Why Bold Earth?
We believe the right summer program can be a defining experience in a young person’s life. We invite you to dig deeper to learn more about Bold Earth so you can better understand the substance and intentionality that permeates our programs and the care and dedication with which we approach the student experience. As more than a fun summer diversion, we feel truly privileged to have been able to make a difference in thousands of students’ lives.
Incredible itineraries and exciting adventures
We encourage you to compare our trip itineraries to other programs. We thoroughly review each of our trips after every summer so all Bold Earth students get the most out of every travel experience. Our trips provide a myriad of activities among spectacular scenery in the best adventure destinations in the world, whether it’s on safari in Mozambique, diving in Fiji, or hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Our small group size allows us to engage easily in local cultures and, like all good travelers, give back to the places we visit. Don’t view Bold Earth as a vacation where teenagers simply lay around at the beach; instead, view our trips as a chance for teens to step out of their comfort zone, venture out to explore the world’s most unique sites, make wonderful new friends, and become the person they want to be in the process.
A focus on fun
This generation of kids works harder and is more stressed and pressured than any generation in history. Most important, a Bold Earth trip should be a reward for hard work and a well-deserved break from busy routines. Our adventures provide a way to unplug from digital media and discover an entirely new world. Plus, at Bold Earth, you’ll be able to do things that you just can’t do at home, like interacting with elephants in South Africa, learning to surf in France, and swimming at the base of Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon.
Decades of experience
Founded in 1976, Bold Earth has more than 45 years of experience as a leader in teen summer camp travel. We have facilitated more than 20,000 (and counting!) successful adventures for our students. Along the way, we have accumulated a great depth of knowledge and experience in the industry and a well-earned reputation for attracting caring, experienced trip leaders. Our partnerships with Camp Pinnacle and the Alzar School create an unmatched level of shared experience in risk management, adventure operations, outdoor education, and youth development.
Our three favorite words are safety, safety, and safety! Your child’s physical and emotional safety is our first priority at Bold Earth, and we take the trust you’ve put in us very seriously. Risk management is the foundation of everything that we do. While nothing is ever 100 percent safe (including driving to school), our goal is to minimize unnecessary risk while maximizing fun and adventure. We make every decision in the field as if parents were watching over our shoulders.
Many teen summer programs enroll more than 1,000 students each summer. It may work for them, but it’s just not our style: We limit our enrollment so that we can maximize the personal experience of every student. We take great joy in getting to know our families, many whose children attend for multiple summers. We pride ourselves on emphasizing the quality of our programs rather than the quantity of our participants.
Experienced and mature trip leaders
Our trip leaders are the core of who we are and what we do, and their loyalty and love of Bold Earth make us unique. While their primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of every Bold Earth student, they’re more than just chaperones; they’re also role models, mentors, and friends to our students. Trip leaders return to Bold Earth year after year because of the personal connections they form with each student. With an average age of 26 and a return rate that consistently exceeds 60 percent, our trip leaders are educators with real-world experience who know how to facilitate a fun learning experience.
Commitment to the group
With a small group size of 10–13 similarly-aged students and two trip leaders, Bold Earth students make incredibly close friendships. We provide personalized attention to each student and create intentional communities that provide multiple leadership opportunities; this allows every student to become an important part of the group—no one gets lost in the crowd. As part of our close-knit community experience, we expect every student to bring their best selves, commit to the success of the group, participate enthusiastically in all group activities, and do more than their share of group tasks. We call this an expedition mentality mindset.
A cogent philosophy
All our programs are designed to challenge our participants and encourage them to step out of their comfort zones. Our goal is to create an environment where students feel they can be the best versions of themselves. Using the fun and natural challenges of a Bold Earth trip, we strive for our Great 8 Outcomes to be learned through traveling, community immersion, and interaction with great role models. We believe there is no better environment than Bold Earth to improve the pro-social skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
- Collaboration and social achievement
- Critical thinking
Beyond practicing and improving the above skills, the uniqueness of the Bold Earth experience comes at a time when teenagers’ brains are inherently more receptive to learning, creating a unique opportunity for students to craft a narrative about the person they want to become.
An inclusive community experience where every student makes close friends and feels like an integral part of the group is what keeps our students coming back for multiple summers. We cultivate a sense of shared responsibility and a focus on positivity without cliques or separate social circles. Our goal is for everyone to feel welcomed and appreciated. Most of our alumni say the community at Bold Earth trip was the highlight of their summer.