Developing Outdoor Leadership in Boys and Girls


A Y-USA Initiative: Boys/Girls Outdoor Leadership Development

The mission of our BOLD/GOLD Ranger program is to create a world where all young people have the emotional intelligence, courage and compassion to be positive multicultural leaders in their communities. More than ever, these qualities are becoming key character attributes for our youth to take into their adulthood.

The Ranger programs are for campers ages 12 and up who are ready to take on the challenge of an exciting wilderness adventure, to make new friends and to have fun in a dynamic and safe off-premise environment. Two trips are led by our experienced Ranger Directors who hold certifications in Wilderness First Aid, CPR for the Professional Rescuer and Lifeguarding. Each trip travels with GPS units so parents are able to track the daily progress of their camper. New this year are three unique one-week trips, each designed to serve as an introduction to outdoor adventuring and leadership to prepare younger campers for two-week trips in the future.

As part of this state-of-the-art leadership program, we focus on five core competencies that we strive to instill in all of the BOLD/GOLD Rangers.


BOLD/GOLD Campers build confidence and self-worth by mastering skills, achieving goals and creating positive relationships. Confidence helps people resist peer pressure and persist in the face of setbacks. Confident people are healthier, more likely to follow their dreams, and have better relationships than those who lack confidence.


BOLD/GOLD Campers learn to develop and act with courage, which is empowering and creates a sense of resiliency. Resiliency is the ability to overcome challenges and bounce back stronger, wiser and more personally powerful. In the BOLD/GOLD program, resiliency means a tolerance for adversity. Resilient people are better at solving problems, better at managing strong feelings and impulses and happier than those without a sense of resiliency.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence helps BOLD/GOLD campers develop empathy, be self-aware and create stronger relationships with others. Emotional intelligence is an important part of creating positive relationships and an essential aspect of leadership.

Community Awareness

Building a strong, diverse and supportive community is an important part of the BOLD/GOLD program, with its emphasis on respect and creating an environment in which all individuals feel valued for their unique perspective and contribution.


Having fun, learning to marvel at nature and feeling a sense of curiosity benefits BOLD/GOLD campers and those around them. Respect for the natural environment and for individual creative expression comes out of this sense of wonder.

All of these core competencies, when intentionally developed in youth, contribute to their sense of well-being by fostering achievement, relationships and belonging. (YMCA of the USA (Y-USA) research has shown that achievement, relationships and belonging are the high-priority outcomes the Y can positively impact in youth, as we seek to nurture the potential of every child and teen.)

By using tools such as emotional and physical safety, emotional and physical challenge, framing, reflection and power sharing, we can ensure that every camper that joins us on a BOLD/GOLD Ranger trip is leaving as a well-rounded community leader.

BOLD/GOLD Ranger Trips

Pack & Peaks

Strap your boots on and get ready for a 1-week trip on the Loyalsock Trail in Pennsylvania. This 3-day hiking trip is a great introduction into the wonderful world of wilderness. Available to all 12-13 year olds, our Packs & Peaks trip is a fantastic outdoor experience for any camper interested in trying longer trips in the future.

Reels & Rivers

Nothing beats a day on the river with your fishing rod. Except maybe 3 days on the river! Get your fishing gear together and join us on this 1-week fishing and canoeing trip along the beautiful Allegheny River in Pennsylvania. This trip is available to all 13-14 year olds looking to have a FINtastic summer.

Service Trip

Ready to make the world a better place, starting right in your own backyard? All high schoolers are invited to join us for a week of giving back to our local community, including working with Habitat for Humanity, local food pantries and homeless shelters. Spend part of your summer doing something for others. It will change your world – and the lives of many others.

A big part of making sure this program has a lasting impact in our communities is through partnering with other organizations and people who care about this mission. Our goal is to ensure that BOLD/GOLD becomes a staple program here at YMCA Camp Ockanickon, Inc. and we need your help! Whether it is a specific donation to the BOLD/GOLD program, or just dropping off that head lamp that you no longer use, it all adds up. If you would like to learn more about the program, know a teen that you think would do well in the program, or are interested in donating gear you no longer use, please contact Dave Kaubin at