Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL): Rhode Island

Enrolled student information for BELL: Rhode Island

Welcome to Brown University Pre-College Programs

We are looking forward to your participation in this unique and engaging program. Please review these pages carefully with your family and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Students and families can speak with a Program Advisor by calling 401-863-7900 during business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST) or by email at

Important Dates

Be sure all of your forms and payment are completed by their assigned deadline:

April 12: Full payment and all required forms 

Students registered after these deadlines are expected to complete form requirements and make payment within 48 hours of registration.

April 20: Program Confirmation (on or before April 20)

Don't buy your plane tickets until you receive a program confirmation.

Tuesday, May 9 at 8 p.m. EST: Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session


There will be a mandatory online program orientation for you and a member of your family on Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 8 p.m. EST, so please plan accordingly to be able to attend. You will receive an email invitation to this information session that will include a link to register. To participate in this orientation, you will need access to a computer or smartphone (no webcam is necessary, but useful if you’d like to use it).


You should log in to your student portal to complete your pre-program requirements. Parents/guardians also receive a checklist of items to complete, sent via email, so please remind them to check their email accounts for this important information that requires action.

The usernames and passwords associated with your Brown email address will be needed prior to and during your course time. Please be sure to document all usernames and passwords.


Forms are submitted electronically through DocuSign, an electronic signature provider where you can digitally complete and sign your required forms and waivers, as well as upload your required Physician’s Immunization and Medical Record, signed by a medical provider. Most forms include sections for both students and parents/guardians to complete.

Accessibility Services

If applicable, you may request accommodations based on a learning, psychological and/or physical disability, including medical conditions, temporary injuries and food allergies. Please be aware that all accommodation requests will be considered, however, there may be limits as to what can be provided without sufficient notice. Be sure to submit your requests using the Medical Authorization and Health History Form by April 12. Please also indicate dietary preferences, including vegetarians and vegans, to allow us to plan accordingly. We will work with the staff to make accommodations for dietary restrictions and food allergies if we are notified in advance. Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

Communicating with Classmates

All students will have an opportunity to introduce themselves and get to know their peers during pre-departure orientation, on Canvas and on the first day of the program. 

COVID-19 Information 

Please visit our FAQ page for updates and information about Brown Pre-College Programs preparedness, action and response to COVID-19. Students attending BELL Programs are expected to follow the same Health and Safety Protocols as students attending on-campus programs. There may be additional protocol implemented by a partner lodging site, field trip, or local airport. Any additional information specific to this program will be provided on this page once finalized.

Flight Purchase

This program is full and very likely to run. We advise that you do not purchase your plane ticket until you hear from Pre-College that this program is officially confirmed. Please consider purchasing travel insurance along with your flight.

Important Packing Tips

  • Bring only what you need. We will be in a classroom or outdoors every day. If your bag is too heavy to carry by yourself, you have packed too much.
  • New England summer weather can vary, so check the weather in Providence, RI (zip code: 02912) and South Kingstown, RI (02879) prior to packing. 
  • For three nights in the middle of the program, you will be staying at Camp Aquapaug in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Each student will be provided with a single tent. You will have to bring your own sleeping items, including a sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping pad and any other items you need to sleep comfortably in a tent by yourself. 

What is Provided

For most of the program you will reside in a Brown University residence hall room. These rooms will include typical college furniture: a bed, desk and chair, dresser, trash can and access to wireless internet. For three nights in the middle of the program, you will stay in an individual tent at Camp Aquapaug in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

What to Bring

  • Linens, including blankets, sheets, pillow and towels for a “twin, extra-long" bed (36 by 80 inches, about 6 inches thick)*
  • Sleeping bag for overnight camping retreat
  • Rain jacket
  • Warm sweatshirt or fleece jacket
  • 2 to 3 pairs long, lightweight pants for hot weather wear
  • 3 to 6 pairs of shorts (quick-dry are best)
  • 10 to 14 t-shirts
  • 2 to 3 long-sleeve t-shirts
  • Sleep wear
  • Camping sleepwear (you will be sleeping in a tent)
  • Underwear 
  • Socks
  • Bathing suit
  • Sturdy, close-toed walking shoes (no need for hiking boots)
  • Closed-toed water shoes (old tennis shoes, Tevas, Keens or Crocs with a back strap; NOT flip flops)
  • Toothbrush and toiletries, period hygiene products (if needed)
  • Any prescribed medications in their original bottle with a copy of the prescription
  • Prescription glasses or contacts (if needed) and back up pair of glasses if lost or broken
  • Journal or notebook and writing implements
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Hat for sun protection
  • Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
  • Wristwatch (preferably waterproof)
  • Warm hat for cool nights
  • Flip flops or other types of shower shoes
  • Beach towel
  • Sun block (30+ SPF)**
  • Insect repellent**
  • Camping gear: one bowl, one plate, one set of utensils (spoon, fork, butter knife) or a multi-use utensil, one regular cup, one mug or thermos 
  • Small backpack to pack for overnight camping retreat
  • Hard copy of your insurance card

*There will be a very limited number of linen sets, blankets, towels and pillows available for purchase upon arrival, so students are encouraged to bring their own linens because we cannot guarantee the availability of these items.

  • Sketch pads or art materials
  • Inexpensive camera (we recommend that this be separate from a phone to avoid use of cell phones)
  • Musical instrument (We also have a piano on site!)
  • Book to read/independent leisure activities
  • Art supplies
  • Your favorite board game
  • Permethrin Insect Repellent for clothing
  • Preferred snacks (you can also shop for snacks or other essentials upon arrival in Providence)

What Not to Bring

You may NOT bring pets, air conditioners, candles, weapons of any sort, including pocket or Swiss army knives or motor vehicles to campus. You will not have a lot of time to use your personal laptops and will not have access to computers during BELL.

Spending Money 

Students will have access to the Brown University dining halls and we encourage you to eat all meals there. All program activities and excursions are free of charge so the need for spending money will be minimal. However, if you want to make purchases at the Brown Bookstore or local shops, or dine at local restaurants during your free time, spending money may be necessary.

Students who wish to use washers and dryers will need to purchase a Bear Bucks Guest Card. Please see the Laundry section below for more details.

Students and their families are required to coordinate transportation to and from Brown’s campus. Brown Pre-College is unable to provide transportation or coordinate travel assistance.

Unaccompanied Travel

In recent years, bus, train and airline carriers have instituted a range of policies related to unaccompanied minors traveling. We encourage parents/guardians to review their likely carrier’s policies early and make decisions about travel based on the assumption that students must arrive on campus for orientation and depart campus at the end of their program without assistance.

Check-In Day and Orientation

Check-In Location: 85 Waterman Street Providence, RI
Check-In Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST, Sunday prior to the start of your course or program (June 25 or July 9)

Orientation Time: 1 p.m. Brief orientation for BELL Rhode Island students and family members. 
Families Depart: 1:30 p.m. Families depart; students and BELL staff walk to program housing 


Go to 85 Waterman Street to check-in before proceeding to your residence hall. Check-in tables will be located inside 85 Waterman Street.  

The Main Green is bordered by Thayer Street, Waterman Street, Prospect Street and George Street. Please do not utilize Waterman Street as a drop-off location as it is a main artery in the city of Providence and can quickly get backed up. Please park your car in the Power Street lot or the surrounding area (see ‘Parking’ below). You should anticipate being able to manage the move-in of your belongings independently.

Program staff will be available to direct you as you navigate the campus and answer any questions you may have.

Upon check-in, you will receive: 

  • your residence hall assignment and room key(s);
  • Brown ID card;
  • lanyard on which to attach your room key(s) and Brown ID card;
  • campus map; and
  • other pertinent materials.


The Power Street parking garage, located at 111 Power Street, Providence, RI 02903, is our preferred parking location for students, families and guests. The garage entrance is located at the intersection of Power and Thayer Streets. The Main Green, where Pre-College check-in is located, is a short walk from there. Families and guests may park at this location for no fee on check-in days. We ask that all cars be moved from the parking garage no later than 8 p.m.

If the parking garage is full when you arrive, please find street parking in the surrounding area. Street parking is free on Sundays, but please be mindful of local signage.

Useful Links:

Early Arrival 

Although you should make every effort to plan your travel to Brown based on a Sunday arrival between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST, procedures are in place to accommodate Saturday arrival for those students who are arriving from long distances and need to work around flight schedules. There is a $150 early arrival fee for students arriving on Saturday. Early arrival arrangements must be made by the Wednesday before your program start date. If you meet the early arrival criteria due to long-distance travel, please click through the ‘Early Arrival’ purchase link in the ‘Optional’ section of your student portal. Please note, as buildings are in use throughout the summer, the rooms for specific programs may not be available until Sunday at 9 a.m. If you are  approved for early arrival, you may be housed in a different building than the one you will be assigned to on Sunday.

Late Arrival

You should make every effort to arrive between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST on Sunday before your course(s) begins so that you can participate in orientations that provide important information, community-building activities and time to settle into your room. If you are arriving after 1 p.m., you will check in with the Pre-College Student Life Housing team to access your check-in materials. Please email with the time of your late arrival and arrival instructions will be provided.

If you experience travel delays en route, please email to let us know what time you expect to arrive on campus so we may update our records and prepare for your arrival.

Check-In for Students Participating in Consecutive On-Campus Courses/Programs

While we make every effort to limit the amount of change in housing for students who are participating in consecutive programs or courses, students attending BELL: Rhode Island stay in a separate space from students in other on-campus programs. Students attending another program before or after BELL: Rhode Island will need to move residence halls. If you are attending another program before BELL: Rhode Island, you are required to check in for BELL: Rhode Island on the Saturday before the program begins. If you are attending another program after BELL: Rhode Island, you are required to check in for that session on the Saturday before your next course begins and you must move all belongings on that day to your new room. This is another reason to make certain you pack for the program in a way that allows you to move without assistance.

Safety and Supervision

You will have clear guidelines regarding where you can go alone or with a buddy. Staff are available for support and assistance 24 hours a day. Despite many students being experienced and competent travelers, the BELL staff expects all students to stay with the group at all times and provide notice if they need to separate from the group for any reason.

Communication During the Program

Family members may call the BELL Rhode Island On-Site Director with urgent requests or concerns at 401-749-3828. This number will also be shared during the Pre-Departure Orientation Session. 

Cell Phone Policy

We try to stay tuned in to each other and to our natural surroundings throughout the program, so we ask that the use of mobile devices (for phone calls, texting, social media, etc.) be limited to free time in the evening. Letting go of the frequent connection to our phones helps us form a community and adjust to a new environment more quickly.

Swimming During BELL

Students are not permitted to swim outside of supervised lessons or without the use of a life vest. Students may choose to swim at the Nelson Fitness Center, where there is a lifeguard, during their designated free time. For example, when students are attending a field trip on Block Island, they will be participating in water-based environmental science lab work that may have them wading in water up to their waist. While staying at a campground for a three-night retreat, students will not be allowed to swim in the property’s lake.

Fellow Students/Program Cohort

You are encouraged to come to BELL with an open mind to meeting new people with diverse and varied perspectives. Each student accepted to BELL brings with them their own experiences and the cohort comes together to create a fascinating community. 


The BELL: Rhode Island program is located at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. You will be staying in one of the residence halls at Brown University. You will be assigned up to one roommate, though most students will be staying in a single dorm space. You will share private bathrooms located in the hallway of the dorm. 

For three nights in the middle of the program, you will stay in an individual tent at Camp Aquapaug in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. You will have access to running water and bathrooms near the campsite. You will be preparing and cooking some of your own meals with the help of the BELL staff (no previous cooking experience needed). 


Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served in two of Brown’s dining halls daily. Three meals a day are included in the cost of residential program fees. You will also eat some meals off campus during certain site visits and during your three-night camping retreat.

Dining Services Information

There are resources to help you with food-related allergies, dietary restrictions and other needs for accommodations to navigate the options in the dining halls. Prior to arrival, you should familiarize yourself with Brown’s dining website which provides information about the various dietary options available. This site also includes icons for specific food types (e.g. gluten free) that are consistent with those found in the on-campus dining locations. Brown offers a variety of options and signage that allow many students to manage without additional accommodations. Students with any food restrictions are encouraged to utilize the Brown Dining My Meal site while on-campus. This tool is designed to help you make educated food choices in Brown’s dining halls and includes specific ingredients used in all available dishes.

If you have a food allergy, dietary restriction or a need for another accommodation please indicate this on your Medical Authorization and Health History Form and BELL Dietary Support Form by April 12. The University’s Dietician or a program director will reach out to you directly to offer to discuss your dining options. Options could include using an online special meal request system, access to the Allergen Friendly Pantry and guidance navigating the online information and dining halls. In addition, temporary dining accommodations can be provided using a Chef's card that is available on request when you swipe into the main dining hall, the Sharpe Refectory (Ratty). These cards can be used to request a special meal if you arrive on a weekend and have not yet formally arranged accommodations. These cards will enable you to request a meal that is gluten-free or free of the following allergens: shellfish, soy, dairy, nuts, peanuts, eggs, wheat, alcohol and fish.


You will receive a detailed schedule upon arrival. You must attend all days of the program in order to qualify for the individualized program evaluation from BELL staff. In addition to three meals per day, some free time and transportation to and from site visits, this schedule provides an idea of what the program will entail. Note that this schedule is subject to change. Housing is at Brown University unless otherwise noted.

Day 1 

Arrival Day and Orientation

Day 2: 

Orientation continued; community building; lessons at Brown University

Day 3

Tomaquag Museum field trip; Lessons at Brown University

Day 4

Lessons at Brown University; packing for overnight retreat

Day 5 

Housing: Tent at Camp Aquapaug

  • Travel to overnight retreat campsite; set up campsite; opening campfire
Day 6 

Housing: Tent at Camp Aquapaug

  • Overnight retreat continued; day trip to Block Island
Day 7 

Housing: Tent at Camp Aquapaug

  • Overnight retreat continued; lesson rotations on site at campground; group will also cook meals together
Day 8

Pack up campsite; travel back to Brown University

Day 9  

Lessons at Brown University

Day 10

Lessons at Brown University

Day 11

Day trip to Round the Bend Farm

Day 12

Action Plan presentation preparation; BELL Closing Traditions

Day 13 

BELL Closing Traditions continued; Action Plan Presentations; students depart



Our days are busy, requiring the students’ energy and attention throughout the day. Although we require students to be in their hallway by 10 p.m. and in their rooms by curfew at 10:30 p.m. (until at least 6 a.m. the next morning), we respect the students’ ability to choose when to go to sleep.

This is an example of a typical day at BELL
Curfew Ends 6 a.m.
Breakfast 8:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Community Tasks 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Morning Session 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Free Time 11:30 a.m. to Noon
Lunch Noon to 1 p.m.
Solo Time 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Afternoon Session 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Free Time 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Supper 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Recreation Time 7 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.
Evening Program 7:45 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Free Time 9 p.m.  to 10 p.m.
Curfew 10 p.m.
Hall Time (hang out in your building) 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
In Rooms 10:30 p.m.

Personal Health and Medical Emergencies

Students with minor health concerns can be seen at Brown University’s Health Services Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. Should you need to visit Health Services, you are encouraged to schedule an appointment by calling 401-863-3953. Nursing advice is available 24/7 at 401-863-1330, and certified first aid staff are also available to assist on evenings or weekends. Students who require non-emergency care from a healthcare professional may also be taken to a local Urgent Care outside of Brown University Health Services hours. In the event of a medical emergency, students will generally be transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

You are responsible for safely storing and taking your own prescription medication. If you are not accustomed to managing your own medication you should work with your family to determine the best approach to do so during the program.

Prescription Medications

You are responsible for safely storing and taking your own prescription medication. If you are not accustomed to managing your own medication, you should work with your family to determine the best approach to do so during the program. All students who are taking prescription medications should bring prescribed medication in its original container and a copy of their prescription (which can be an electronic copy). Having a copy of the original prescription will enable us to replace medication if needed. Students with life-saving asthma and anaphylaxis medications (e.g., inhalers and epi-pens) must keep them on their person at all times. 

Tick Awareness

As with most outdoor locations in the Northeast, deer ticks that sometimes carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, may be present at sites where BELL: Rhode Island field trips are held. Should you be from a region that does not have ticks, we want you to know about deer ticks and tick-bite prevention.

To reduce your risk of a tick bite you are

  • Asked to check yourself carefully for ticks at the end of the day
  • Encouraged to wear long-pants, mid-calf socks, and close-toed shoes

Should you find a tick on yourself, Brown Health Services will implement a protocol that may include tick removal and/or a preventative course of antibiotics. Some families may be interested in purchasing tick repellent clothing for this activity prior to the course or having their own clothing treated. Information can be found here. (

If you experience any flu-like symptoms, joint aches or a bulls-eye rash, upon your return home, you should contact your medical provider and inform them that you have been in an area where there are deer ticks that sometimes carry Lyme disease.

BELL Action Plans

With support from faculty and peers at BELL, you will create an Action Plan to apply your new leadership knowledge to an issue in your home community. Creating an Action Plan is an opportunity for you to reflect critically on what you’ve learned and to delve deeper into issues that you find particularly compelling. There are many types of Action Plans, but what is most important is that you identify a project that: addresses a need, interests you and seems feasible given your personal circumstances. While you do not need to prepare anything prior to arriving at BELL, you may want to think about some issues related to your community and come to BELL with some ideas for Action Plan topics. At BELL, you will participate in Action Plan workshops that guide you through a step by step approach to developing your project.


There are laundry facilities in all residence halls. You will need to supply your own detergent. All washers and dryers operate by swiping a Bear Bucks Guest Card (see information below). It costs $1.75 to wash and $1.75 to dry a load of laundry.

Bear Bucks

Bear Bucks Guest Cards allow you to use laundry machines and vending machines. You must purchase a Bear Bucks Guest Card for $1.00 at a Bear Bucks Kiosk. Money should be added to your Bear Bucks Guest Card as needed and in small increments as the unused balance is non-refundable. Please DO NOT add funds/Bear Bucks directly to your Brown ID card. 

Bear Bucks Kiosks to purchase Bear Bucks Guest Cards are available to you at the following locations on campus. 

  • Sharpe Refectory
  • Stephen Robert ‘62 Campus Center
  • Brown Bookstore
  • Emery Woolley Hall

Mail Services

Mail may be sent to you during the program. Please do not send packages of bedding or clothing needed on move-in day in advance of your arrival, since the University’s mailroom is not open for package pick-up on Sundays.

Please note that mail sent to college campuses requires additional processing time for sorting and distribution, and any standard mailing or shipping delays may result in the mail or packages not reaching you prior to your campus departure. For those reasons, any mail/packages should be coordinated to arrive no later than one week prior to your departure. Mail should be sent to:

Student Name
Brown Pre-College Student
69 Brown Street
Providence, RI 02912

Lost and Found

The lost and found is located at the Department of Public Safety 401-863-1663. Items of value left behind in residence halls, such as jewelry, money and laptop computers will be turned in and students should call the DPS office to retrieve lost items.


Students are encouraged to upload photos to a shared Google folder once the program begins. Students will gain access to this folder closer to the program start date.

Class Attendance

Students are required to attend class. Absence or inactivity within your course may result in a dismissal from the program. Students dismissed for reasons of absence or inactivity will not be refunded.

Campus Improvements

Students attending Brown Pre-College on campus programs may encounter campus improvement efforts, including, but not limited to, construction, painting and grounds maintenance. Wherever possible, Brown University and Brown Pre-College have taken steps to mitigate the impact of such projects on Pre-College participants.

You are responsible for abiding by all pre-college policies and guidelines while participating in the program. These include policies listed on the policy page as well as any policies shared with you by Student Life staff and instructors. Please also review the financial policies, including payment and refund information.

You will receive a Course Performance Report from your instructor and you in turn will be asked to complete a course evaluation upon completion of the course. If you successfully complete your program you will receive a Certificate of Completion. All completion materials including the Course Performance Report will be sent out in September. The certificate will be sent via US Mail to your listed address and the Course Performance Report will be sent electronically to the email address we have on file for you.

We strongly encourage parents/guardians and families to come to our closing day program on Brown University’s campus. This will be an opportunity for you to see the program housing, hear Action Plan presentations from the students and meet the staff. You are welcome to arrive between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Departure Day. Detailed information about Departure Day will be provided via email to all parent/guardians on our email list (i.e., the parent/guardian contact information from each student application).

Departure Day Schedule (July 7 or July 21)

10:00 a.m. Enjoy the grounds, meet staff and students

10:30 a.m. Closing presentation

11 a.m. Action Plan presentations

By 1 p.m. EDT Depart from Brown University

Late Departure

Since Brown University's campus is populated with many programs across the summer months, you should plan to leave campus after the BELL Closing Reception and check out of your residence hall no later than Friday at 1 p.m. If your class schedule or long-distance travel plans necessitate staying over Friday night, you may request approval to remain until Saturday at 9 a.m during your floor meeting on Thursday evening before your last class. Students should not plan to depart campus during curfew hours (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).  If you need to remain on campus until Saturday morning, please notify BELL Staff on or before the last Thursday of your course or program. Extensions beyond this time cannot be accommodated.