Youth LEAD

What We Do 

ETC’s Youth LEAD Program provides life-changing outdoor experiences for diverse groups of youth from the San Francisco Bay Area. Youth LEAD offers immersive multi-week summer wilderness courses and a school-year long intern program for summer course alumni. Participants develop leadership skills; learn about local ecosystems and environmental justice issues; and gain expertise in sea kayaking, rafting, and backpacking. They experience the joy and challenge of the outdoors and build lasting connections with a larger community of ETC youth, volunteer guides, and staff. ETC’s Youth LEAD Program creates a vibrant community of confident, compassionate and environmentally-savvy young leaders, equipped with essential life and leadership skills. 

About Our Summer Courses 

During ETC's summer courses, students backpack, raft, and/or sea kayak along a California watershed, learning about our precious natural resources and developing outdoor ethics. Students build leadership skills by working together as a team and taking responsibility for expedition success, developing communication and decision-making skills, increasing their self-awareness, and translating goals and plans into action. Students step out of their comfort zones and build technical skills and competence in new and exciting outdoor disciplines, while expanding their confidence and sense of their own capability. In an inclusive and supportive learning environment, participants are able to try new things, learn from mistakes, and build lifelong friendships. 




14-DAY YOUNG WOMEN'S ADVENTURE‚Äč Full Course Cost: $2,200 - Sat, June 17th- Sun, June 30th 2018
21-DAY YOUNG WOMEN'S ADVENTURE Full Course Cost: $3,400 - Sun, June 24th- Sat, July 14th 2018

21-DAY SEA-TO-SOURCE CO-ED ADVENTURE Full Course Cost: $3,400 - Sun, July 15th- Sat, August 4th 2018
15-DAY ACCESS TO ADVENTURE Full Course Cost: $2,200 - Sat, July 28th- Sat, August 11th 2018

How To Apply for Summer Courses





Fellowship Program

ETC offers a school-year long internship program for alumni of ETC's Youth LEAD summer program. The Fellowship program is an opportunity for youth to further develop their leadership skills through workshops, activities, and real practice as a Sea Kayak Assistant Guide. All of the activities take place outdoors in the beautiful parks, preserves, and open waters of the greater Bay Area. In addition to leadership skills development, we study the marine and coastal ecosystems we are traveling through, learn more about the history of the Bay Area, and build lasting connections with the small cohort of Fellowship participants and the larger ETC community. 








Learn more and Apply now for the Youth LEAD Fellowship program (for youth, ages 14-18)


More Opportunities after

Youth LEAD

After our summer courses, and the YLP Fellowship, ETC offers unique opportunities for alumni to stay connected to the wilderness and continue to build leadership skills through:


Volunteers are the heart and soul of ETC, and represent diverse cultures, ages, occupations, and abilities. We provide expert training in wilderness skills, first aid, disability / diversity awareness, and environmental education.


ETC is always seeking dedicated and talented people to join our community. We are an equal opportunity employer. We offer seasonal opportunites in each of our adventure programs, as well as paid field internships.

To sign up for a Youth LEAD Summer Course, the Fellowship program, or to ask any questions, please contact Alicia Thompson, the Youth LEAD Program Manager, at:






Keeping the great outdoors open to all.