Takeaways from Staff Training 2023

Josh Goldbach29 Jun, 2023

Thoughts from Bold Earth’s 2023 staff training:

After spending the past week plus camping high in the Rocky Mountains with our entire staff team, it finally feels like summer 2023 has begun. Our leaders are busy preparing for our students to arrive, and our director team is traveling back to our North Carolina office to prepare for our adventures to begin. 

While not all of our trips include camping as a part of them, there is a reason we choose to spend our entire staff training doing just that. Our entire staff camps the entire time (including myself and our director team). We stay in a beautiful remote area, away from cell service and other distractions. Our sole focus is on preparing our leaders to lead fun, substantive, and safe adventures with our students. 

One of our principal job as leaders is to be role models for our students. During staff training, we model what a Bold Earth trip is like. We take turns cooking for each other in an outdoor environment, we share evening meetings in small groups around campfires. We learn and relearn Bold Earth’s policies and procedures, and practice risk management techniques. While training is busy, it’s not all hard work. We spend plenty of time playing games, laughing, and having fun together.

Just like a Bold Earth trip, staff training is more than the sum of the activities and lessons. For our leaders, the Bold Earth staff community and the magic we create together is part of what helps inspire our leaders to help create similar moments for our students on our trips. It’s a special thing to be part of a close knit community of outdoor educators who all share a common passion for facilitating impactful adventures for young people.

As someone who has been to many Bold Earth staff trainings, this one was my favorite. This year more than ever, our leader community impressed me with their dedication to help make a positive impact on their students and with their commitment to being incredible mentors to young individuals. 

While we spend plenty of time on how to run Bold Earth trips, some of our most impactful time is spent on reviewing why we run Bold Earth trips. Just like our students could have an easier summer by choosing to stay home and play video games, or attend a less adventurous program, our leaders could also choose to do something easier with their summer. They impressed me with their willingness to embrace challenges, their eagerness to learn and improve, and their love of working with youth. 

Providing these incredible opportunities to young people is a privilege for us, but also a weighty responsibility we take seriously. As someone who now works more with our leaders than students, this staff training has also reignited my passion for the Bold Earth experience and what we do. Thank you to all of our families who have chosen Bold Earth this summer, we couldn’t be more excited for the adventures to start. 



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