About Us

Feeling amazing after reaching the top during a hike in Yosemite National Park

Something magical happens when a diverse group of young people go into beautiful, remote areas in nature together.

Courage, confidence and community awareness all come out—and wonderment rules supreme. Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development or BOLD & GOLD fosters a sense of awe in the wilderness.

We take small, single gender groups of middle and high school students into the great outdoors without technology to discover what it means to truly connect for one, two, or three week trips. And through these connections, our participants learn how to be great leaders.

BOLD & GOLD program activities are based on what makes sense in that region of the country and while each program is run by the local YMCA, there are several things that you can expect on every BOLD & GOLD trips – leaders that have been trained in our national curriculum; a commitment to safety and fun; a group of young people with different life experiences excited about leadership; and the desire to partner with parents in helping their child be the best version of themselves.

Our trips are mostly single gender – we find there are less distractions and more opportunities to try out new leadership skills. Young people get a lot of messages about how they should look or act and by removing distractions we help them figure out who they want to be at this important stage in life.

Our days fall into a pattern that revolves around eating when we are hungry, sleeping when it gets dark, and stopping to appreciate the world around us when the magic happens. In the wild the unpredictable is guaranteed. Rain, hills, mud and mosquitoes happen. So do new friends, unthinkable challenges and really good cinnamon rolls. Summed up, it’s the trip of a lifetime. Join us.