We ask that through your participation in our program that you support the mission, philosophies, diversity and inclusion statement and goals of our program. If any BOLTer or Leader engages in behaviors that disrupts or distracts from the mission, philosophies or diversity statement of the program, BOLT’s program director, in his or her sole discretion, may withdraw a student from a BOLT trip or may suspend or restrict continued participation in the program.

Our program specific policies are directly related to our mission, philosophy and efforts to provide a positive experience. Risk management is the highest priority for the BOLT program. Risk is inherent in the activities of the program and Leaders and BOLTers have a responsibility to identify, analyze, and manage those risks. This task requires vigilance and skill.  Leaders will be proactive in teaching BOLTers the necessary skills for mitigating the risks associated with backcountry travel.

Harassment, sexual misconduct, use of drugs and/or alcohol on a BOLT Trip are examples of behavior that will lead to removal from the trip and/or the program.

If a student is evacuated or asked to leave the program due to their behavior, a refund will not be provided.

When appropriate, the program director may consult with or seek the support of the Office of Student Life and/or the Office Judicial Affairs to assist in addressing behaviors. Behaviors that violate federal, state, and local laws or campus policies are subject to Non-Academic Disciplinary Procedures.

The BOLT policies listed below must be followed unless reasoned judgment related to safety dictates otherwise. These policies are more than guidelines; they are designed to help keep you and your group safe and should be carefully and clearly discussed by the group.

Alcohol and Drugs

The use of alcohol or other drugs (unless prescribed by a physician) by Leaders or
BOLTers on BOLT trips is strictly prohibited. BOLTers are informed of this in writing, have agreed to this by signing a waiver and are reminded of this at the pre-trip meeting on the day before the trip. We need all persons within the group to be able to fulfill their responsibility for self-care and the care of others in order to best manage the risks associated with wilderness backpacking experiences.

Exclusive Relationships/Sexual Activity

During BOLT Trips, there should be no exclusive relationships. BOLT is a group experience. There should be no sexual activity on a BOLT trip. Leaders especially must avoid emotionally intimate relationships with BOLTers that might impair judgment, exclude other people, or take advantage of any Leader-BOLTer power dynamics.


BOLT has a no-swimming policy. For our trips, we travel in remote, wilderness locations where the assistance of emergency personnel or treatment at a hospital (definitive care) can be significantly delayed.  Even a certified lifeguard is not trained to function. Therefore, we do not swim.  We do permit wading and dipping as defined below:

• Wading: walking in water that is less than or equal to mid-thigh deep for the BOLTer
• Dipping: sitting, dunking in water that is less than mid-thigh deep for the BOLTer
• Swimming: entering water that is deeper than mid-thigh for the BOLTer or allowing one’s feet to leave the ground in water shallower than mid-thigh.

• Leaders should supervise all wading and dipping.
• A Leader should be downstream from where students are in the water.
• No student should be in the water at night.
• No student should be in water colder than 60 degrees.
• Students should wear closed-toe shoes in the water to prevent foot injury.


As part of our Leave No Trace (LNT) minimal impact campus approach to backcountry travel, there are no open fires on a BOLT trip.

Field Practices: We use our headlamps to create Nalgene fires on trail.


Pranks are discouraged within BOLT as they have the potential to escalate and threaten the sense of safety within a group or they may, unintentionally, create an unsafe situation.


Closed toed shoes must be worn at all times, including while at camp, while crossing rivers, and while wading.  Given the amount of hiking required for our trips, it is critical that we protect our feet from injury.

Communication & Technology

BOLTers are discouraged from bringing any form of technology on a BOLT trip. Smart Phones, iPads and other forms of personal electronics detract from the immersive group experience. If BOLTers do choose to bring cell phones, we ask that phones be kept off for the duration of the trip.  BOLTers are encouraged to bring waterproof cases or use plastic bags to protect their phones from water damage. BOLT assumes no responsibility for damaged belongings.

Protocols: Leader(s) on each route will carry a cell phone for communicating with basecamp or to assist with emergencies. BOLT leaders will turn on their phones to check for messages each morning and evening during the fall trip. Basecamp will go in to town each day from 8am-9am and 5pm-6pm to receive consistent cell coverage for calls. Additionally, leaders may try calling or texting at other times. Basecamp will respond as soon as the message is received and they are able to respond to the leaders.

For emergencies or situations where assistance is needed, Leaders are also provided with information regarding AMC radio locations to assist with communication to our basecamp team or to emergency services. Additionally, As a part of the group’s gear, our leaders carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB’s) with GPS location services that is registered to the program. When activated, a PLB will send a distress signal via satellite and this is relayed to local New Hampshire Fish and Game (Search and Rescue).

Other Activities Outside the Scope of BOLT

Outdoor activities beyond the scope of the program’s mission and/or training are not permitted. Activities within the scope of BOLT include camping, hiking, backpacking, and initiatives / problem-solving activities. Activities beyond the scope of BOLT include but are not limited to bouldering, rock climbing, trail running, biking, mountaineering, and water travel. Any person on a BOLT trip who knowingly engages in activities outside the scope of BOLT or fails to report such an event promptly to a BOLT director assumes liability for any resulting personal injury or property damage or loss to any member(s) of their group or the BOLT organization.

Non-Compliance Policy

All members of the BOLT program (BOLTers, Leaders, Mentors, and other staff) must comply with all BOLT policies. These policies have been designed to minimize risk to all persons and to promote the goals of BOLT and of Brown University as written in the Mission Statement.

Any actions that knowingly contradict BOLT policy can result in increased risk of injury, assumption of liability, removal from the program, and immediate withdrawal from any trip. Violations must be supported by strong justification, usually a medical or other emergency. All policy infractions are treated seriously.

Any person on a BOLT trip who knowingly disobeys BOLT or University policy or fails to report such an event promptly to the BOLT director assumes liability for any resulting personal injury or property damage or loss to any member(s) of their group or the BOLT organization.

If a BOLTer or Leader on a BOLT trip disobeys policies as explained by a trip leader, the trip leader is required to inform the BOLT director as soon as possible. If a trip leader is on hand and fails to notify the BOLT director, they may assume personal liability for resulting injury, loss, or damage.

For all official BOLT events not encompassed by either the fall or spring backpacking trip, BOLT policies must still be obeyed. While the risk in these events is assumed to be less significant than while backpacking, policy infractions can still result in assumed liability and ejection from the event and/or BOLT program.