After many months of waiting the moment has arrived. Every year we look forward to (and plan for) staff training. For our director team, there is no larger moment. It is our opportunity and time to help prepare our incredible leaders to help mentor and inspire our students this summer. Bold Earth has been successful in running teen adventure travel trips over the last 45 years in large part because we’ve hired the right leaders and trained them well.
Many people ask us “what do we do at staff training?” There is no one simple answer. Staff training is many things, it’s training and review in risk management procedures, medical and student scenarios, and Bold Earth policies and procedures. Operating adventure travel camps for middle and high school students is more logistically demanding than a normal residential summer camp, and we have a lot of training and preparation in managing logistics.
But it’s not JUST serious topics. It’s also fun and crazy games, taking turns cooking food and getting to know each other. We know how important play is, and part of our jobs is to make things as fun as possible. One of the most critical pieces of staff training is the cultivation of our leader community. The magic of Bold Earth doesn’t just happen on our trips, it’s planned for and intentionally cultivated by our leaders.
Every year, that magic begins with us forming a kind and inclusive community at our staff training. While we hold our leaders to very high standards (much like our students), we also want them to feel accepted for who they are and challenged to be the best version of themselves. By embracing and experiencing that first hand our leaders can help bring that to their trip communities. Much like our Bold Earth student communities our leader community is formed intentionally.
Just like most of our trips, our staff training takes place in a remote area in the Rocky Mountains without wifi or even a single power outlet. Our leaders go tech-free for this experience just like our students do. We camp outdoors together, cook our own food together, and wash our own dishes. It doesn’t matter if you’re the owner or a first-year staff, we all sleep on the same ground, and sit around the same fire. It doesn’t matter if someone is leading an adventure to Colorado, Costa Rica, or South Africa. Bold Earth is an outdoor company, and we celebrate that.
Staff training is one of my favorite events of the year. You can feel the energy and excitement, the passion for our students, and the work we do. Being surrounded by so many passionate outdoor educators helps inspire me every year. We couldn’t be more excited about summer 2022. Just like everything worthwhile, it will have its challenges. Once staff training ends we will be ready and excited to meet them!