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Duke Rec & P.E. provides oversight of 31, student-run, sport-based clubs that practice regularly and travel and host competitions against other colleges and universities. In addition to our Sport Club’s normal operations, our program is lucky to be able to extend the opportunity for clubs to attend what we call “Dream Trips” thanks to a generous endowment gifted to our program by the Gorter Family in honor of Kevin Gorter – a previous Sport Club participant.

Dream Trips are a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our Sport Clubs to travel to a location that is considered a hub of their sport to get access to coaching, competition, or practice facilities that they would not normally have access to. Clubs begin preparing for Dream Trips the academic year before and go through a rigorous and competitive process to be selected to attend a Dream Trip.

This year, 8 of our clubs were awarded the opportunity to attend a Dream Trip over Winter or Spring Break. Check out the highlights from our four Winter Break trips!


Club Baseball | Dominican Republic

“Our trip began in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, where we settled in by walking around the colorful, culturally rich city and finding some tasty empanadas. Our first full day in Santo Domingo featured a back-to-back double header in the scorching Caribbean sun, but everyone enjoyed getting a break from playing in the cold weather we had gotten accustomed to back in Durham. Our first game resulted in a tie against the university team from UNPHU, and we came out victorious in a thriller against the “Bad Boys” in game 2.

Day 3 featured a long travel day northbound to the ocean-side town of Cabarete. Though, on the way we stopped at the Damajagua Waterfalls, where we hiked, jumped, and slid our way through these remote natural wonders. This experience was certainly the highlight of the trip for many of our players. Despite the exhilarating fun that was witnessed at the Waterfalls, I think everyone was happy to finally make it to the relaxing picturesque town of Cabarete, where a delicious, beachside barbeque awaited us. Day 4 began with a service project at Cabarete Sostenible, where we planted seeds that would later be delivered to those in need and aided in their composting efforts.

Later that day, we traveled to a nearby baseball field in Veragua and lost handily to the local team, but everyone certainly enjoyed the experience of facing some top-notch talent. Our final full day began with yet another game against a local Cabarete team, and though we were able to keep it close for several innings, we ultimately lost again. The last afternoon of our trip was then spent soaking up some rays at the beautiful beach and pool at our oceanfront hotel. We then celebrated the end of our program in the DR with a jungle river cruise to a remote fish shack, where we ate incredible food and closed out the trip with a peaceful bonfire under the stars.”

-- Will Briley, Club Baseball President

Club Ski & Snowboard | Sun Valley Resort, Id

“I’m happy to report that Club Ski & Board’s winter break Dream Trip was a success! While we were initially concerned about the skiing conditions in Sun Valley due to the lack of snow in the early season, the resort and our instructors did a great job accommodating us. For our beginner skiers and snowboarders, this trip was an invaluable opportunity to learn the fundamentals of skiing and snowboarding to ensure that we could all compete safely, be it racing or freestyle. For our more advanced members, this trip provided us with ample time to learn and practice our skills, since most of us (especially our racers) do not have experience with race instructors or courses.

Beyond just the skiing, however, our dream trip proved once again how strong our Ski & Board community is at Duke. As a sport club that doesn’t have many opportunities to train and compete, we believe that the friendships we form as a team are absolutely essential to maintaining what makes our club so special. No matter what a member’s experience level is, we pride ourselves in welcoming everyone into our fun and inclusive group. Spending five days training, cooking dinners, hot tubbing, and exploring Sun Valley together as a team ensured that the benefits of our Dream Trip will go far beyond the sport of skiing itself. “

-- Matthew Dale, Club Ski & Snowboard Vice President

Club Golf | Phoenix, AZ

“Club Golf had a wonderful time over Winter Break in Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ to promote team bonding as well as receiving valuable training in preparation for upcoming tournaments. A total of 126 holes of golf were played over 6 days at some of the most challenging yet rewarding venues in the Valley. A notable 18 of these holes were contested at Imagine 3D Mini Golf, where the winner was determined via sudden death playoff.

Golf did take up most of the time, but the team was keen on exploring the destination during their stay. A variety of delicious restaurants were sampled as well as an excursion to an NBA basketball game where the Phoenix Suns matched up against the Memphis Grizzlies. In all, it was an unforgettable Dream Trip for Club Golf with the wonderful golf, fun activities, and memories that will last a lifetime."

-- Franklin Feng, Club Golf President

Women’s Club Volleyball | Costa Rica

This trip was incredible. We played volleyball against 4 different local teams and had the opportunity to mix with one of the clubs. Collaborating with them was a fantastic opportunity to learn new skills, practice our Spanish, and make genuine connections amongst each other and the Costa Rican players. In addition to playing, we zip-lined, hiked waterfalls and volcanoes, visited the national park and an organic farm, kayaked, snorkeled, saw wild sloths and monkeys, and enjoyed Costa Rican cuisine! Our guides, Eddy and Miguel, were so knowledgeable, kind, and fun to be around.

We are so excited to return and use the new techniques we learned from the trip. This experience allowed us to bond as a team like never before, and we are so grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Thank you to the Gorter Foundation for making this possible, it truly was a dream!

-- Angie Sala, Women’s Club Volleyball Vice President

Image Credit: Duke Club Golf, 2023