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 web pages carefully with your parents/guardians and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. You and your  parents/guardians 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. ET) or by email at

Please check your email and your student portal frequently as these are the places where you will be notified when required forms are available for you to complete.

Important Dates

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

March 20: 
  • All required forms available in your student portal

  • Billing notifications will be sent out 

  • E-Bill payment portal will open

March 29: All medical forms and waivers due
April 10: Full payment and Travel Itinerary Form due

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

Monday, April 8 at 7 p.m. ET: Mandatory Pre-Departure Orientation Session

There will be a mandatory online program orientation for you and your parents/guardians on Monday, April 8, 2024 at 8:00 p.m. ET, 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).

There are two different orientations for BELL: Rhode Island. Please review the information below carefully to ensure that you register for the correct one:

Course Title(s) Orientation Date & Time
BELL Rhode Island: Digging Into Rhode Island's Food System Monday, April 8, 2024 at 7 p.m. ET

BELL Rhode Island: Marine Ecosystems, Coastal Communities and Climate Resilience


BELL Rhode Island: Geological, Recent and Modern Climate Change

Monday, April 8, 2024 at 8 p.m. ET


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 will be made available through your student portal and 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 physical and immunization records. 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 required Medical Authorization and Health History Form and BELL Dietary Support Form by March 29. 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 before the March 29 deadline. Please email if you have any questions or concerns.

Communicating with Classmates

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

BELL Course Orientation and Pre-Work

Two weeks prior to your course start date, log onto Canvas to complete your course orientation and pre-work prior to arriving on site. 


  • Go to
  • Login using your Brown username and password
  • Navigate to your BELL: Rhode Island course page to begin

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: 02817) prior to packing. 
  • If you do not own one or more of the items listed below, you may want to consider renting them from a local outdoor store, such as REI.
  • If you are unable to acquire any of the supplies listed below, we want to help! Please reach out to to get connected with a program director.

What is Provided

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. Residence hall rooms are equipped with a portable air conditioning unit or will have central air conditioning.

What to Bring

Required Items
  • Linens, including blankets, sheets, pillow and towels for a “twin, extra-long" bed (36 by 80 inches, about 6 inches thick)*
  • Rain jacket (waterproof)
  • Rain pants (waterproof)
  • Warm sweatshirt or fleece jacket
  • 2–3 pairs long, lightweight pants for hot weather wear
  • 3–6 pairs of shorts (quick-dry are best)
  • 10–14 T-shirts
  • 2–3 long-sleeve t-shirts
  • Sleepwear
  • Underwear 
  • Socks
  • Bathing suit for wading
  • Sturdy, close-toed walking shoes (no need for hiking boots)
  • Closed-toed water shoes for wading (old tennis shoes, Tevas, Keens or Crocs with a back strap; NOT flip flops)
  • Toothbrush and toiletries, period hygiene products 
  • Any prescribed medications in their original bottle with a copy of the prescription
  • Preferred over the counter medications
  • Bandaids
  • 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
  • Warm hat for cool nights
  • Flip flops or other shower shoes
  • Beach towel
  • Sun block (30+ SPF)
  • Insect repellent
  • Handkerchief, bandana or reusable napkin
  • Reusable snack bags (at least 2)

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

Optional Items
  • Sketch pads or art supplies
  • Wristwatch (preferably waterproof)
  • Inexpensive camera (we recommend that this be separate from a phone to avoid use of cell phones)
  • Musical instrument (We will have a piano on site!)
  • Book to read/independent leisure activities
  • Your favorite board game
  • Permethrin Insect Repellent for clothing
  • Preferred snacks (you can also shop for snacks or other essentials upon arrival in Providence)
  • Umbrella for sun protection
Required Items for Courses with Overnight Retreat*

For three nights in the middle of the program, if your course is participating in an overnight camping retreat, you will be staying at Round the Bend Farm. Each student will be provided with a single tent. You will have to bring your own sleeping items, including any items you need to sleep comfortably in a tent by yourself. The two *Courses participating in an overnight retreat are BELL Rhode Island: Marine Ecosystems, Coastal Communities and Climate Resilience and BELL Rhode Island: Geological, Recent and Modern Climate Change.

  • Sleeping pad
  • Sleeping bag
  • Camping sleepwear (you will be sleeping in a tent)
  • Flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
  • Camping pillow (or to reduce bulk, bring a pillow case and stuff it with clothes)

What Not to Bring

You will not have a lot of time to use your personal laptops and will not have access to computers during BELL. Please note that you are expected to prioritize the experience for the benefit of yourself and your peers. You will have one or two hours of free time dispersed throughout each day at BELL, but the free time is not always predictable and does not occur at the same time each day. Additional coursework, including online courses for Brown or other programs, is not feasible.

Spending Money 

You will have access to the Brown University dining halls and we encourage you to eat all meals there. All program activities, excursions and meals while both on and off campus 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 and their parents/guardians are required to coordinate transportation to and from Brown’s campus. Brown Pre-College is unable to provide transportation or coordinate travel assistance.

Flight Purchase

This program is confirmed to run in summer 2024. Please consider purchasing travel insurance along with your flight.

The closest airport is T.F. Green International Airport in Providence and Boston’s Logan Airport is also accessible by bus or train from Providence.

Strict Arrival and Departure Times

As you make travel arrangements please note the following two important requirements;

  1. Booking travel to arrive and depart during the arrival and departure times below will ensure students are able to participate fully in the program, including arrival day orientation activities as well as closing activities. 
  2. Program staff cannot serve as the designated adult for unaccompanied minors.

Check-In Day and Orientation

Check-In Location: Machado House, 87 Prospect Street Providence, Rhode Island
Check-In Time: 9 a.m. to Noon (12 p.m.). ET, Sunday, July 7, 2024

Noon (12 p.m.): Brief orientation for BELL Rhode Island students and their parents/guardians.
12:30 p.m.: Parents/guardians depart; students and BELL staff walk to lunch at a dining hall


Go to 87 Prospect Street to check in. Machado House has multiple entrances, so please enter the building through the main entrance off of Prospect Street (pictured below).

Brown University campus map

Parking: Parents/guardians should be able to find street parking near Machado house. Please be aware that most curbside parking near Machado House is either metered parking with clear signage about payment options or free curbside parking during certain hours of the day. Please read signage in the area carefully. 

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.

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. ET, 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. ET 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.

Communication During the Program

To contact us in an emergency, parents/guardians may call the BELL: Rhode Island On-Site Director. At certain times during the program, students and/or staff may experience lapses in cell phone service. Staff will be checking the program phone often to return missed phone calls or text messages as soon as they are able. 

At the beginning of the program, staff will send out an email to confirm that all students have arrived safely in Providence and have started to build community together at BELL. 

At the end of the program, after students have departed, the program staff will send out another email to confirm that students have started their journeys home.

Please note that these emails will be sent out to the parent/guardian email address that we have on file. If you have an alternative email address that you would like included in this list, please contact the On-Site Director to share an additional email address.

Safety and Supervision

You will have clear guidelines regarding where you can go alone or with a peer. 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 you need to separate from the group for any reason.

Cell Phone Policy

Each year, the BELL staff revisits the cell phone policy to ensure that it aligns with best practices in both safety and community engagement. The main goal of the BELL cell phone policy is to allow you to stay tuned into each other, the program and your natural surroundings. You may experience a lot of benefits from letting go of the frequent connection to technology, as it often helps BELL students adjust to a new environment more quickly and form a stronger community. While some spaces or parts of the day at BELL will be entirely cell phone free, you will still have opportunities to keep in touch with friends and family at home who you lean on for support. You will learn about the BELL cell phone policy during on-site program orientation.

Swimming During BELL

BELL: Rhode Island does not allow swimming outside of supervised lessons or without the use of a life vest. You may choose to swim at the Nelson Fitness Center, where there is a lifeguard, during your designated free time. You should feel comfortable on a boat and near bodies of water. For example, if you are attending a field trip on Block Island, you will be participating in water-based environmental science lab work that may have you wading in water up to your waist. For students who will be staying at a campground for a two-night retreat, you will not be allowed to swim.

Community Living

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

At BELL, each student also contributes to day to day community life by assisting with tasks like keeping the living and learning spaces clean and taking on leadership roles among the group. BELL Staff will expect you to step up as leaders, take good care of your physical spaces, take good care of yourself and respect others.


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


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 two roommates, though many students will be staying in a single dorm space. You will share private bathrooms located in the hallway of the dorm. 

For students in BELL Rhode Island: Marine Ecosystems, Coastal Communities and Climate Resilience and BELL Rhode Island: Geological, Recent and Modern Climate Change, you will spend two nights in an individual tent at Round the Bend Farm in Massachusetts. 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 Round the Bend Farm staff (no previous cooking experience needed).

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 the March 29 deadline. 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.

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. ET. 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. If you require non-emergency care from a healthcare professional you may also be taken to a local Urgent Care outside of Brown University Health Services hours. In the event of a medical emergency, you will generally be transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

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 parents/guardians to determine the best approach to do so during the program. All students who are taking prescription medications should bring their 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. If your medication requires refrigeration, we will provide access to a refrigerator for the duration of the program.

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

  • Going to be reminded to do tick checks three times per day 
  • 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 during some site visits

Should you find a tick on yourself, BELL Staff or Brown Health Services will implement a protocol that may include tick removal and/or a preventative course of antibiotics. Some parents/guardians may be interested in purchasing tick-repellent clothing or permethrin to treat clothes and shoes prior to the course. 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.


You should inform program staff as soon as you are not feeling well, and will be asked to self-administer a COVID test and/or take your temperature, among other actions. If you are ill, you will need to be separated from others in the program to lower the possibility of any illness spreading and it is possible you may be asked to make plans to depart the program. University information specific to COVID-19 can be found here. Please note that pre-college policies and protocols may not align exactly with the University’s, and there may be additional or different protocols implemented by a partner lodging site, field trip or local airport and are dependent on public health guidelines at the time of the program.

BELL Action Plans

With support from instructors 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. See examples of Action Plans from previous years here.


You will receive a detailed schedule upon arrival, including classroom locations. You must attend all days of the program in order to qualify for the Course Performance Report. 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. Please note: this schedule is subject to change.

Day BELL Rhode Island: Digging Into Rhode Island's Food System BELL Rhode Island: Marine Ecosystems, Coastal Communities and Climate Resilience BELL Rhode Island: Geological, Recent and Modern Climate Change
1 Arrival Day and Orientation
2 Orientation continued; community building; lessons at Brown University
3 Gather Farm Field Trip; Intro to Action Plan Tomaquag Museum Field Trip; Lessons at Brown University
4 Cooking class and visit from Harvest Kitchen Camping Retreat Day 1 Intro to Action Plan; lessons at Brown University
5 Lessons at Brown University (American dairies); Wright's Dairy site visit Camping Retreat Day 2 State Park site visit
6 Action Plan work; local food bank site visit Camping Retreat Day 3 Lessons at Brown University; Action Plan work
7 Lessons at Brown University; Action Plan work
8 Lessons at Brown University; Action Plan work Block Island site visit
9 Matunuck Oyster Farm tour; Matunuck Oyster Bar group meal; evening lesson at Brown University Lessons at Brown University Camping Retreat Day 1
10 Glean site visit; lessons at Brown University Walking site visit to Port of Providence; Action Plan work Camping Retreat Day 2
11 Community Compost Depot site visit; wrap-up lesson at Brown University Action Plan work; Lessons at Brown University Camping Retreat Day 3
12 Action Plan presentation preparation; BELL Closing Traditions Stakeholder Negotiation; BELL Closing Traditions
13 BELL Closing Traditions; Action Plan Presentations; students depart


Our days are busy, requiring a lot of your energy and attention throughout the day. You are required to check in with residential staff every evening at 10 p.m. EST and remain on your floor until 6 a.m. EST the following morning. The residential staff will place a call to the parents/guardians of any student who is late for curfew. The Department of Public Safety will be informed after an appropriate interval of time if a student has not checked in, and a protocol will be initiated to ensure the safety of the student.

Adhering to the curfew policy is your responsibility. While residential staff will take reasonable measures to ensure that you adhere to the curfew, once you have been verified as being within the residence halls at the designated time, you will be in violation of policies should you choose to leave your residence hall area. If we become aware of a curfew violation, you will be referred to our student conduct process. Repeated and/or serious violations of the curfew could result in dismissal from the program.

For more details, please read the Residential Policies on our website.

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 (12 p.m.)
Lunch Noon (12 p.m.) 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 p.m.


There are laundry facilities in all residence halls. You will need to supply your own detergent. Students will swipe their ID card to operate machines. There is no additional fee for this service.

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 (DPS) 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.

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.

In addition to Brown University’s pre-college policies, you will also be required to follow guidelines and policies of all of the BELL partner sites, including lodging facilities, museums, transportation companies and other venues hosting your BELL cohort.

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 digital CeCertificate of Completion. All completion materials including the Course Performance Report will be sent out in September. The certificate will be sent via a secured link to the email address you have on file and the Course Performance Report will be made available in your Student Portal.

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 them to see the program housing, hear Action Plan presentations from the students and meet the staff. Parents/guardians 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 parents/guardians on our email list (i.e., the one parent/guardian contact information from each student application). Parents/guardians should plan to meet at Machado House (87 Prospect Street).

Departure Day Schedule (Friday, July 19, 2024)

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

10:30 a.m. Closing Reception (location TBD)

11 a.m. Action Plan presentations

Noon (12 p.m.) 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. on the final Thursday of the program. Extensions beyond this time cannot be accommodated. Students should not plan to depart campus during curfew hours (10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).