5 Ways to Get Outdoors with the Y

Last updated: October 22, 2018, at 10:10 a.m. PT

Originally published: September 18, 2018, at 9:04 a.m. PT

If there’s one thing the Pacific Northwest is known for, it’s the great outdoors! The YMCA of Greater Seattle is no exception. There’s a variety of programs at the Y that offer fun outdoor experiences that meet everyone’s interests. Whether you’re looking for a family or work outing, a one on one experience with your child, or outdoor leadership opportunities for your teen, there’s countless ways to get outdoors with the Y.

Outdoors for the Whole Family: Family Camps & Retreats

When they’re not hosting resident summer camps, Camp Orkila and Camp Colman offer fun-filled family camps and retreats throughout the year. Options to take the family away range from holiday camps such as Labor Day and Mother’s Day to community retreats such as African American Males or Women’s Wellness Weekends. 

Learn more >

Outdoors for the Kids: Summer Camp

When you think of the outdoors, you probably think of summer. Y summer camps offer amazing outdoor activities for kids of all ages. Taking place at dozens of locations across the Greater Seattle area, Day Camp offers youth ages 5+ the chance to run and play through field trips and activities tailored to their age group. If your child is ready for a little more independence, Camp Colman and Camp Orkila offer perfect outdoor opportunities to spend the week away at resident camp where they’ll enjoy swimming, kayaking, climbing and most importantly, making new and lasting friendships.

Learn more > 

Outdoors for Quality 1-on-1 Time: Y Guides

As important as it is to spend time together as a family, it’s also important to have one on one time as well. Y Guides provides parent and child pairs yearlong opportunities to strengthen their relationship through experiences often taking place outdoors. Y Guides is the perfect way to reconnect with your child outside of the hustle and bustle of your family’s busy schedule. 

Learn more >

Outdoors for Teens: YMCA Earth Service Corps

For over two decades, YMCA Earth Service Corps has worked with local communities and schools to provide teens with actionable environmental education curriculum that gets youth engaged and passionate about the outdoors. Through volunteering, events and local school clubs, teens are given the chance to exercise their leadership skills, develop their resume and meet peers and mentors who are just as excited about the environment as they are. 

Learn more >

Outdoors for Everyone: Outdoor Leadership Expeditions

Nothing stretches your limits quite like a Y Outdoor Leadership Expedition (BOLD & GOLD). Trips for teens take place throughout the summer with Boys, Girls, and COED Outdoor Leadership Development Expeditions that venture to some of the most beautiful locations in the Pacific Northwest while fostering multi-cultural leadership skills, confidence and empathy that will last their entire lives. But you don’t have to be a teen to enjoy the richness of this program! BOLD & GOLD also offers customized trips for schools, companies and other organizations to help facilitate your team’s goals. Whether it’s an outdoor workshop or a multi-day expedition, you can find a challenge that’s fit for your team’s experience and comfort levels. 

Learn more >


The outdoors are plentiful in the Greater Seattle Area, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. Let the Y take care of the planning for you so you can focus on simply enjoying the great outdoors with the people who matter most to you.