General Information about Item:
- Genre: Customary Folklore (ritual)
Informant Data: Harrison Lane is a member of the class of 2019. He is 21 and an attackman from Hingham, Massachusetts. He is in his third season on the Men’s lacrosse team.
Social Context: Into the Woods is a team bonding hiking and endurance experience, almost based on a version of a Navy Seal experience. All team members depend on each other to push through the hiking experience as we push to master the elements of the weather, both day and night, only using the gear packed on our back. Proper packing the essentials is key and team’s members learn to depend on each other when some essentials may be lacking by teammates. The Men’s lacrosse team partakes in this preseason ritual as it again offers off field cross training. In military fashion, the social elements remain that of dependency on your group as exhaustion sets in through the dark night and the only lights shining are that of our team.
Cultural Context: The Men’s lacrosse team each year takes advantage of the mountainous terrain New Hampshire offers the Dartmouth Community. As our team utilizes the terrain as both a cross training and team bonding experience, the cultural differences of our team allow us to take this experience and help us to be united as one in the element of our home, Hanover, NH for the next eight months of our season. The sub-zero temperatures, wind, rain, snow and ice reminds us that the lacrosse team’s native heritage is that of warriors. It represents what can be accomplished by working together and fighting the elements and obstacles of the hike as a team. Whether moving sticks or logs as a team to take our next steps or camping out on the ground in any weather, it provides the experience and cultural bond of surviving as a team outside our comfort zones and modern conveniences. The Into the Woods ritual experience is one that that has created dread during preseason but once out of the woods back on the turf, the strength of team attitude has expanded far beyond a photographed memory.
Item: This image titled Into the Woods represents the end of preseason ritual of hiking into the woods as a team. The annual ritual represents teamwork as a unified group hike through any condition and work together as a unit no matter what the conditions are.
Informant’s Comments: The informant’s experience of Into the Woods, was an experience that was shared in in verbal context but once experienced as a team member, now allows the experience to be shared first hand with future recruits. The experience will always be seen as a major achievement for off field stamina. The informant stated he looks forward to the trip every season because it pushes him mentally and physically. Although the trip is a team ritual, the informant has a superstition that he always packs light and puts a water bottle at the top of his pack each year because of the frequent hard work he goes through, he needs a lot of water.
- The preseason woods hike under extreme weather conditions is difficult and pushed each member of the team to the max. Mental toughness is key to endurance and is needed to descend down the mountain after ascending up. Into the Woods is customary in that each fall, this tradition marks almost the end of preseason and creates the readiness of the new season to come in January. It provides for new bonding experiences especially for the new players on the team to find inclusion.
- The informant found the players and coaches offered a dependency on each other that cannot be found on a field. The Woods represents Dartmouth’s history and should be experienced by all through its beauty and rugged terrain.
Collector’s Name: Westy McLaughlin
Tags/Keywords: Dartmouth Men’s Lacrosse, Preseason Into The Woods, Hike. Customary