Katy Blackburn

Katy is the Summer Program Director at Camp Hi-Rock with the Central Connecticut YMCA and directs the BOLD & GOLD program

In the outdoors I discovered a confidence I didn’t know was possible for myself.

The outdoors changed everything for me and helping others find that for themselves is the impact I want to make in the world.

I grew up walking in the woods and climbing trees, but didn’t see myself as an athlete or that physically capable. My family was definitely not “outdoorsy”. Learning to be comfortable in places that had been uncomfortable in the past helps me now in all areas of my life.

After learning to backpack in the remote mountains of Bolivia, I went back to school at UC-Santa Barbara and enrolled in an outdoor guide training program. Through that experience, I realized that I wanted to have a part in inviting others to try the outdoors. For me that meant after graduating, starting BOLD & GOLD at YMCA Camp Hi-Rock. I’ve been at Camp Hi-Rock more or less since I was 10. I started as a camper, then became a Counselor in Training, a summer staffer, and now I work here year round which is my dream job.

I love backpacking because you are self-sufficient, carrying only what you need. You get to see all these beautiful places that you would otherwise never get to enjoy. Canoeing is all of that as well, but you also get to carry a little more stuff. I really love climbing because it challenges me both mentally and physically and I’ve come to really appreciate that.