Boys & Girls Outdoor Leadership Development is a wilderness experiential education program designed to develop multi-cultural leadership skills in young men and women through challenging outdoor activities. A desire to have fun and challenge yourself in spirit, mind and body is required! No outdoor experience or equipment is necessary.

The primary goal of BOLD/GOLD is to reduce and remove barriers for all youth and teens, regardless of experience, ethnicity or socio-economic status, to enjoy access to the outdoors through wilderness adventure and to build leadership values and skills.

Deep Friendships and Diverse Groups

Who comes on a BOLD & GOLD trip? A single group can be a mosaic of amazing kids with diversity of viewpoints, backgrounds, and life experiences. This intentional mix of participants creates opportunities for students from different backgrounds to experience shared, challenging outdoor activities while learning how to build team leadership skills as well as self-confidence and community-awareness. Working with others who are different from you stretches our participants' learning, and inspires them to be a bridge builder in today’s multicultural world while making lifelong friendships!

Epic Adventures with Amazing Leaders

BOLD & GOLD adventures give youth the opportunity to explore the beauty of nature, face challenges, try new things, and most importantly be their own unique self. On a YMCA Blue Ridge BOLD & GOLD trip you will find yourself exploring the wilderness through a variety of exciting and fun activities including backpacking, rock climbing, rafting, art, yoga, back country cooking, music, creative writing, and/or a service project at a local farm.

Join us to explore some of the most beautiful locations in Western North Carolina. You will sleep beneath the stars, explore the beauty of the natural resources, and discover the magic of waterfalls in Pisgah and Nantahala Forests.

Regardless of what trip you sign up for, you will be led by our outstanding wilderness instructors.

What Leadership Means on a BOLD & GOLD Trip

While navigating the challenges of travel in the wilderness, our participants get to see what they are truly capable of. We help our youth become multicultural leaders by combining their own unique self and skills with our programs areas of focus:

  • Confidence - Build confidence and self-worth by mastering skills, achieving goals, and creating positive relationships.
  • Courage - Develop and act with courage to empower and create a sense of resiliency to overcome life’s challenges.
  • Community Awareness - Learn to respect others and create an environment where all feel valued for their unique perspective and contribution.
  • Emotional Intelligence - Develop empathy, increase self-awareness, and create a stronger relationship with others
  • Wonder - Have fun, learn to marvel at nature, and understand a sense of curiosity benefits us and those around us.

What to Bring

We are proud to be able to provide all the essential gear to participants for our BOLD & GOLD trips.  However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment instead.  Just be sure to check out our packing list to ensure you have everything you’ll need.

You Make It Possible!

Our program removes the financial barriers that prevent many from experiencing the outdoors. We provide youth who would otherwise not have access to the outdoors these opportunities through YOUR generous donations to our Annual Campaign.

Want more information?

For pricing, trip dates, and additional information contact Justin Kotzmoyer at 828-210-8454 or



At Blue Ridge, we impact lives for a lifetime.