Courtney Aber

Courtney is the National Director for BOLD & GOLD

After over 25 years in this field I am more passionate and inspired than ever

No one else is doing what BOLD & GOLD is doing, bringing together youth from different backgrounds to learn and live together in the outdoors.

Outdoor programs are often the single most impactful experience in a person’s life as they figure out who they want to be. There are so many ways that being outside brings us back to and connects us with what is important to each of us. Having a deep connection and a conversation that goes beyond emoticons, those are the things that help someone to feel a part of the world around them. Young people face so many challenges today and I am so proud to be a part of a program that offers opportunities for them to see how amazing they are.

I began working at the YMCA when GOLD became a program with the organization. Before that, I ran the education department for a small hands-on maritime museum that also offered week long outdoor adventure trips for youth as well as sailing, navigation, and boat building classes. I was an education specialist working with youth with learning differences in a school settings. Additionally, I have held pretty much every position in outdoor trip programs from instructor to course director to logistics to program manager. I still love it all, from packing food for a group to teaching how to pack a pack to sharing what we are doing with others.

The summer after I graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, I decided to take a summer and lead outdoor trips before I got a “real” job. I had no idea that one summer would turn into a very different career path, but one that reminds me daily how amazing the world and the people in it are.

I also love getting outside year round – especially fall backpacking trips, cross country skiing (while winter camping in our 13′ trailer), canoeing, and sailing old wooden boats. I am based in Seattle, where I live with my husband John and our two dogs.