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BOLD Program

Duke BOLD (Building Outdoor Leaders at Duke) is an experiential outdoor leadership organization run by and for Duke graduate students. Founded in 2010 by Andrew Dietrich (MEM/MBA, 2012) and several classmates, BOLD was created to offer students a different kind of leadership experience -- one that engages the mind and the body.
Leadership Theory 
BOLD’s leadership theory was designed to be simple, intuitive, and grounded in genuine outdoor understanding. The three nodes of BOLD’s leadership theory are: 
     Awareness (self-awareness, others-awareness, situational awareness)
     Mission (individual purpose, collective goals, prioritization, communication)
     Action (expedition design, role-setting, preparation, execution, adaptation, reflection
Additionally, all of BOLD's major events develop around and rely heavily on what we like to call a "SOLID foundation"  
     Safety planning
     Outdoor skills
Three-Phase Experiential Leadership Model
BOLD is an outdoor leadership club, as opposed to an outdoor club.  This is an important distinction that influences every detail of the organization’s activities and their execution.  BOLD’s version of outdoor leadership is communicated through the Three-Phase Experiential Leadership Model, a progressive set of experiences that lead the BOLD participant to a place of self-transformation, interdependence, and a deep appreciation for the power and beauty of nature. The three phases of the leadership model are: 1) Foundation 2) Cornerstone and 3) Keystone
Web_Group Workouts.jpg

Foundation involves acquiring and developing necessary fitness and safety skills for outdoor trips. Weekly workouts, Wilderness First Aid (WFA) training and additional information sessions help  participants get ready for Cornerstone.


Cornerstone expeditions are short overnight camping trips to the mountains of North Carolina.  Outdoor, leadership and team building skills are developed through these trips while helping prepare members for Keystone expeditions.


Keystone expeditions are typically high-altitude climbs, backpacking trips or other outdoor activities in Central and South America.  These are demanding opportunities that require participants to push their physical and mental boundaries.


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