Leadership through Learning: Nick's BOLD Story

Last updated: May 3, 2018, at 2:46 p.m. PT

Originally published: May 3, 2018, at 2:40 p.m. PT

Nick Burkhead has spent his early life in the way many teenagers do – struggling to find his place in the world. He's changed high schools a few times and has decided to give up on traditional high school altogether and opt for Running Start. Nick grew up in a big house in the suburbs in a community that isolated him from the outside world.

The cure for isolation is simple: Connection. BOLD & GOLD offers a connection to the outdoors through exposure to backpacking, traversing the coast and other outdoor adventures. But more than that, BOLD & GOLD bridges the gaps between humans that is increasingly widening in our digital world. To know yourself, you must first know others. On one BOLD expedition, Nick was in a group with a teen that had a yacht and a helicopter pad, while another boy ate most of his meals from the dollar menu. Together, they faced great physical challenges that required reliance on each other for support.

Coming to understand the wide disparities in our world is a lesson in struggle: It's not whether you will struggle, but how you struggle. And we all struggle better together. Nick has a lot to say about what he learned from his time with BOLD,

"Vulnerability, courage, creativity, perseverance, empathy. I have experienced joy, I have overcome challenges I would never have imagined, I have learned to find my voice, I was exposed to parts of the community I would never have seen otherwise."

Since his BOLD expedition, Nick has faced more challenges, but in his lowest moments, he thinks back to his time with his new friends and partners in adventure on top of Mt. Baker. "I summited that mountain. That memory gives me boundless hope."

Category: Camp