Frequently Asked Questions

What is BOLT?
Who can I contact to learn more about the program?
What is the difference between a BOLT leader and a BOLT participant?
Who is eligible to become a Bolt leader?
Who is eligible to become a BOLT participant?
How do I apply to Bolt?
How are the selections made?
How are the individulal BOLT groups decided?
What about equipment?
Where do we hike?
How much of a time commitment is Bolt?
What are the main goals of Bolt?
How much does BOLT cost?
What kind of previous experience do I need to have?

What is BOLT?
Brown Outdoor Leadership Training. See About Bolt

Who can I contact to learn more about the program?
Student managers can be reached by emailing BOLT@brown.edu.

You can contact the program coordinator Shelley Adriance at any time, either by email (Shelley_Adriance@brown.edu) or by phone (401-863-1185) in the Student Activities Office. She will be happy to discuss any concerns you might have and to tell you more about the program.

What is the difference between a BOLT leader and a BOLT participant?
A BOLT leader is a junior or senior who has gone through the BOLT Leader Training and will lead a group of 7 or 8 BOLT participants on a wilderness trip.
A BOLTer (participant) is a sophomore or transfer student who takes part in a wilderness trip together with 6 or 7 other participants.

Who is eligible to become a BOLT leader?
Every Brown matriculated sophomore, junior, or .5er senior student is eligible.
Leaders must be enrolled at Brown for the spring during training and for the fall to support the trip and fall program. Brown/RISD dual degree students are considered Brown students and are eligible.

Who is eligible to become a BOLTer?
Every Brown rising sophomore and incoming/new transfer student is eligible.

How do I apply to BOLT?
As a BOLTer applicant, click here (begining in April).
As a leader applicant: click here (in November).

How are the selections made?
BOLTers are selected based on the content of their written application. An effort is made to include a diverse group of students in the program.
Leader selection is a more involved process. Leaders are selected based on the content of their written application, a character reference, and an interview with two members of the BOLT Leader Selection Committee, which is comprised of current BOLT Mentors.

How are the individual BOLT groups decided?
The goal of BOLT is to bring together members of the Brown community that have never met before. Every effort is made to keep participants who were friends from previous years, roommates, and/or students from the same freshman unit out of the same BOLT groups, so each group starts with a "clean slate" in learning to work together as a team.

What about equipment?
You can either bring your own equipment or BOLT can provide you with required equipment such as sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, and raingear. BOLT does not provide hiking clothes or boots. If you have any questions regarding gear please contact bolt@brown.edu.

Where do we hike?
All 16 fall program hiking routes are in the White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire. We span the Kinsman Range, Pemigewasset Wilderness Area, the Presidential Range (Mount Washington area) andr the Carter Range. The Leader Training Trip is held on the Appalachian Trail in the Delaware Water Gap Area of New Jersey.

How much of a time commitment is BOLT?
As a participant: You are expected to return approximately one week before school starts in the fall, usually around the last week of August, to participate on a 5-day hiking trip in the wilderness. After this, BOLT provides a Fall Program, in which groups meet weekly or bi-weekly in small groups and attend other BOLT community-wide programs. Most groups meet once a week for dinner.

As a leader: In the spring semester, every leader participates in the Bolt Leader Training--a series of workshops covering technical skills, group facilitation skills, and Wilderness First Aid training, for a total of about 130 hours. Leaders also participate in a Leader Training trip shortly following spring break. Leaders are expected to return in the last 10 days of August for refresher-workshops and last preparations for the fall trip. During the following semester, leaders spend approximately 1 hour per week meeting with their small groups and participating in All-BOLT activities. They are required to attend three additional training workshops in the months of September, October, and November. Leaders also have an opportunity to participate in Steering Committee, which helps administer and manage the program. Steering Committee meets for 1.5 hours/week.

What are the main goals of Bolt?
See About Bolt

How much does Bolt cost?
For Bolters : The contribution is $390, (which includes a $40 deposit and $350 balance). Financial assistance is absolutely available on an individual basis for those with a demonstrated need.
For Leaders: Leaders are asked to help cover all or a portion of the costs for their Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder upgrade, and CPR training offered through Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO). Prices for these certifictions increase from time to time, but in 2011 the prices included $35 for CPR, $80 for Wilderness First Aid and $300 for Wilderness First Aid Upgrade course (a total of $415). Financial assistance is available on an individual basis.

What kind of previous experience do I need to have?
Bolt accepts people with every experience level, as participants as well as leaders.

If you have any other questions, please contact us at bolt@brown.edu or 3-1954, or come and talk to us at the Bolt Office.