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Leadership. Community. Expedition.

BOLD GOLD is an outdoor leadership development program that provides young people with a wilderness experience, partnered with an intentional curriculum on leadership development, cultural competency, and community building.

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

Program Details

What to Expect

Here in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin, we operate canoeing and rock climbing trips for youth ages 11-18. We run out of four camps — two closer to the Twin Cities (Camps Ihduhapi and St. Croix) and two in northern Minnesota (Camps Widjiwagan and Menogyn).

Canoeing trips operated by Camp St. Croix and Camp Ihduhapi canoe on the St. Croix River. Trips operated by Camp Widjiwagan and Camp Menogyn canoe in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Our BOLD GOLD trips are unique from other tripping opportunities, as we intentionally engage youth in a curriculum focused on leadership development, cultural competency, and community building.  

Tiered Trip System
  • Tier One trips are typically for younger youth who want a shorter tripping experience. Tier one trips usually run two nights tenting on the trail, with the rest of the time spent in camp prepping for the trip or closing out a group's time together.
  • Tier Two trips are longer for youth interested in spending more time on the trail.
  • Tier Three trips are for youth who want a long wilderness expedition, where you can build on skills and curriculum learned during shorter trip experiences.
Participant Benefits
  • Learn how to persevere and practice resilience in the face of challenges.
  • Develop emotional intelligence by practicing caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, and equity 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 multicultural leadership and communication skills needed to be successful in an increasingly globalized world.
  • Find personal success, ally with others, serve their community, and feel needed and respected amongst their peers.

Registration Options

Learn more about program details, including dates, rates, and transportation.

Available At

BOLD GOLD programming is offered at the following locations.


Grand Marais, MN


Hudson, WI


New Market Township, MN


Program History

"In 1996, Jane Bierman‐Siebel and Annie Lareau, two young educators, met on a whale-watching voyage and realized they shared a passion for female empowerment and a common concern for the growing troubles facing young women in their communities."

Gender Inclusivity

We want to make sure that we are providing safe spaces for all youth to thrive in our programming.

Our boys' trips are open to male-identifying participants and non-binary participants that would prefer a male-identifying trip, and our girls' trips are open to female-identifying participants and non-binary participants that would prefer a female-identifying trip.

If you have any questions about which trip may be the best fit for your child, please connect with us.


The YMCA's BOLD GOLD program, operating at YMCA Camp Widjiwagan and YMCA Camp Menogyn, hires 16-18-year-old Wilderness Interns. The Internship Program further allows young leaders to develop their wilderness, leadership, interpersonal, and intercultural skills.

The YMCA's BOLD GOLD program allows young leaders to develop their wilderness, leadership, interpersonal, and intercultural skills further.
King Scholars

The title "King Scholar" honors the Peter J. King Foundation's commitment, which makes BOLD GOLD possible.

Our Team

As leaders and friends, our team embodies the YMCA values of equity, honesty, respect, and responsibility.


Funding for this project was provided by the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR).

Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
Partnership Opportunities

Are you a part of an organization that may be interested in sending youth on a trip, either as individuals, or as a group? We would love to work with you to craft a partnership between BOLD GOLD and your organization!

If you have questions or ideas, please connect with us.

National BOLD GOLD

BOLD GOLD is a national YMCA program, with 30 different YMCA Associations across the country participating. YMCA of the North is the second largest BOLD GOLD program (behind Seattle), and our Director is a part of the four-person National Leadership Team. We are proud to be a leader in creating equitable and inclusive wilderness adventures for teenagers.

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Two young ladies at a climbing course

Making adventure more accessible

Everyone deserves access to programs and services that help them reach their full potential. That's why we offer need-based financial assistance to help people participate in our programs regardless of their income.

Here to Help

Have a question or need assistance?

Our customer service team is always happy to help.