YAS serves Whatcom County middle schools 

Y Adventure School (YAS) is designed to provide a unique educational experience. YAS will
use challenging outdoor adventure sports as a medium to build many developmental assets,
which are found in healthy adolescents.

1. For Students to work as a team for a common goal.
2. To build interpersonal communication skills.
3. Gain self-confidence through success.
4. Have a positive social experience with peers and adults.
5. To learn positive behaviors that will encourage leadership for life
6. To learn to accept and take on challenges in life as an opportunity

This short-term adventure based program takes place off campus. The program facilitates
eight to twelve middle school students from Whatcom County. The program is designed to
affect these students by building their self-esteem, and re-igniting their enthusiasm for
learning, school, and personal achievement. This non-traditional learning experience encourages empathy, leadership, positive choices and dissuades teens from negative behaviors such as bullying.


The individual schools coordinate with YMCA Teen Development Coordinator to choose session dates. The school will then identify/nominate 10-12 participants for this program. A school staff member or school volunteer will be present for the duration of the program in conjunction with YMCA staff.

YAS programming and schedule is adaptable to meet the demands of each school. YAS is a three-day program that runs during the school day. Each session runs
one day a week for three weeks. Each day is filled with activities and challenges. Activities
are followed by a debrief session, where students discuss, group and individual challenges
and successes and how these can in turn be transferred back to the classroom. The
students are picked up at their school in the mornings and brought back by schools end.

• Day one:  is at the YMCA. The ideas of teamwork, challenges, and communication
are introduced. Students are presented with a difficult group challenge in the
morning that allows them to see the importance of positive group dynamics and
good communication. The afternoon is spent using the medium of rock climbing as
a way to build communication and trust among students.
• Day two: is an outdoor activity day. Activities range from hiking, snowshoeing)
outdoor rock climbing, kayaking (depending on the time of year and school
preference. This day focuses on leadership, personal challenge, team building,
achievement, a sense of wonder and support.
• Day three: is at the YMCA and at a field site. The day is focused on students bringing together all the skills they have learned. Students use effective communication, trust, critical thinking, positive support, positive thinking and leadership to complete their final challenge activities. Options available for community service or opportunities building relationships with our community in a positive way.

If you are interested in bringing YAS to your school, please contact Jessie Collins, Youth Development Coordinator .