Xander Tartter

Xander is the Outdoor Leadership Coordinator with Camp Jones Gulch at the San Francisco YMCA where he oversees BOLD & GOLD

I want all kids to have at least as much access to the outdoors as I did

The outdoors has always had a strong pull for me and I knew from an early age that I wanted to make it the focus of my career.

Even though I grew up in the middle of New York City, I always loved getting outdoors. After graduating from Oberlin College where I double majored in Biology and Environmental Studies, I started working for a science based outdoor education program that was located on a YMCA property, but I was not initially a Y employee. All of the cool Y programs attracted me while I was there, especially BOLD & GOLD, and soon I became full time with the Y where I now run the program.

Initially I was attracted to BOLD & GOLD because the program provides diverse groups access to nature. As I’ve become more involved I love how it also helps them grow as human beings, teaches them to be leaders in their communities, and more. One would be hard pressed to find another program that accomplishes so much, so well. And on top of that, it gives me an excuse to spend time outside myself, share my love of the outdoors, and teach so many important skills.

Much of the BOLD & GOLD curriculum has had personal impacts on my life – I have learned so much from the program myself.