Upon arrival at Dartmouth, we all had time to unpack and relax in the dorm before a walk down to the river for a quick swim. Later that evening, we listened to comedian and radio show host Pete Dominick talk about sustainability in his own life. It was a great introduction to the program, and we all enjoyed his jokes and stories. The next day, we went on a scavenger hunt around campus to learn about our surroundings. Our group got lost while trying to get back to the dorm, but we managed to make it back before we ran out of time.
On our first trip to the Dartmouth Organic Farm, we took a tour of the beautiful field, the tilapia tanks used for aquaponics, and the greenhouses.
We biked to the farm almost every other day to help with planting, learn about the crops, and sometimes get a little bit dirty.
After learning about sustainable organizations in class, we took a trip to King Arthur Flour to experience a real-life example of social responsibility. We talked to Carey Underwood about King Arthur, which is an employee-owned B-Corp company. After listening to Carey Underwood and asking her a few questions, we took a break to check out the bakery and the gift store. Our final activity for the evening was a pizza-making class in the King Arthur test kitchen. We used two different types of flour to create dough, and customized our pizzas with various toppings. Everyone biked back to campus slowly, with full stomachs and leftover pizza.
On the first weekend, most of us walked down to the Dartmouth boathouse to spend time on the water. We rented canoes and paddleboards and had a great time relaxing in the sun. Once we had finished boating, a few of us went to find a swimming spot along the shore, while others relaxed in a nearby hammock.
On Sunday, we went white water rafting in Massachusetts. The water was frigid, but we all had a great time paddling and bouncing around in our boats. Only a few people fell in!
We returned to the farm throughout the beginning of our second week. A few Dartmouth students were studying soil, and we were able to check out a giant hole that they had been digging at the farm.
We also got to learn about drip irrigation, a water-efficient method used to water plants. This system also prevents weed growth, because the water is applied only to the plants and not to a widespread area. Once we were familiar with the purpose and idea of drip irrigation, we helped to install the system in a few beds.
At the end of the program, we traveled about an hour to Dartmouth’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge. We spent two nights in the bunkhouses, ate our meals with other visitors in the Lodge, and filled our time with outdoor activities. Hiking up Mt. Moosilauke was beautiful and fun- the views at the top were incredible! A dip in the chilly swimming hole felt great after the hike. Once the sun had set, the whole group spread out on blankets to stargaze. Many of us saw shooting stars, and we were all impressed by the brightness and amount of visible stars.
It was sad to say goodbye to all of the new friends I made during the program, but I know that we will all remember our two weeks as fun, enriching, and exciting. Our time spent both in and out of the classroom expanded my interest in sustainability and improved my leadership skills.