We noticed there are few sessions for Summer 2016?

As of right now we are only offering a handful of trips; we knew we wanted to run three trips, and had the hard decision as to which had two trips – BOLD or GOLD.  If there is an overwhelming response to the new program a fourth trip (a second BOLD expedition) is not out of the question.

Are the trips single gender?

Yes, all current 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 often be co-ed BOLD & GOLD get-togethers, offering alumni and prospective students the chance to get together and have fun.

Who are the counselors? 

We are currently interviewing some really incredible candidates to lead our BOLD & GOLD expeditions.  Our BOLD & GOLD instructors will all have 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 the same time/days as Traditional Camp – that side of things will look very similar to you as guardians as it has in the past if your child has come to traditional camp at YMCA Camp Cherokee.

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! 

This will be the first summer of offering BOLD & GOLD at Camp Cherokee, 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 is very proud to be the 11th YMCA to be offering the program.  By the end of 2016 that will grow 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?  

We are in the process of making print materials! In the meantime here is a Prezi that gives some more information about the goals of the program, the mission statements, as well as a description of what a typical day will look like for participants in a BOLD or GOLD program.

Have a question that isn’t on this list?

Please feel free to contact Nell Davis at 803.222.2850 or nellicadavis@upymca.org with any additional questions or concerns.