Risk Management

Choosing the right summer camp for high school teenagers is a big family decision. Safety is the most overriding concern for families and the Bold Earth team. Bold Earth is responsible to manage risk which is an inherent part of our programs whether exploring Yosemite National Park or visiting an island off the coast of Mozambique. Since 1976 over 16,000 students and thousands of trip leaders have joined Bold Earth. Safety at Bold Earth is built upon Four Pillars:

FOUR PILLARS OF Risk Management

1. Leadership

Bold Earth has the responsibility to carefully qualify, select, train and supervise trip leaders who embrace their guardianship responsibility while engaging the passion of our students for adventure camp travel. Bold Earth leaders carry on our hard-won reputation for excellence which began in 1976. Trip leaders are highly motivated role models with extensive experience working with teenagers. Trip leaders are certified in the highest levels of first aid and lifeguarding. Over 50% of our leaders are return staff. Nearly all leaders have achieved their undergraduate degree. We select high achievers with a proven history of leadership with youth and an outstanding level of success in academics and community service. Leaders participate in an intensive one week trip leader training which focuses on safety systems, success working teenagers and leadership responsibility. Technical activities such as rock climbing and whitewater rafting are conducted by professional guides hired for their skill expertise.
Visit Meet Our Leaders for more information.

2. Campers

Well motivated students who are enthusiastic about adventure are required for Bold Earth to succeed. We also understand that each traveler is an individual with his or her own distinctive perspective and limitations. Three requirements help Bold Earth to assure a cohesive group:
  • Two adult references, including one from your school (completed online).
  • A ten-minute camper telephone interview.
  • A ten-minute parent telephone interview.
Read comments from Bold Earth campers: Testimonials
Read more about our Rules & Standards: Participation Unity Agreement (PUA).

3. Itinerary

Customers join Bold Earth for a shared and inspirational adventure. Since 1976 we have searched the world for adventures which will engage teenagers in an elevated awareness of their healthy place in our world while expanding their leadership skills and confidence. We also understand that each traveler is an individual with his or her own distinctive perspective and limitations. Spending a summer away from home and school offers students an incredible opportunity to gain independence while learning new skills and exploring the world outside their routine.
Visit any of our 27 trip pages to view a detailed, day by day, Itinerary of your Bold Earth summer.

4. Risk Management

Bold Earth activities are carefully planned to be repeatable and safe. We evaluate and re-evaluate every environment, activity and outfitter with one thing in mind: Will this be a successful and safe experience? Because Bold Earth is an adventure travel program certain risks are inevitable. Bold Earth is American Camping Association accredited meeting over 300 standards in safety, health and quality. Risk management planning is the process of reviewing all the different aspects of a program to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the safety and well‐being of all the parties involved. Bold Earth Teen Adventures is committed to managing the risks we assume in order to meet the goals of our families. The focus of our safety strategy is to create a culture of safety with our staff, partners and students through education, training and information dissemination, communication, contingency plans, protocols, training, and internal reviews.


Summer camp teaches an almost endless variety of skills, values and character traits. Bold Earth carefully mentors teenagers to work together more cooperatively, resolve conflicts more effectively, assume greater responsibility and become more self-reliant and self-confident. Adventure travel is a powerful environment to strengthen children's character development. These intangible benefits occur on Bold Earth by design. We have carefully crafted an away experience for and about teenage growth. Bold Earth Teen Adventure is an institution where a teenager can safely experience and satisfy their need for independence, physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment.
Teens learn about living, working and playing together and making positive contributions to the world away from their family, friends and school. In addition, campers typically learn a healthy respect for nature, culture and the diverse world we live in. Bold Earth's dynamic programs also teach the socialization skills needed to cope in the real world as adolescents entering adulthood. Bold Earth opens doors, exposing teens to possibilities and opportunities. Teens with everything are taken to a new place, away from routine and family where they experience the real value of teamwork, friendship and challenge. We all want to be a part of something bigger and more important than ourselves. More than anything else, this sense of inclusion and purpose are the core values that Bold Earth teaches. We offer a sense of perspective and provide students with a head start on the road to independence and adulthood.


Bold Earth places a high priority on the realistic management of risks. Because of the varied terrain including mountains, rock, water, weather, whitewater and outdoor living components on six continents, participation with Bold Earth contains some elements of risk. Due to inherent risks, Bold Earth cannot legitimately offer a guarantee of safety. However, our acute awareness of and focus on risk management over our 40 year history decreases overall risk and enables us to operate within an acceptable level of risk.


Bold Earth has been entrusted with the care and education of its students while traveling. The physical and emotional health and welfare of students, as well as employees, is of highest priority to Bold Earth. To that end our risk management plan includes several key components: quality staff, informed students, contingency planning, and support services (i.e. transportation and emergency communication systems).


Staff at Bold Earth will be experienced and qualified educators, travelers, and outdoor people who have specific, relevant experience and training related to those subjects of which they are in charge. We prepare our Trip Leaders for various outdoor activities by requiring Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and other certifications when applicable for specific technical activities for quick and efficient response to emergency situations. Leaders are aware of student medical histories, potential environmental hazards, and Bold Earth safety and risk management protocols are meticulously review during a yearly week long intensive staff training.


Engaging in outdoor activities involves inherent and other risks ‐‐ many of which cannot be controlled. While Bold Earth cannot guarantee safety, it can and does strive to manage the associated risks and inform its students of those risks. Bold Earth deliberately teaches students how to adapt behavior, recognize and manage risks and develop expertise to minimize potentially dangerous situations. Students know they are expected to conduct themselves responsibly by promoting their own safety and well‐being as well as that of other participants and leaders within the program. Students play an important role in our risk management practices.


Bold Earth staff must create routine contingency plans on both the small and large scales. Major contingency planning occurs at the beginning of each program where safety is discussed. Throughout the program minor contingency planning is an ongoing process which occurs during the pre‐trip check and before each adventure outing. During the pre‐trip check, local emergency contact, health services, communication and evacuation procedures are reviewed.


The Bold Earth office is open 24/7 during the summer operations to immediately communicate with families and trips in the field. Bold Earth Trip Leaders carry medical kits with trips at all times, as well as emergency contact numbers for local emergency services, the Bold Earth office and check‐in/report protocols for emergency situations when it may be necessary to notify parents, initiate emergency response.


Bold Earth has had an excellent track record since 1976 of managing risk effectively and we want to keep the focus on managing and avoiding risk instead of responding to accidents. We strive to engage in adventurous activities where risk is limited. A Trip Leader or Student should be able to articulate why a given activity was undertaken and what merit the activity has in light of any inherent risks that exist. If one’s experience dictates that the group should be more conservative, the Student and Trip Leader together team up to understand and manage risk. If Bold Earth continues to manage risk well, our program will continue to thrive and expand as an adventure travel experience for youth.


It is proven that, in crisis situations, a clear and direct hierarchy helps clarify what actions should be taken. Trip Leaders discuss this decision-making hierarchy to handle emergencies with the Bold Earth office and co‐leader before each trip starts. Mobile phones should be carried on all trips. That said, there are many locations where it is difficult to call; we cannot assume a telephone will work as part of our risk management plan. Trip Leaders must be familiar with both the mobile phone coverage and communication alternatives before beginning the trip. It our responsibility to provide a method to find the nearest hospital and emergency response locations and numbers before embarking. Together our staff creates an emergency procedure plan to think about what to do if the worst happens.
Parents and students, your trust and confidence mean the world to the Bold Earth team. Never hesitate to call or e-mail Founder Abbott Wallis directly before, during or after a summer with Bold Earth.
Since 1976,
Abbott Wallis and The Bold Earth Team
We also invite you to click on the links below to read independent reviews on Yelp and Google+
2308 Fossil Trace Drive
Golden, Colorado 80401