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BOSS COVID-19 response

Updated 8/26/2020


Dear BOSS community,

After careful consideration of information from doctors, epidemiologists, government agencies, peer organizations and our community, we decided to cancel all scheduled BOSS courses for 2020. This was a difficult decision. I believe the work we do is important, and knowing that this will be the first summer without BOSS courses in the field since 1967 is a very tough pill for me to swallow. I also believe that this was the right decision.

In the end, the balance of safety, student experience, and financial risk for the school was too precarious. Our reduced team is working through a long list of projects we’ve had in mind for years until we begin gearing up for 2021. Speaking of 2021, see our 2021 schedule here. We are now accepting registrations.

Thanks to the enormous generosity of our community, and to several government grants and loans, BOSS will be able to weather the financial difficulty this brings and operate a full season in 2021.

Although the longer-term impacts of coronavirus on our society and economy are still uncertain, BOSS will be here, and readying ourselves to do what we do best: take students into the field for deep challenges and skills instruction.

This year will be tough, but I know that we are tough too.

I’ve been reflecting on these words by Rachel Carson:

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life… there is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.

We will be busy in the coming months, and I’ll keep in touch as often as I can with what we’re working on, and what we come up with to offer our community until we can run courses again.

Enrolled students who cannot attend their course because of the COVID-19 pandemic can use the balance they’ve already paid towards a future BOSS course. A refund of any tuition paid for 2020 (minus a fee of 4% to cover bank fees) is an option. However, we are asking BOSS students to consider keeping their registration to use on a future BOSS trip. We are a small nonprofit and these funds are important for paying our skeleton crew of staff, our mortgage, and keeping the lights on. Deferring enrollment like this will support our school and our staff through these unprecedented times.

Thank you for being a part of this community, and we look forward to seeing you in the field!

All my best,
Eli Loomis
BOSS Executive Director

If you have any questions about BOSS’s response to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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