Are the trips single gender?

Yes, all summer BOLD & GOLD trips being offered are single gender. BOLD will be all male participants, and GOLD will be all female participants.  Check back often for new trips being added throughout the year, including BOLD & GOLD day trips and adventures – those will be co-ed BOLD & GOLD get-togethers, offering alumni and prospective participants the chance to get together and have fun.

Who are the counselors? 

Some of our BOLD & GOLD instructors will be familiar faces to our YMCA Camp Cherokee family, some will be new.  But rest assured that ALL of our BOLD & GOLD instructors have a lot of experience in outdoor leadership development, working with youth, and trail experience.  We will have Wilderness First Responder certified staff as well as Wilderness First Aid certified staff – we take wilderness safety seriously!

Where is the camp held? Where should we drop off our child/participant?

We will have drop-off and pick-up at Camp Cherokee, keep an eye on your email for an email full of information the week prior to the expedition. Make sure the email you have linked with your CampInTouch account is one you check often!

Do you have a daily agenda/format for the camp?  

A very rough outline of a typical day in a BOLD program will be: wake up, stretch, etc., breakfast, break down camp, pack backpacks, and hit the trail! While hiking we will stop periodically to rest, and while resting our instructors will teach a lesson (often participants don’t view it as a lesson, but more of a conversation!).  These lessons will range from how to purify water while backpacking, Leave No Trace principles – and how to follow them, all the way to what it is to be a multi-cultural leader and what leadership looks like, feels like, and sounds like. Students will enjoy a trail lunch, and continue the day. After making camp (usually around 3pm or 4pm) participants will get some free time, opportunity to journal about the day and experiences so far, and just RELAX after a hard day of hiking. Then they will cook dinner – by the end of the trip participants have a great grasp, and ability, to cook outdoors. We will do an evening activity and each day will close with a Courage Circle, this is often a time for reflection as well as introspection.

How long has this program been going on?  We haven’t heard of it before! 

The summer of 2016 was Camp Cherokee’s first time offering BOLD & GOLD, which is very exciting.  The program itself is closer to 10 years old, however. It originated in the Seattle Y, and is currently going through a National Expansion; Camp Cherokee was very proud to be the 11th YMCA to be offering the program.  By the end of 2016 that will have grown to 20 YMCA’s running BOLD & GOLD!  Here is a great video depicting what a BOLD expedition is like! This video was made by the Seattle Y, and really captures the diversity of the program, as well as the journey that is taken by each participant.

Our child has never (backpacked, set up a tent, climbed, gone rafting, etc).  Is there a certain level of expertise?

No experience needed! But do check out the Trip Tip’s page to be sure you child is ready for their adventure.

Where will they be white water rafting? What class rapids? 

We are planning on rafting on the New River in West Virginia, a beautiful river to paddle. Rapids will be class II-IV.

Do you have a brochure?  

Yes, we do! Contact the Director of Outdoor Leadership Development, Nell Pears, to acquire some.

Have a question that isn’t on this list?

Please feel free to contact Nell Pears at 803.222.2850 or email her with any additional questions or concerns.