First-Year Trips—which precede orientation each fall—introduce new Dartmouth students to one of the College community’s greatest assets, the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC). For some students, trips provide a first encounter with the activities the DOC offers: hiking, kayaking, camping, and more.
Trips also introduce students to the support, mentoring, and camaraderie that DOC members offer one another. This video, by Jacob Kupferman ’14, tells the story of the DOC’s places and its people.
Dartmouth Now spoke recently with Kupferman (who was the Office of Public Affairs photography intern during his junior and senior years at Dartmouth) about the DOC and his film. Since graduating from Dartmouth in June, Kupferman has been working in Charlotte, N.C., while continuing to pursue photography opportunities in his free time, particularly with professional and college sports teams in the area.
What inspired you to make the film about the Dartmouth Outing Club? I wanted to show what made Dartmouth so special to me. Most of my time was spent in some way related to the DOC. So much of my Dartmouth experience was defined not just by the activities I did outside, but also by the people I met and moments I shared.
I wanted to highlight this unique aspect of campus by focusing on students and their experiences with the club. The DOC has a great program in place to provide funding for any student who needs it in order to participate. This opens the door for any student to participate in the outdoors, and I think is one of the defining characteristics of the open and accepting nature of the club.
What was at the heart of your experience with the DOC? My DOC experience is made of hundreds of small moments spent outside with my fellow classmates and friends. Short moments spent running back to the car as the rain starts to fall, or getting to the top of a peak to take in the view just as the sun sets. Times when I would just pause for a moment and realize how awesome it was to be where we were and to do what we were doing. And there was nothing grand about those moments, but for some reason everything felt right and that moment just sticks with you long after you’re back inside.
You put hundreds of hours, over three terms, all outside of course work, into making this film. What kept you going? Like any project I’ve ever worked on, the end result is always different from what I initially envisioned. There were many scheduling conflicts and weather delays and other changes that helped shape the film into what it is today.
I think that for this to work, I had to be really comfortable and had to really enjoy what I was doing: just being outside with friends, trying to capture great moments. Because if I didn’t enjoy the process and the long road toward finally getting all the footage I needed, I never could’ve made it through the long days when nothing seemed to work out.