Entrusting others with the safety and care of your teenager thousands of miles from home can feel overwhelming. While no activity or trip can be 100 percent without risk, mitigating risk is our top priority and the foundation of everything we do at Bold Earth. We believe students are at greater risk in daily activities at home (driving, playing football, etc.) than traveling around the world with us.
While we maintain a relentless focus on safety, we also know that teenagers need and crave an element of risk. Learning to manage and evaluate risk is an important step en route to independence. At Bold Earth, we begin by making empowering our students to help us manage risk. We emphasize equipping our students with the judgment necessary to understand probability and consequences so they can bring home a safety-conscious mindset as a by-product of a Bold Earth adventure. These are skills they’ll use for years to come.
Thoroughly reviewed itineraries
We manage risk at Bold Earth by creating itineraries that prioritize safety while emphasizing fun and opportunities for growth; this is why we evaluate our trips at the end of each summer. We are firm believers in perceived risk versus actual risk and only select activities where we feel we can appropriately manage risk.
Intensive training for trip leaders
We focus on hiring experienced, mature trip leaders (they average 26 years of age), and typically each trip has one returning staff member. All staff are certified, at minimum, as Wilderness First Responders (an 80-hour training), and many trip leaders have their lifeguard and additional certifications. Every trip leader participates in an extensive training before our adventures begin.
Actively involved directors
Our leadership team sets the tone for a safe summer, and our directors take a hands-on approach to facilitate risk management training and remain closely involved with all our adventures during the summer. Because of our limited program size, we can maximize our directors’ involvement with every student’s family.
Vetted professional outfitters
On many sections of our U.S. trips and in every activity on our international trips, we utilize professional guiding services to add extra support and risk management. Our partners add their specific expertise and local knowledge to help us uphold our high standards—no matter where we are in the world. All our outfitters have been thoroughly vetted, and we are proud of the long-term partnerships we have built. These outfitters also provide a home base for us on our trips.
Culture of safety
Our culture of safety begins with our admissions process. We work hard to ensure that every student who attends Bold Earth is excited and willing to participate in all aspects of their trip. Once the adventure begins, our trip leaders model safe practices and teach our students how to take care of themselves and each other.