Are you thinking about applying to be a BOLT Leader?

First of all, that's great! We're excited to meet you and learn about your experiences at Brown and beyond. Leaders go through an extensive training process in the spring, spending 3 hours together every Wednsday night and attending several weekend workshops.

Most former Leaders look back on the process as one of their most enjoyable and rewarding times at Brown. The training asks a lot from you in terms of time as well as physical and emotional energy, but it also rewards leaders with skills and relationships that will last beyond your four years at Brown.


You may apply to be a leader if you will be an enrolled Brown student in the spring semester for training (Spring 2015), and the following fall to support your group (Fall 2015). That means that current sophomores (class of 2017), juniors (2016), and senior .5ers (2015.5) are welcome to apply. Transfer students and Brown/RISD Dual Degree students are encouraged to apply, including students who transfer in January (2015), who would begin leader training during their first semester at Brown.

First Year students are not eligible to become BOLT leaders,- they may apply to be BOLTers in the spring (2015)! Please note that we are not able to accept applicants who plan to study abroad or take time off in the fall (2015). You must be an enrolled Brown student to be a BOLT Leader.

Leaders are committed to becoming proficient in the facilitation and technical skills necessary to lead a group both on campus and in the wilderness.

A Leader receives 120-180 hours of training during the spring semester, leads a five-day trip to the White Mountains in late August/early September and supports and creates regulary opportunities throughout the fall for BOLTer support and community development. Leaders provide the foundation for BOLT’s sophomore and new transfer/RUE advising and support.

Prior Experience

Each year many BOLT Leaders come to training with little or no backpacking experience. We encourage you to apply regardless of whether you participated as a BOLTer. A common myth is that you need to be a BOLTer first -- false! Please apply. During the spring semester, all Leaders are trained in all of the technical skills that they will need to lead their BOLT trips, including how to pack a backpack, set up a stove, make a shelter out of a tarp, and more (click here for a complete list of skills). All leaders go on a Training Trip ¬- a backpacking trip lead by BOLT Mentors (former leaders) - where they get real experience backpacking and practicing their skills. BOLT Leader training can be a wonderful experience, even if you've never hiked before.

Similarly, we do not require that applicants have extensive experience in with group facilitation or peer leadership positions to be considered for BOLT. We recognize that there are many different sorts of leaders at Brown, many of whom have not gotten their opportunity to shine. As much as we can, we strive to look beyond traditional manifestations of leadership in applicants. Guiding a friend through a difficult time or finding ways to make the most of your own situation can prepare you just as well for the challenge of BOLT leading as holding a high ranking position in student government or founding a club or organization.

What we look for most in selecting applicants is not so much experience but potential. Can you take on a challenge with a smile on your face? Can you make clear judgments in times of stress? Can you recognize your own struggles without forgetting about your strengths? Do you have enough time to be at every training, every week in the spring, and enjoy it? Are you interested in leading a BOLT group -- not just on the trip but throughout the fall semester? If so, then you should certainly apply.

The Application

The leader application consists of four parts (contact information, full application, letter of recommendation & interview):

1) The Application Part 1 is made availabe in mid-October. This quick form provides us with your contact information to become a part of our applicant group. It is simple and easy to fill out and it is due on Sunday, December 7th, 2014 at midnight. (The first day of reading period each year).

Applicants who submit Part 1 will gain access to Part 2 on Monday, December 8th.



2) Part 2 will be sent to you. This is the main application and it provides the space to explain in detail what attracts you to being a BOLT leader and why you think you'd be good for the job. Please take time on these essays; they are important in the selection process and they help prepare you for your interview. They will be due January 15th, 2015.

3) In addition, all leader applicants are required to submit a non-peer (non-BOLT) character recommendation. Recommendations will be due January 15th, 2014.

4) Lastly, you will meet with two current BOLT mentors for an interview. Interviews are held shortly after classes begin in the Spring semester.

Please know that our selection process does not include identifying information that would bias our selection committee. We also request non-BOLT recommendations to also avoid bias in our process. We do this to ensure that friendships or prior relationships are not a factor in selection.

Feel free to email the managers at if you have any questions.

Please review the information on being a leader as you complete our application part 1.