Boys and Girls Outdoor Leadership Development is an outdoor education program designed to develop cultural competency and leadership skills in young men and women through challenging outdoor activities. 

Our canoeing expeditions provide an opportunity for teens from different economic, ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds to build leadership, communication, and decision-making skills. We use the wilderness as our classroom, as participants:

  • Learn how to persevere and practice resilience in the face of challenge.
  • Develop emotional intelligence by practicing caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility in all their interactions with each group member.
  • Learn to work with peers of different backgrounds in an emotionally and physically safe environment.
  • Develop the multi-cultural leadership and communication skills needed to be successful in an increasingly globalized world.
  • Find personal success, be allies to others, be of service to their community, and feel needed and respected amongst their peers.

King Scholars

Successful completion of three years of summer BOLD or GOLD sessions, plus involvement in at least four weekend activities during the non-summer months will earn a participant the title of "King Scholar". The title "King Scholar" honors the commitment of the Peter J. King Foundation, whose commitment makes BOLD & GOLD possible. 

For more information about the King Scholars program, please contact Kurt Simer.

National BOLD & GOLD

BOLD & GOLD is a national YMCA program, with 30 different YMCA Associations across the country participating. The YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities is the second largest BOLD & GOLD program in the nation (behind Seattle), and our Director is a part of the 4 person National Leadership Team for BOLD & GOLD. We are proud to be a leader in creating equitable and inclusive wilderness adventures for teenagers. To learn more, please visit the national BOLD & GOLD website.