last six years was taking my little fluffy dog for a walk.  I missed my wife and 2-year old while I was gone, but it was a once in a lifetime experience.  As a parent I know it will take extra effort on my part to make time for networking, so a little time before classes to meet new people seemed the perfect way to get started.
The pre-term trips are truly a must-do because nothing forges friendships better than working together in difficult situations.  While we had a lot of fun leisure time on the trip, my group also had to cooperate and overcome some pretty difficult challenges—some that were more formal, like the ropes courses, but also unplanned challenges, like cooking for the group and dividing up all the camping responsibilities.  Good practice for study group!
Other than the new friendships I made, the thing that made the trip really special was that it was literally in Hanover’s back yard.  Much of our camping was done just a few miles away from Tuck, and one island cabin we stayed in (with a wicked rope swing overhanging the river) was literally a stone’s throw from my new house.  Pretty amazing to have all this scenery right outside my back door–and I get to enjoy it for the next two years!

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