Night at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge

Title: Night at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge

General Information:

  • Customary: Traditions, Rituals, Dances, Pranks, Games
  • English
  • USA

Informant Data:

Charles James “CJ” Murphy was born in Greenwich, Connecticut on November 16, 1994. He is a 22-year-old student at Dartmouth College currently in his senior year. Growing up, he was an avid outdoorsman, and as such was very excited to participate in the Dartmouth Outing Clubs First-Year Trips program in the lead-up to freshman year. He was on the “Climb and Hike” trip.

Contextual Data: 

After leaving the wilderness, busses picked up the various groups on the informants trip section and brought them to the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. Although the informant was exhausted, dirty and sore, he and his “trippees” felt excitement in the air as they approached the Lodge.


Arriving at the Lodge is the culmination of Dartmouth trips, and the first ritual that takes place immediately sets the stage for the forthcoming initiation. As the freshmen exited the bus, they ran through a human tunnel of ecstatic Dartmouth students who were literally and figuratively welcoming them with open arms. At the Lodge, the boundaries between trip groups begin to blur as there is an emphasis on going outside the confines of your group and bonding with new people. Freshmen feel the full weight of initiation when they learn and sing the Alma Matter.

Informant’s Comments:

The informant pointed out that when his section was at the Lodge, it was very clear that the freshmen were far more comfortable and outgoing than they were at the outset. In his opinion, this was evidence that First-Year Trips was a successful rite of passage into the community.

Collector’s Comments:

After emerging from the wilderness and having conquered the transitional stage, the final night of First-Year Trips at the Moosilauke Lodge is the incorporation stage of rites of passages. Trip groups are no longer isolated, as the entire section is reunited and initiated into the Dartmouth “cult” by way of many elaborate rituals and ceremonies, including dancing, singing and games. Freshmen depart trips with a newfound, shared identity as valued members of the community.

Collector’s Name: Tommy Kaminsky


  • Customary Lore, Traditions, Rituals, Dances, Pranks, Games

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