A joyous Katie Griffith on a rock

We'd like to begin our October BOLD & GOLD update with a thank you to our trip leader alumna and former Newsletter author, Katie Griffith. Please join us in a collective round of applause to Katie, as she moves on from her work with BOLD & GOLD and continues to pursue her career in outdoor recreation with other awesome organizations like She Moves Mountains. We can't wait to see where you go and are forever grateful for the work you've done for our BOLD & GOLD Community Katie!

It took us a couple of months to regroup and plan for the future of our Newsletter, and during that time our sites were getting young people outside! Keep reading to hear news from the summer.


Y of the Pines Interns pose with BOLD & GOLD signs

Summer is the busiest time of year for our BOLD & GOLD Sites across the nation! Reporting from the field, National Expansion team member Barbie Nibur spent a day on-site at Y of the Pines, and here’s what summer staff and young people had to say about their experiences. 

Were there any highlights from your trip?  

  • “Ooo probably the view on the third night…seeing the sunrise was so worth it.” – Ariana, participant 
  • “Seeing rattlesnakes! There were over 20 in one spot. They looked so cool and it was really cool to see their tails rattle.” – Ariana, participant 
  • “Maybe the sunrise, the view was so so amazing” – Perla, participant 
  • “Moments of connection of care with the kids where like, you see them confront an uncomfortable situation, a fear, something they’ve never done before and you can see the uncertainty in their eyes. And then you get to step in and show them that they can do it. And then you see in real-time the relief and the belief in themselves wash over them and that, when that happens, it does the same exact thing for me and there’s a million moments like that I could list. When you get through the hardest day on trail and then you hit that point in the trip where you realize alright, this is in the bag we got this. Now it’s time to just enjoy the ride because we can do anything. That’s when it’s fun.” -- Ryan O, trip leader  

What’s one to three words you’d use to describe how you’re feeling now? 

  • “victorious, excited, so so tired” – Perla, participant  
  • “accomplished, sweaty, ready for pizza” – Ariana, participant 
  • “accomplished, tired, happy” – Karen, participant 
  • “exhausted, capable, fulfilled” – Ryan O, trip leader 
  • “Enlightening” -- Jackson, intern  
  • “Grateful” – Christa, trip leader 
  • “Curiosity & excited” – Michael, trip leader 

Do you have any advice for someone going on a BOLD & GOLD trip for the first time?  

  • Try to have the people with more experience take more weight. – Ariana, participant 
  • Bring less, less is more and stay motivated. Think about how you’re going to feel at the end! – Karen, participant  

How long have you been working with BOLD & GOLD? How’s it going so far?  

  • This is my first year working with BOLD & GOLD. I am absolutely in love with it. It’s exhausting. I literally can not tell you how crazy it is. At least once an hour when I’m on trail I stop myself and think “I can’t believe that this is what I get paid to do.” It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and it does feel like my total calling. I love it, as difficult as it is. – Ryan O, trip leader  

Do you have a way you decompress when you’re on trail?  

  • For me, I get a lot of wind in my sails from doing the solo time & mindfulness activities we do with the kids and I think those moments where we get to get to the top of a mountain and see the view, or like I love doing courage circle at the end of the night and getting to actually debrief and process our feelings is just as important for me as it is for the kids. At the end of the night being able to do rose, bud, thorn and talk about “whew this stuff was really hard, these moments were amazing, I’m looking forward to this tomorrow” actually does do a lot for me in terms of clearing that space and getting ready for the next day. – Ryan O, trip leader  

Do you have a favorite trail food or snack?  

  • My favorite trail meal is curried tofu & rice. And I’m GORP mania, I bring an extra gallon with me in my own personal snacks. Carbs all day long. – Ryan O, trip leader 
  • Maybe the pancakes. They were so delicious I loved them – Perla, participant  
  • Summer sausage – Ryan S, trip leader 
  • Biscoff butter – Peter, trip leader 

What was the song of the trip? 

  • Abiyoyo. One of the participants brought it out. It’s about a giant who comes into a village and he had heard it once or twice and was trying to reconstruct the words. I grew up listening to it and there’s a whole story. I think the animals were singing at one point in his version, it was awesome. – Peter, trip leader   
  • Me and Peter did a trip a few weeks ago and all week long there was this song from this show backyardigans and the song is called “castaways” and every single one of them knew all the words to it. And I had never heard it before but now its like stuck in my head all the time. – Ryan O, trip leader 
  • Party in the USA – Peter, trip leader   
  • This one on the bus on the way there was bohemian rhapsody – Ryan O, trip leader  
  • “Rattlesnake” by King Gizzard & the Wizard Lizard – Ryan O, trip leader

Anything else you want to share?  

  • The first night we went across the lake and sat on the dock and the fish were pecking at our feet. We were splashing around and throwing duckweed at each other. – Ariana, participant  
  • The skies and views were so worth it. Like, it’s a lot of ups and downs but it’s so worth it in my opinion. Even though we had varying experiences we all made it and it was good to work as a team especially like helping each other out. – Ariana, participant 
  • Yeah it was such a fun experience, especially with these girls. – Perla, participant  

If I ever get another tattoo it is going to say “this too shall pass”. It’s a powerful prompt that I repeat to myself often. While I like familiar routines, change also brings so much opportunity. I love the change of seasons and discovering new places. On the trail and in life there are uphills and downhills, beautiful vistas and buggy swamps and this reminder is a big part of why I love spending time outside. Every moment will pass – the only real question for me is how do we embrace the opportunity?


The Four Pivots (Shawn A. Ginwright, PHD)

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#ElTiny: The Best Latinx Tiny Desk Concerts, Vol. 1 (NPR Tiny Desk)

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