BOLTer Application:

For rising sophomores, current first semester transfers and incoming fall transfers/RUE students.


BOLT is the only outdoor orientation program specifically for college sophomores, transfer students and resumed undergraduate (RUE) students. BOLT believes in supporting those entering their second year of college. BOLT is an opportunity to meet new people, develop a new community, and challenge yourself. BOLT introduces students to people, ideas and experiences they might not have otherwise encountered. The BOLTer program begins with a five-day backpacking trip in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and continues back on campus with a series of events throughout the fall.

BOLT is truly a diverse, loving, and supportive community that can lead to life long friends.

The cost to participate in BOLT is $390 (which includes a $40 deposit by the end of May), however BOLT is open to students regardless of past experience or ability to pay. BOLT is committed to making the program available to all students regardless of financial need and we offer financial aid (see additonal information below).

If you have further questions look in the FAQ and the other pages of our site. You may also email the BOLT managers at bolt@brown.ed


I. General Applicant Information

Short Essays and additional questions are also below.


You must be a Brown student enrolled on campus during the fall 2014 semester. We cannot accept students who plan to study abroad, take the fall semester off or who are not enrolled in classes this fall.

If you are transferring in Spring 2014, you are eligible to apply as a leader in Spring 2014 or to apply to be a BOLTer (participant) for next year's BOLT trip.

Please confirm the following:


(for submitting an early housing request)

I am a:

- one year at Brown
-in classes this fall

-in classes this fall

Travel and Early Arrival Requirements:

Please make travel arrangements to arrive back on Sat, Aug 23rd, 2014 -- 8:30am-5:00pm for key pick up at Res Life. If you are traveling from a long distance, you may contact us about early arrival to campus for Friday, August 22nd, 2014


II. Program Calendar Overview

The Trip: The five-day backpacking trip provides BOLT groups with a shared wilderness experience. BOLTers learn valuable technical skills, including how to set up a shelter and cook on a camp stove. Individuals challenge themselves and learn to rely on one another within in a supportive group setting. BOLTers and their leaders get to know each other, bond and develop their leadership skills through this common experience. Please review our page that outlines "a day in the life" of a BOLT Trip and what to anticipate or prepare for as a participant. 


The Fall: During the fall individual groups continue to meet. Leaders serve as peer advisors and group members support one another. Past BOLT groups have engaged in a variety of activities from weekly dinners to apple picking excursions. There are also a number of ALL BOLT events (calendar), as well as BOLT + FRIENDS events (events facilitated by BOLT and open to the Brown community). Past events have included BOLT Wars, a Backcountry Baking workshop, a Thanksgiving Pot-Luck Dinner and a Talent Show night. 


III. Program Calendar

BOLT is a time commitment! Be sure you're ready to make it before you apply. Below is a list of dates for the BOLT program in 2014. Please note that participants are expected to return to Brown early in August, and participate in all-BOLT activities, as well as weekly meetings with their groups, throughout the fall.


A. Spring, 2014

Please save the date and time!
- April 26th (Sat) 1pm-3pm: New BOLTer meeting

An introduction for all accepted BOLTers to learn about logistics of preparing for the trip, to meet Leaders and other BOLTers, and to learn what the program is all about.

B. Fall, 2014

BOLT groups meet weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters (usually over dinner). In addition, there are a number of events for all BOLT groups.

- Aug 23 (Sat): 8:30-5pm: Please return to Brown by this time to pick up your key from Residential Life and move into your room.
- Aug 24 (Sun): 12 noon-7pm: Pre-Trip Prep Meeting in Alumnae Hall.  *absolutely required Pre-trip Meeting in Sayles Hall. Here you will meet your Leaders and fellow BOLTers, receive requested gear, pack your packs, and get ready to go.
- Aug 25-29 (Mon-Fri) 6:30am meet at 48 Olive St (behind the CAC): Fall Trip! Backpacking in the Whites!
- Aug 29 (Fri) 7-9pm: Post Trip Banquet, Multipurpose Room
- Aug 31 (Sun) 10am-1pm: Gear Cleanup & Informal Debrief in Alumnae Hall *required, unless you have Meiklejohn Training.

- Sep 3 (Sun) 10-12 noon: BOLT Wars. Pembroke Field

- Sep 8ish (Mon-Sat) BOLT group gatherings and check in.

- Sep 18 (Thurs) from 8pm-9pm: Slide Show and Photo Contest. Salomon 001.

- Sep 27 (Sat) Leadership Workshop 1

Managers make contact with family groups re first activities: early October

- Oct 25 (Sat) Leadership Workshop 2

- Nov 15 (Sat) from 5pm-9pm: Thanksgiving Pot Luck Celebration and Charity Event. All BOLT, all BOLTer years and friends invited.

- December groups plan end of semester dinners or events.

Additional optional events may be scheduled during the fall. Stay Tuned!



IV. Short Essays

Thank you for answering our essay questions. Although we are not looking for lengthy answers, we are looking for thoughtful responses that demonstrate self-reflection, consideration of the questions and effort.
Answer each of these questions in the 250-400 word range.


1. Why do you want to do BOLT, on and beyond the trip? How do you hope to grow from this experience?


2. What are your goals for the upcoming year and how do you see BOLT affecting them?



3. Describe a group experience you’ve had and the role you played in that experience. What did you learn about yourself from that experience?


4. In two sentences or less, what else would you like us to know about you?  (What you are involved in at Brown or in Providence, something distinctive or quirky about you that we would never have thought to ask, etc.)


V. Additional Information
** Answers to the questions below will not affect your chances of acceptance. **


1. Would you be interested in participating in one of these groups?

a) Women's Group:  Though there is no programmatic difference, Leaders and BOLTers have found backpacking experiences in all-women's groups empowering. For some, it provides a more comfortable space within which to challenge themselves, for others, a unique experience with a bunch of great women. Whatever your reasons for choosing the women’s group, it is ultimately a challenging and rewarding time!

b) Service Groups: As of last year, we have two BOLT groups that support the AMC's conservation efforts.  These groups will live in the backcountry, complete a 2-day trail maintenance project, and enjoy day hike(s). Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene devastated a large area of the Whites that BOLT has visited for years. The storm created about $10 million dollars in damage.  The AMC needs our help as partners invested in preserving and protecting the Whites.  


2. How do you know about BOLT?
Please select all that apply

  • Tableslip
  • Poster
  • Morning mail
  • Promotion screens in the Ratty/JWW/Faunce
  • Email from a Listserv
  • My Advisor
  • Info table on the main green
  • BOLT leaders (if you share their name(s) below, they may win a prize)
  • Friends who went as participants


V. Financial Assistance

BOLT is open to rising sophomores, transfer students and RUE students regardless of past outdoor experience or ability to pay.

The cost to participate in BOLT is $390 (which includes a $40 deposit by the end of May), however BOLT is committed to making the program available to all students regardless of financial need.

If you are interested in talking with our director regarding the possibility for financial assistance for participating in BOLT, please complete the short on-line request for information. Acceptance to the program is need blind.

Please note that the application for financial assistance is separate from this application to participate in BOLT. If you do apply for financial aid, don't forget to submit this form, too!


**If you have any further questions about the application process, please feel free to contact the BOLT managers.

Due Friday, April 18, 2014 by 11:59 pm.


Created by Greg Pelly '02 for BOLT - edited by J. Bruder 02/03, Jason Reeder 3/11, and Shelley Adriance 3/13

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