Frequently Asked Questions
Trip leaders will be at the airport before the first student arrives. For students not flying as unaccompanied minors, they should follow the signs to baggage claim. Trip leaders will be waiting right outside of security and wearing their brightly colored Bold Earth T-shirts. Students will have the trip leaders’ cell phone numbers before airport day in case of confusion.
For students traveling as unaccompanied minors, a trip leader will greet your student at the gate when he/she steps off the plane. Sometimes we may be a few minutes late due to several students’ flights arriving at the same time.
Once your child has collected all their luggage after meeting with one of our trip leaders, he or she will call home.
Our trip leaders are, at a minimum, certified as wilderness first responders and in CPR. All senior staff have additional lifeguarding certifications. All trip leaders, both new and returning, undergo a background check every year, and all must have clean driving records. Our staff return rates exceed 60 percent every year!
We can accommodate vegetarians, students who are gluten-free, and most food allergies on a trip-by-trip basis. Please contact us if your child has dietary restrictions, food allergies, or has a vegan or kosher diet at 303-526-0806.
We set aside time for students to call home about once a week throughout their trips and have a brief check-in with their parents. We will have a trip blog with photo and text updates so that you can follow along with your child’s trip. If an emergency arises at home, don’t worry—you’ll be able to contact our office staff on an emergency line 24/7 during the summer.
A valid passport is required for all international trips; passports should be valid for six months after the end date of the trip. Visa requirements vary by country; Bold Earth will notify you if one is required for your child’s trip. Non-American citizens must check their country’s visa requirements when traveling internationally.
We strive for a 50/50 ratio on all of our trips; however, that ratio may sometimes be closer to 60/40 in either direction.
Each year, students must cancel their Bold Earth trip because of medical or personal reasons. For this reason, Bold Earth offers optional tuition protection (OTP), which protects your investment against pre-trip illness, injury, or unforeseen family or personal circumstances. The cost of OTP is five percent of the full tuition cost of your child’s trip. After April 1, 2019, and before the first day of your student’s trip, if you have purchased OTP, you can cancel in writing for any of the above reasons and receive a full refund, less the $800 deposit. (Airfare and any travel-related expenses are not covered.) We highly encourage every parent to purchase OTP; it is less expensive than traditional travel and camp insurance, and you won’t have to wait months before receiving a refund like you might with a third-party company. Read more details about our refund policy and OTP here.
Bold Earth students are fun and enthusiastic, and they’re interested in trying new things and making great new friends. Whether you want to hike in Hawaii, learn Spanish in Costa Rica, or visit a wildlife sanctuary in South Africa, Bold Earth has the perfect summer adventure trip for you. Our small groups (10 to 13 students) ensures that our groups form close-knit communities. For the past 43 years, Bold Earth students have told us that the friendships, activities, food, and service are unforgettable. Our goal is for you to go home at the end of your trip feeling like Bold Earth is the best decision you’ve ever made.
Many new students come to Bold Earth not knowing anyone else—and we encourage that! You’ll begin to make friends immediately after landing at the airport. When it comes time to head back home after a few weeks, you’ll have made lifelong friendships with both your peers and trip leaders. Many of our students stay in touch long after their Bold Earth adventure ends.
There is no experience necessary! It’s OK if you’ve never traveled internationally, rock climbed, performed community service, or backpacked. Our trip leaders and professional guides will teach you everything you need to know on your trip. We will also provide all the equipment needed for technical activities led by professional outfitters.
We do recommend that every student coming to Bold Earth be in good physical condition to get the most out of their trips.
Every trip is a little different! Most of our trips have a mix of lodging, from bed and breakfasts to hostels to camping. On a few of our trips, you’ll camp in tents the whole time. We highly recommend reading through the trip you’re most interested in to find out where you’ll be staying.
Every trip has a different and unique packing list, which you can find on that trip’s specific page. We reevaluate and update our packing lists year to year, so please follow our guidelines closely—if you go by the list, you’ll have everything you need and nothing more!
That’s OK! Many of our students have never flown by themselves, and we think of this as step one in gaining independence while at Bold Earth. We are there to help with the travel aspect of the Bold Earth experience every step of the way, from helping your parents book flights, to putting you in touch with other students from your area so that you can have travel buddies, to letting you know exactly where to meet us at the airport.
For the most part, you’ll be disconnected from your cell phone while at Bold Earth—and we promise that you won’t miss it! Our goal is for our students to create meaningful, face-to-face friendships with their peers and trip leaders without technology hindering the experience. You will be able to bring your cell phone for your flights to and from Bold Earth, and you’ll use it to call home a few times throughout the trip. We do highly encourage you to bring an old-fashioned, point-and-shoot camera or GoPro so that you can capture the memories of your adventure!