What does it mean to be a BOLT Leader?

BOLT Leaders: Being a BOLT leader is a big challenge and responsibility, but it is also a lot of fun. A Leader's goal is to provide rising sophomores and transfer students with an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between leadership and community, and to help them identify ways in which the dynamics of a BOLT group are analogous to the dynamics of any group or community to which they belong. A Leader will ensure a safe, rewarding, and educational experience for their group of BOLTers.

A BOLT Leader is a sophomore, junior, or senior who is committed to the BOLT community and mentoring a group of students. A Leader receives 120-180 hours of training during the spring. Towards the end of that training, Leaders are matched with co-leaders. These groups of co-leads will work together for the rest of their time at Brown.

In late August, co-leaders lead a five-day backpacking trip to the White Mountains. When they return, they help to guide their group through life at Brown. Leaders provide the foundation for BOLT's sophomore and new transfer student advising and support.

As a leader you will learn (and then teach) interpersonal and group facilitation skills as well as technical outdoor skill, which are outlined below.

For more info about being a leader:

  1. Leader Position Description
  2. Training Schedule
  3. Required Waivers, Med Forms, Evaluations, Pre-sites (and other great stuff)
  4. Interviewing for a BOLT Leader position

Facilitation skills:

  1. Understand and use effective listening skills.
  2. Understand and give appropriate and helpful feedback.
  3. Use open-ended questions to stimulate conversation.
  4. Paraphrase effectively.
  5. Use and understand the purpose of "I Statements."
  6. Facilitate conversation effectively.
  7. Understand group development theory.
  8. Understand principles of collaborative group leadership.
  9. Facilitate effective reflection to promote learning.


Technical Skills:

  1. Light and use a stove safely.
  2. Cook delicious food on a camp stove.
  3. Set up a sturdy tarp.
  4. Read and use a map and compass.
  5. Tie a Bowline.
  6. Tie a Taut-line Hitch.
  7. Tie a Square Knot.
  8. Tie a Figure-Eight knot.
  9. Tie a Clove Hitch.
  10. Hang a proper bear bag.
  11. Pack and adjust a backpack properly.
  12. Cross a stream safely.

Medical Certifications:

  1. CPR
  2. Wilderness First Aid
  3. Wilderness First Responder (optional)

Leader Applications:

BOLT Leader Applications will open in mid-October.
More information about applying to lead is available here. Please email the BOLT Managers if you have questions.