Teen Outdoor Leadership Development

Boys & Girls Outdoor Leadership (BOLD & GOLD) experiences are geared specifically for young people ages 11 to 18. Our expeditions will take you to some of the most beautiful and natural places in the Pacific Northwest. Not only are these trips full of natural beauty, but they’ll also inspire youth to be their most courageous and confident selves as they learn new skills, make lifelong friends and challenge themselves to run towards adventure. Plus, with expeditions leaving straight out of The Cascade People’s Center in South Lake Union, the outdoors have never been easier to get to!

Expeditions That Fit Your Unique Style

From the white sand beaches of the Olympic Coast to the rock walls of Mt. Erie, you’ll return from your trip knowing that the confidence, strength and friendships you’ve gained will help you meet any challenge that comes your way.

Boys Outdoor Leadership Development

On your BOLD expedition, join an amazing community of young men and leaders that are just as excited as you to get out and explore the beautiful wild lands of the Pacific Northwest.

Girls Outdoor Leadership Development

On GOLD trips, young women are empowered to be their courageous selves as they overcome obstacles and bond with a group of their peers in some of the most beautiful places in the Pacific Northwest.

All Gender Outdoor Leadership Development

Older students can gain even deeper leadership development as they work with a diverse group of peers and embark on a 2-3 week wilderness adventure.

Leader In Training Program

Be a valuable part of the BOLD & GOLD team by becoming a Leader In Training (LIT). Mentor youth, learn from expedition experts and grow your own leadership and wilderness skills.

Partnership Programs

We work with schools, companies, and other organizations to build custom programs that meet the goals of each partner, ranging from workshops to multi-day expeditions.

Heart hands capturing mountain views

Family Corner

View helpful resources for your upcoming summer adventure with us such as packing lists, medication information, sample itineraries, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The outbreak of Covid-19 has profoundly impacted our communities, businesses, families, and daily lives. Our hearts go out to those affected—particularly to those personally at-risk or who have lost a loved one. The health and well-being of our participants and staff is paramount, and we take the threat of Covid-19 very seriously. We are continuing to monitor the spread and impact of this virus in the Pacific Northwest, and particularly in the areas we operate.

We know that now, more than ever, young people need opportunities to connect with each other and the natural world. We are committed to adapting our programming and approach to ensure youth have access to these transformative experiences. At BOLD & GOLD, we are asking ourselves to respond the same way we would ask our participants—with courage, hope, and above all, compassion. Below, please find an update about our summer 2022 programs.

The responses in these FAQs are based on best management practices for Covid-19 as of January 2022. We expect that practices will continue to shift and will update these FAQs as new information and guidance is received from public health and industry leaders.

Additionally, BOLD & GOLD will host an in-person Open House on April 30, 2022, from 9:00 am-1:00 pm, and a Virtual Orientation on May 3, 2022, from 6:30-8:30 pm, for youth and families to learn more about summer programs. We appreciate your support and understanding.

Will BOLD & GOLD offer trips this summer?

Yes! In alignment with Washington State’s public health measures, we will be offering amazing summer experiences for youth and families. The health and safety of our participants, staff, and community is our top priority.

What programs will be offered this summer?

BOLD & GOLD will be operating one and two-week frontcountry and backcountry trips that include backpacking, climbing, kayaking, and mountaineering.

How will activities be impacted by Covid-19?

As a wilderness-based program that operates in small groups, BOLD & GOLD is uniquely positioned to maintain most of our program curriculum. We anticipate the implementation of program modifications, enhanced cleaning procedures during, and a focus on small group sizes. The health and safety of participants and staff is our top priority. We will continue to release more information about our operating plans as we get closer to summer.

What is your overall approach to operating during the Covid-19 pandemic?

Over the last two summers, BOLD & GOLD staff adjusted plans and program models to safely get young people outdoors. Navigating travel and safety guidelines across counties and public land jurisdictions required dynamic protocols, strong partnerships with public health officials, and increased resources. BOLD & GOLD has operated over 100 trips serving over 1,000 youth over the last two years. The success of this approach was made possible because BOLD & GOLD has a strong risk management culture that embraces learning and adaptation.

BOLD & GOLD has extensive experience in analyzing public health guidance, implementing program modifications, and adapting as situations change. We know that continued vigilance and flexibility will be required. As public health guidance continues to evolve our best management practices will be built on a foundation that:

  • Adheres to the direction of the American Camp Association (ACA), CDC, as well as state and local public health departments.
  • Maximizes outdoor time.
  • Focuses on small group sizes.
  • Emphasizes hygiene, cleaning, and disinfecting.
  • Leverages testing and vaccination resources as available and directed by public health.
How will participants need to prepare for their BOLD & GOLD trip?

Washington State guidance for summer 2022 has not yet been released. At the very least the requirements in place for summer 2021 will remain. Those requirements are detailed below.

All participants must do one of the following before their trip:

  1. Be fully vaccinated OR
  2. Receive a negative PCR Covid-19 test no more than three days prior to arrival and remain in quarantine between the test and start of the program OR
  3. Provide documentation from a health care provider of recovery from Covid-19 in the three months prior to the start of the program and have met the criteria to end isolation.

Official verification of the vaccination (vaccination card, medical record from physician, verification from state vaccination database), test results, or recovery is required.

Regardless of testing or vaccination status, participants and household members should self-monitor for 14 days prior to the start of the trip. If anyone in the household is showing signs of illness such as a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nasal drainage, and/or coughing/sneezing, please keep your participant home and contact us to reschedule or refund your fees. This greatly reduces the spread of illness while on trips and in the wilderness.

If possible, we also encourage all participants and household members to practice hygiene (handwashing, mask wearing, etc.) as well as limit interaction with people outside your household for the 10 days prior to the start of the trip.

What steps are you taking to minimize the risk of someone contracting Covid-19?

BOLD & GOLD has worked with industry leaders to develop a comprehensive set of policies and procedures specific to Covid-19. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Program area, equipment protocols, and sanitization practices have shifted to minimize the risk of transmission of Covid-19.
  • Physical distancing practices follow the recommendations of the state and county and are in place for all participants and staff.
  • Participants and staff will follow mask wearing recommendations of the state and county.
  • Participants will spend their experience in a cohort group that is made up of their trail group and instructors.
  • Proper handwashing, food preparation, and sanitation procedures will be taught the first day and reinforced regularly.
  • At the conclusion of each trip all personal and group gear will be cleaned and disinfected as directed by manufacturers Covid-19 procedures.
How will you respond if a participant or staff member is suspected of having Covid-19?

Any participant or staff member with an illness that affects their ability to participate safely on trip will be evacuated and families will be notified, as always. If the symptoms are consistent with Covid-19 or there are other risk factors, BOLD & GOLD will isolate the individual, and consult with local health authorities. BOLD & GOLD will seek medical care based on the individual’s signs and symptoms and local medical advice, involving parents in the conversation, as practical.

If necessary, BOLD & GOLD staff will initiate an evacuation of the trip and caregivers will be contacted to make arrangements for pick-up. All staff and participants will be encouraged to obtain a PCR test for Covid-19 and to notify BOLD & GOLD of the results

How will I be notified if there is a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19?

If a participant or staff member on a trip reports a positive Covid-19 test, we will notify all families on that trip by phone and email. If a participant or staff member who reports a positive Covid-19 test was at the BOLD & GOLD basecamp during your participant’s trip but, was not on the same trip as your participant, we will notify you by email.

Are staff prepared and trained to handle an outbreak of Covid-19?

The safety of participants is our highest concern. Travel in the outdoors always involves risk. The most important thing we do to mitigate risk in our programs is to be certain our instructors follow our safety policies and procedures.

In the event there is an emergency, we have developed an extensive Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that includes communication with land managers, such as the National Park Service, and provides support for all of our groups out in the field. All office staff and course instructors have been trained in the EAP. Course instructors are all certified in CPR and Wilderness First Aid.

Additionally, all BOLD & GOLD staff will participate in a training that reviews proper handwashing techniques, food handling, first aid/CPR considerations, and specific Covid-19 protocols.

Will BOLD & GOLD staff be vaccinated?

All YMCA of Greater Seattle staff are required to be fully vaccinated upon hire.

Who is guiding your health and safety plans?

We are being guided by federal, state, and local health officials and working in regular consultation with our partners at the American Camp Association, Y-USA, and National Parks to ensure that we have effective protocols in place to successfully run our programs.

Do you have additional resources and information for Covid-19?

During this pandemic, we want to remind everyone that a person’s ethnicity, language, or association with a country or region does not mean they carry the virus. Anyone can transmit or become infected. Let’s continue to support one another and avoid the spread of stigma, discrimination, and fear. Learn more here.

General recommendations from the Washington State Department of Health: ·

  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • If you are sick and wondering what to do, call your healthcare provider before you go to a clinic or emergency room.
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most closely impacted and anyone who might be sick. ·
  • Learn and be prepared: Visit the Washington State Department of Health resource page.

Additional resources: