Senior trip leader: Bold West
Sam grew up in rural Ohio before moving to Michigan for school. She was a counselor and nature specialist at a summer camp in college, which led her to organize backpacking trips for students all over the North American west. She’s been a middle school teacher in the Navajo Nation, backpacking guide in Washington, and outdoor educator in China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Sam is returning to Bold Earth for her fifth year.
- Education: Calvin College; bachelor’s degree in elementary education
- Certification: Wilderness first responder, lifeguard
- What was the last big trip you took? Last fall, I led a 90-day college gap semester around southeast Asia. My group of 12 students and I camped on the Great Wall of China, biked through rice fields in Vietnam, explored ancient temples in Cambodia, and swam with elephants in Thailand. Not to mention, we had some of the most caring in-country hosts who fed us and taught us about their beautiful cultures. It was an amazing experience!
- What excites you the most about working for BE this summer? Bold Earth is the perfect fusion of all the things that I love most: adventure, the outdoors, and community! I get SO EXCITED about working for this company because that means sharing my favorite things with some of the raddest humans on the planet.
- What is your favorite travel memory? My first trip to Southeast Asia was absolutely unforgettable. Two years ago, I took a job in China. At the end of the season, my best friend met me on the other side of the world to rock climb, pet cute cats, eat insanely delicious food, and laugh our butts off all over Vietnam and Thailand. The highlight of the trip was deep water soloing—rock climbing over the ocean until you let go or fall in—on the karst cliffs of Lan Ha Bay. I smiled till my cheeks hurt!
- Favorite quote: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou