Wilderness Expeditions for Ages 11-17
BOLD & GOLD Outdoor Leadership Development
Through wilderness adventure trips, young people are given opportunities to grow in courage, confidence, community awareness, emotional intelligence, and wonder – essential life skills that equip them to be leaders in their own communities – all while having fun, exploring new places, and making new friends!
YMCA of the Pines is part of the nationwide YMCA BOLD & GOLD movement.
All trips go off-site and participants sleep in tents the entire time.
2023 Summer BOLD & GOLD Trips
We offer both single gender and all gender trips. Please see categories below for details.
Single Gender Boys and Girls Trips:
Adventure Sampler – Camping, Canoeing, Hiking, Climbing
Ages 13 to 15: Sunday, June 25 – Friday, June 30
Ages 11 to 13: Sunday, July 9 – Friday, July 14 and Sunday August 20 – Friday, August 25
Experience a thrilling week full of adventure on our introductory trip! The first day, we’ll experience some of the most challenging and fun activities camp has to offer, like climbing, canoeing, and survival skills. The adventure will continue off camp when we travel to beautiful Stokes State Forest to set up camp and explore more remote hiking trails together. The 13-15 year-old groups will work their way up to an amazing overnight backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. The 11-13 year-old groups will make base camps and venture from there. This is a fantastic introduction to wilderness trips and perfect for those aspiring to conquer longer trips in the future!
Castaways – Canoeing and Fishing
Ages 12 to 14: Sunday, June 25 – Saturday, July 1
Embark on a canoeing and fishing odyssey! We’ll spend the first day at camp practicing our paddling skills, learning proper fishing techniques and packing our dry bags. The next morning, our teams will head out to the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania where our journey will begin! We’ll spend six days paddling on the river, taking breaks to cast our reels, relax, and take in the gorgeous mountain and farmland scenery. We’ll keep our eyes open for beavers, otters, hawks and eagles! After catching (and releasing) smallmouth bass, catfish, carp, and other fish, we’ll spend our nights camping on river islands where we’ll practice outdoor living skills and bond with our trip mates. If you’re just in for the paddling and not that into fishing, this trip is for you, too! The itinerary is challenging but suitable for those new to adventuring in the outdoors, and is a great opportunity for beginner paddlers!
Trailblazers – Hiking
Ages 13 to 15: Sunday, July 23 – Saturday, July 29
Explore the legendary and majestic Old Loggers Path in the hills of Pennsylvania! We’ll start our journey in an old ghost town and head out on an amazing 27 mile journey through an incredibly scenic forest with rushing rivers and summit views. We’ll spend the first full day and night packing and preparing at base camp before heading out to put our knowledge to the test on the trail. We will spend the rest of the week hiking and camping on the trail. We’ll have a blast making new friends as we learn and lead together in a beautiful environment. The itinerary is challenging but doable for those new to adventuring in the outdoors- we do recommend that participants are in good physical condition for this trip.
Shenandoah National Park – Hiking and Climbing
Ages 14 to 17: Sunday, August 6 – Saturday, August 12
Go backpacking and rock climbing in Shenandoah National Park! We will take a road trip to hike and climb together in some of the best wilderness areas that Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer. We’ll enjoy spectacular vistas, wildflowers, and rushing waterfalls along the journey while strengthening our leadership skills. The itinerary is challenging but doable for those new to adventuring in the outdoors- we do recommend that participants are in good physical condition for this trip.
Susquehanna River – Canoeing and Conservation
Ages 14 to 17: Sunday, August 20 – Saturday, August 26
We will head into Pennsylvania to canoe the Susquehanna River, learning about the ecosystem of the watershed and contributing to its health while going with the flow! Our conservation work will be based on the needs at the time, and can count as service hours if needed. We will get to experience the serenity of the river environment each day, and keep our eyes open for beavers, otters, hawks and eagles along our journey together! The itinerary is challenging but suitable for those new to adventuring in the outdoors or beginner paddlers.
All Gender Trips:
Ages 14 to 17: Sunday, August 6 – Saturday, August 12
This could be the highlight of your summer! Embrace the physical and mental challenges along with all of the beauty and wonder that the Delaware Water Gap has to offer. Build courage, confidence, and genuine friendships as you take on opportunities to lead and support your team. At the end of each day, your hard work will be rewarded with stunning sunsets and incredible views!
Choose to travel either by land or river:
Appalachian Trail- Hiking
We will backpack through a beautiful section of the Appalachian Trail. We’ll carry everything we need to thrive in expedition backpacks for the week as we hike along this historic route. The itinerary is challenging but doable for those new to adventuring in the outdoors- we do recommend that participants are in good physical condition for this trip.
Delaware River – Canoeing
We will paddle through the scenic Delaware River National Recreation area. We’ll carry all of our camping gear in the canoes and haul it up to our new campsites each night. The itinerary is challenging but suitable for those new to adventuring in the outdoors.
- 7 Day/6 night Summer in Shenandoah National Park – Tier A: $1350 – Tier B: $1270 – Tier C: $1185
- All other 7 Day/6 night Summer trips – Tier A: $1050 – Tier B: $970 – Tier C: $885
- 6 Day/5 night Adventure Sampler – Tier A: $990 – Tier B: $925 – Tier C: $850
* The tiered pricing system is an “honor system” designed to make the program more affordable and accessible. Tiers B and C are below the true cost of the program, so we ask that all families who can afford to pay Tier A please do so. All chosen tiers are confidential and all participants receive the same great experience regardless of tiers. Everyone is welcome in the BOLD & GOLD community and inclusivity is at the heart of the program. Please ask about financial aid options if you need further assistance.