Sarah Carson ’09, Moosilauke Ravine Lodge Manager
On the job: Whether she is cooking meals, teaching guests about local ecology, or planning a wedding, Sarah Carson ’09 enjoys providing a rejuvenating environment for visitors at Dartmouth’s Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (MRL).
“This is definitely a positive place with lots of opportunities for people to reset and remake themselves,” says Carson, the manager of MRL.
MRL sits at the base of Mount Moosilauke, a 4,802-foot summit known as the southwestern entrance to the scenic White Mountains. The cavernous lodge, built in the 1930s, can serve 84 dinner guests. MRL also includes several nearby bunkhouses, and the entire complex can accommodate 94 overnight visitors.
For Carson, who grew up in Groton, Mass., nature has always been important. Her mother owns a small canoe and kayak business and her entire family values outdoor and environmental education. Growing up, she worked for her mother’s company, renting out boats, serving as a camp counselor, and teaching canoeing. “I felt instantly at home working at the lodge,” she says.
Depending on the season, Carson supervises five to eight MRL employees. Her daily responsibilities vary, since staff members rotate duties—she does everything from coordinating events to training staff members to ordering ingredients for the kitchen.
MRL is making an effort to use more food produced in New Hampshire and Vermont; it’s been gratifying for the staff to get to know area farmers and meet the people behind their food. On July 29, MRL hosted a “local foods night” at which farmers met with Dartmouth sustainability groups over dinner. Both visitors and staff members, Carson says, create a great atmosphere at MRL.
“We work with interesting people, learn loads about food, customer service, and our local environment, and are part of an incredibly supportive and caring community,” says Carson.
The Dartmouth community: As an undergraduate at Dartmouth, Carson was a Senior Fellow who completed a study in environmental history (she is currently applying to environmental history PhD programs). She worked at Ledyard Canoe Club and enjoyed hiking the trails near campus. While Carson has always been interested in outdoor education, she didn’t play a major role in the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC) as a student.
“I took trips with the DOC, but I wasn’t super involved,” she says. “I did a lot of hiking on my own.”
Nowadays, Carson relishes being part of Dartmouth’s outdoor community. She enjoys talking with alumni about their experiences at the lodge, watching guests make friends over dinner, and helping DOC members learn new skills.
“My favorite part of the job is seeing the effect the lodge has on people,” she says.
She hopes students are aware of MRL and the many activities it hosts—from musical performances to movie screenings to cooking workshops.
“Lots of students at graduation say that they wish they had spent more time at the lodge,” says Carson. “It really is a nice, healthy getaway from the stress and fast pace of Dartmouth life.”
At home: A Fulbright Scholar who taught in India after graduation, Carson is an avid reader and is currently immersed in Indian literature. She believes MRL’s natural setting is tailored for reading fiction.
“Moosilauke is a great place to get lost in a novel,” she says.
She lives near Mount Moosilauke in Warren, N.H. She enjoys running and hiking the White Mountains.
“I try to spend as much time as possible enjoying the location we are in,” says Carson.
Beginning August 25, the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge will host the 2012 DOC first-year trips.