This past summer I did an internship with a company called Bold Earth Teen Adventures as an adventure travel guide. Working for Bold Earth was a dream come true for me. I want to share a little about the company, why I chose them for my internship, my main goals, my daily tasks, how I contributed to the work environment, and how my Warnell courses contributed to the success of my internship.
Bold Earth is an adventure travel summer camp for teenagers filled with exploration, learning, and discovery. The company was founded in 1976 by Abbott Wallis as an adventure travel camp and was originally called America’s Adventures, though was changed to Bold Earth Teen Adventures in 2009. Since 1976, Bold Earth has focused on leadership and teamwork in a supportive environment. Bold Earth is accredited by the American Camp Association and is the acknowledged leader in teen adventure travel. They have had 16,000+ teenagers from 50 US states and more than 55 countries go on their trips, which are offered both domestically and internationally on six continents. Bold Earth requires each applicant to do a five minute camper telephone interview, a five minute parent interview, and submit two adult references in order to participate on one of their trips. Trip sizes are small ranging from 10 to 15 students with 2 to 3 leaders with itineraries geared towards maximizing adventure, service, challenge, and fun.
I chose to do my internship with Bold Earth Teen Adventures because I wanted to gain some more experience doing what I am passionate about within the adventure travel industry. I love working with kids, exploring new places, experiencing new cultures, and doing all sorts of adventure activities. Bold Earth incorporated all the things that I love and value out of life and a career, and allowed me to gain firsthand experience as a trip leader. As amazing as this position was, the application process was incredibly competitive, resulting in what they believe to be the most professional, safe, and experienced leaders in the industry. Bold Earth conducts an in-depth interview, checks references and does an extensive background check of all potential trip leaders. Organizational skills, sense of humor, and an ability to teach teenagers about leadership and adventure travel, are the qualities they value most. They require applicants to be 21 years or older, a college graduate or in the process of completing a degree, have proven successful leadership experience with youth, a Wilderness First Responder and adult CPR certification, American citizenship, no more than four points on their driving record in the past 3 years, and high energy, good judgement and decision making skills. In addition to the basic requirements, applicants must submit a trip leader application with a resume, cover letter, and three professional references. Bold Earth hires trip leaders on a rolling basis, so they do not have an application deadline, but the sooner trip leaders apply, the better their chances are of being hired. I would also suggest potential applicants to gain some good experience working with kids and leading trips before applying.
The main goals of the internship were to oversee group safety at all times, teach teenagers to take initiative in learning skills, teach minimum impact techniques and navigation skills, facilitate positive group dynamics, cultural awareness, leadership, self-reliance, and self-confidence and provide a fun, safe, educational, and memorable experience for teens. These goals were successfully achieved by putting in hard work, determination, and passion into every day. My daily tasks included waking-up campers, giving morning and evening briefings, writing daily blog posts, taking pictures for blog, overseeing all daily activities, giving responsibilities to the leader of the day, coordinating activities with local guide, filing and recording all receipts, and filling out daily paperwork.
I contributed to the work environment in various ways, one of which, is by maintaining a positive attitude at all times. Despite all the high points and fun we had on our trips, there were also inevitable low points that were sometimes hard to overcome. Nevertheless, my co leader and I worked hard to stay positive and always look on the bright side of things. In addition to supplying a positive attitude, I was also a major source of encouragement for my campers. Our trip consisted of a lot of fun, yet sometimes strenuous activity where some campers struggled more than others, such as the biking portion. Therefore, it was important to give our campers the proper support and encouragement they needed to help them overcome these obstacles. I also got to teach our campers about Italy’s culture, language, and history. I carried an Italian language book around at all times to teach the campers new words and phrases as well as an Italian history and culture book to keep campers informed about the historical sites and monuments we visited. Another important contribution to the work environment was facilitating fun games to play with the campers. The games kept the group active, engaged, and allowed the campers to have fun, be silly, and bond. Lastly, being proactive in getting paperwork done, receipts filed, and blogs written were major work contributions that were critical to the success of our trip.
My Warnell courses served me incredibly well during my internship with Bold Earth. For example, my spatial analysis course taught me a lot about map reading, which was really helpful in using a map to navigate new places. In addition, my public speaking course prepared me for making daily announcements and leading briefings with my group, while my environmental interpretation course supplied me with the skills I needed to teach my campers about the history, culture, and monuments of the places we visited. Furthermore, my time as a Warnell Ambassador has allowed me to develop strong communication and leadership skills, which was incredibly helpful in talking to parents, leading activities, and getting to know my campers. Lastly, my travel and tourism course taught me a lot about how to travel sustainably and how to be an open-minded traveler, which is important when traveling to new places and immersing into a new culture. I hope this blogs helps students get a better idea of the amazing opportunities there are out there and suggests ways in which they can be better prepared for landing their dream job one day.