Fun and Adventure Meet Challenge and Learning
At BOLD & GOLD, our goal is to find the right experience for every participant that’s one part fun and one part learning — a way for them to stretch and learn new things. Whether joining us for the first time or you’ve been part of the BOLD & GOLD family for years, there’s an adventure awaiting.
Hands-on Leadership Skills
On a BOLD & GOLD trip, each participant gets to try a hand at actually leading a group with mentoring and coaching support along the way. Every trip is different because it’s made up of a different combination of personalities and skills each time; we use critical thinking and problem solving to address this uniqueness and help everyone decide how to face challenges together.
The folks that work for us have “kid-magic” — that wonderful quality that comes from truly, deeply loving the opportunity to guide young people on their paths. They also love the outdoors. You can read profiles of a few of them here.
Thoughtfully Designed Programs
Everything we do is intentional — from the way we structure our leadership progression to the way we build in time to relax and play games. We believe in progressive challenges — building on what was learned and adding appropriate responsibility to set up young people for success. Over the years we’ve learned how to create a group that works well together as a team and as individuals. We build in the opportunities for both communication and collaboration because they are both important.
Everyone is unique, has something to contribute, and is welcome in the BOLD & GOLD family. When participants come willing to share what they think and care about and allow others the same, connections happen. While we can’t guarantee everyone will get along with everyone, we often hear that the friends made on a BOLD & GOLD trip are special and have a strong bond based on shared adventures.
Since 1885, when the YMCA started the very first summer camp in the United States, we’ve been committed to providing young people with a chance to make new friends, build confidence, and grow their self-reliance. Each year the Y serves 1.4 million people through our camp and outdoor programs. BOLD & GOLD is one of the ways the Y continues to innovative getting youth outside.
What training do your instructors receive before leading a trip?
Our staff are experienced outdoor educators with an extensive background of working with youth. They have advanced wilderness medical training (minimum 70 hours); specific child abuse prevention training; and go through a rigorous 5- to 7-day training on BOLD & GOLD curriculum, how to develop leadership in all, and behavior management.
How large are the groups?
An important element to our trips is the small group size. Our groups are typically 6-10 participants and 2 instructors, although there may intentionally be up to 12 or as few as 4 participants.
What does a typical day look like?
Read more about life on a BOLD & GOLD trip.
Will my child need any special skills or knowledge before going?
No. A participant does not need to have any previous outdoor experience. Being in shape and physically active before arrival is helpful but not required on introductory experiences.
Do we need to purchase special equipment for any of the trips?
No. We provide all the group gear such as tents and stoves; we have much of the necessary personal items, including clothing available for loan; and other equipment, such as backpacks, are available to rent (free rental is included with a scholarship or financial aid).
What if I don’t live nearby?
Currently some of our locations can accommodate participants arriving from other areas but not all. We recommend calling the specific location you are interested in to discuss details.