Trips to the Sea



Title: Trips to the Sea

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, 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 Ledyard Canoe Club. This story was told to her and a group of other members, orally by a Dartmouth member of the class of 2014. The item is a ritual that members participate in their senior year to commemorate their time as members of the canoe club. The trip to the sea is actually an annual tradition that began with John Ledyard. Though Kristen hasn’t participated in the ritual yet, the story is told to younger members of the group as well to keep the ritual going and to build anticipation for the rite of passage.

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

Item: As a member of the Ledyard Canoe Club, during your senior year, you take what is called a trip to the sea, a 210-mile journey on the Connecticut. During this trip, the members of the senior/ graduating class take a canoe trip from Ledyard boat house to the Connecticut River, and finally to the Atlantic ocean. There is a ritual in which the members of the trip must canoe naked through Hartford Connecticut and can only put there clothes back on once they’ve made it through the town.

Informant’s comments:

Collector’s comments: Informant told the story very enthusiastically, smiled the entire time.

Tags/Keywords: Ledyard, Trips, Sea

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