Ascension Ceremony

Title: DOC Ascension Ceremony

Informant info: Kristen Chalmers was born in Belingham, Washington and is currently a student at Dartmouth in the class of 2017. She is an active member of the Dartmouth Outing Club. In addition to the aforementioned membership, Kristen has both participated in and led Dartmouth First year Trips, and she has also participated in Ledyard trips.

Type of lore: Customary, Tradition, Ceremony, Ritual

Language: English

Country of Origin: United States

Social / Cultural Context: Informant was interviewed alone at Dartmouth College. The informant was asked to retell any rituals she knew associated with any aspect of the Dartmouth Outing Club.

Kristen is a member of the Dartmouth Outing Club and has a leadership role within the organization. Before she attained this role she was informed, orally, about this ritual from a Dartmouth member of the class of 2014 (who’s name she no longer remembers) but who was also a member of the Dartmouth Outing club. Now that Kristin is a leader in the organization she has actively taken part in and witnessed the ceremony. The ceremony represents a rite of passage and assumed responsibility within the organization.

Associated file (a video, audio, or image file)

Item: Before you are able to become a leader within the DOC you are called a heeler, which is a colloquial term for being “on the heels of leading”. Once you have completed the requirements to become a leader you “ascend” to the position in an intricate ceremony. Part of the ceremony involves a ritual at an off campus house known as the rock, at which, prospective leaders eat and drink a variety of concoctions. The recipes for these are kept a secret and passed down from member to member and a poem, also passed down, is read to induct the new leaders into their new roles.

Informant’s comments: Informant stopped once during the story to (jokingly) say she wasn’t sure if she should be telling me this.

Collector’s comments:

Tags/Keywords: DOC, Leader, Ceremony

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