Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Safety: Our Focus

Four Pillars of Risk Management

Choosing the right summer experience for teenagers is a big family decision. While Bold Earth trips are designed to be unbelievably fun, safety is the most overriding concern for families and the Bold Earth team. Bold Earth manages participant risk all over the world – whether exploring Yosemite National Park or visiting an island off the coast of Mozambique. Since 1976, over 17,000 students and thousands of trip leaders have successfully traveled with Bold Earth.


Bold Earth carefully qualifies, selects, trains, and supervises trip leaders who fully embrace their guardianship responsibility. Our leaders carry on our hard-won, 40+ year reputation for excellence year after year. Trip leaders are highly motivated, professional role models with extensive experience working with teenagers and certified in the highest levels of wilderness first aid and lifeguarding. Over 50% of our leaders are returning staff. Leaders participate in an intensive one-week trip leader training which focuses on safety systems, success working teenagers, and leadership responsibility. Technical activities such as rock climbing and whitewater rafting are conducted by professional guides hired for their skill expertise.

Visit Meet Our Leaders for more information.


Well-motivated, responsible students who are enthusiastic about adventure are required for Bold Earth’s long-term success. We also understand that each traveler is an individual with his or her own distinctive perspective and limitations. Three requirements help Bold Earth ensure successful groups:

  • Two adult references, including one from the camper’s school (completed online)
  • A ten-minute camper telephone interview
  • A ten-minute parent or legal guardian telephone interview

Read comments from Bold Earth campers: Testimonials

Read more about our Rules & Standards: Participation Unity Agreement (PUA).


Since 1976, Bold Earth has programmed carefully crafted and repeatable trips to ensure safe, successful itineraries. Every year, Bold Earth evaluates and re-evaluates every environment, activity, and professional outfitter with one question in mind: Will this be a safe and successful experience year after year?

Visit any of our trip pages to view a detailed, day by day itinerary of your Bold Earth summer.


Adventure travel has inherent risks, and Bold Earth knows that sometimes the risk is inevitable. Every year, Bold Earth reviews more than 300 safety, health, and quality industry standards to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep our campers safe. We review all aspects of a program to determine what steps need to be taken to ensure the safety and well‐being of all the parties involved. Bold Earth Teen Adventures is committed to managing the risks we assume in order to meet the goals of our families. The focus of our safety strategy is to create a culture of safety with our staff, partners, and students through education, training and information dissemination, communication, contingency plans, protocols, training, and internal reviews.

Risk Management & Safety Systems

Bold Earth places a high priority on the realistic management of risks. Because of the varied terrain including mountains, rock, water, weather, whitewater and outdoor living components on six continents, participation with Bold Earth contains some elements of risk. Due to inherent risks, Bold Earth cannot legitimately offer a guarantee of safety. However, our acute awareness of and focus on risk management over our 40+ year history enables us to operate within an acceptable level of risk.


Bold Earth has been entrusted with the care and education of its participants while traveling. The physical and emotional health and welfare of students and employees are of highest priority to Bold Earth. To that end, our risk management plan includes several key components: quality staff, informed students, contingency planning, and support services (i.e. transportation and emergency communication systems).


Bold Earth staff must create routine contingency plans on both the small and large scales. Leaders are aware of student medical histories and potential environmental hazards, as Bold Earth safety and risk management protocols are meticulously reviewed during a yearly week-long intensive staff training. Major contingency planning occurs at the beginning of each program where safety is discussed. Throughout the program, minor contingency planning is an ongoing process which occurs during the pre‐trip check and before each adventure outing. During the pre‐trip check, local emergency contact, health services, communication and evacuation procedures are reviewed.


The Bold Earth office is open 24/7 during the summer operations to immediately communicate with families and trip leaders. Bold Earth Trip Leaders carry medical kits with trips at all times, as well as emergency contact numbers for local emergency services, the Bold Earth office, and check‐in/report protocols for emergency situations when it may be necessary to notify parents or initiate an emergency response.


Bold Earth has had an excellent track record since 1976 of managing risk effectively, and to keep the focus on managing and avoiding risk, instead of responding to accidents. We strive to engage in adventurous activities where risk is limited and managed. Trip Leaders and students should be able to articulate why a given activity was undertaken and what merit the activity has in light of any inherent risks that exist. When one’s experience dictates that the group should be more conservative, both Trip Leaders and participants team up to understand and manage risk. If Bold Earth continues to manage risk well, our programs will continue to thrive and expand as an adventure travel experience for youth.


It is proven that in crisis situations, a clear and direct hierarchy helps clarify what actions should be taken. Before each trip starts, Trip Leaders discuss this decision-making hierarchy to handle emergencies with their co-leader and the Bold Earth office. Mobile phones are carried on all trips. That being said, there are many locations where it is difficult to call; we cannot assume a telephone will work as part of our risk management plan. Trip Leaders must be familiar with both the mobile phone coverage and communication alternatives before beginning the trip. It is our responsibility to provide a method to find the nearest hospital and emergency response locations and numbers before embarking. Together, our staff creates an emergency procedure plan to have in the face of an emergency situation.

Parents and students, your trust and confidence mean the world to the Bold Earth team. Never hesitate to call or e-mail our founder, Abbott Wallis, directly before, during, or after a summer with Bold Earth.