Pre-College Programs
Students Engage in Learning about the Environment at Haffenreffer Estate

Life at Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: Rhode Island

Climate Change and Sustainable Development for High School Students

Life Outdoors at BELL

BELL students learn and live close to nature at Brown’s Haffenreffer Estate on Narragansett Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island. Sleeping quarters are  large (16x 24’) tents set off the ground on wooden platforms. There are between 8-10 students per tent, sleeping on mattresses in bunk beds. There are hot indoor showers and toilets located in the multi-purpose building, just a short walk from the tents. The building also houses our only indoor classroom, living room and shared recreational space. In addition, we have a well-equipped kitchen and abundant outdoor areas for all types of activities and sports.

In addition to coursework, students participate in community time to discuss current events, sharpen leadership skills, and  simply have fun together in a beautiful place.

A Typical Day at BELL

Each day is different, but the basic schedule begins at 8:30 in the morning, ends at 10 in the evening, and includes field research, educational sessions on the environment and leadership, and time for team-building, recreation and reflection. There are many field trips, hikes on the property, debates, discussions and interactions with local activists and Brown faculty.

There are also several special days when the schedule is different. These include:

Your fellow students

There are approximately 30 students in each BELL session. BELL students come from all over the U.S. and the world, and range from incoming 10th graders to graduated seniors.

Closing program

A closing program is held at BELL on the final Friday of the course. We will have a barbecue lunch, and you will present your action plan to a small group of students and family members. It is an important opportunity for your family to visit the site, see where you’ve lived, hear what you’ve learned and discover how you want to put it into action back home.