Join us for an authentic adventure in the Pacific Northwest designed for current 6th-8th graders. Northwest Connect is a balanced travel experience that combines must-see touring, active outdoor adventures, meaningful Jewish experiences, and a unique opportunity to forge friendships as part of a close-knit group. No need to fly half-way around the world to experience a truly memorable summer on Northwest Connect.
- The Must-Sees and the Hidden Gems
Northwest Connect covers all of the must see highlights of the Pacific Northwest — Pike Place Market, rafting the Columbia River Gorge, the Boeing Factory, Ballard Locks, Mt. St. Helens, and the Seattle Space Needle. We also make time for more off-the-beaten path experiences like kayaking in Puget Sound, relaxing in a natural hot spring, exploring the rugged beaches of the northern Pacific, and experiencing a Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.
- Once-in-a-Lifetime Outdoor Adventures
Northwest Connect is also about the lush beauty of America's national parks. Hike on a glacier in Mt. Ranier, explore the rainforests of Olympic National Park, look out across Crater Lake in Oregon, and walk in the shadow of giants in Redwood National Park. See a side of nature that you have only dreamed about, and challenge yourself along the way.
- Living Jewish Values
As a BBYO Passport experience, Northwest Connect is also an opportunity to explore your Jewish identity in a new context. Take part in rewarding service projects, bond with fellow Jewish teens from a range of backgrounds, and celebrate Shabbat with the local community of Ashland, Oregon.
- An Introduction to College Life
Participants on Northwest Connect spend part of the program based on the picturesque college campuses of the University of Washington, Portland State University, Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and the University of California, Berkeley. Staying in college dormitories is a wonderful introduction to university living and is a great base for our travels.
- Explore Seattle, Portland, Ashland, Northern California and the Bay Area
- Soak in the Sol Duc Hot Springs, hike to the edge of Hurricane Ridge, and relax along the rugged beaches of Olympic National Park
- Hike on a snowy glacier atop Mt. Rainier in the middle of the summer
- Raft down the Columbia River Gorge and kayak on Puget Sound
- Step back in time at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, shop at Pike Place Market in Seattle, and visit the original Starbucks
- Walk through a redwood tree in Northern California and explore Mendocino on the Pacific Coast
- Learn about social change at the Gates Foundation and tour the headquarters of Boeing
- Give back on a series of local service and conservation projects
- Get an introduction to college campus life living in the dorms at the University of Washington, Southern Oregon University, Portland University and the University of California, Berkeley
- Celebrate Shabbat in Seattle, Washington and Ashland, Oregon
A sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.
WEEK #1 | Seattle, Mt. Rainier & Olympic National Park
Northwest Connect kicks off in Seattle where we explore Pike Place Market, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Boeing airplane assembly headquarter, the Chihuly Gardens and the iconic Seattle Space Needle. Seattle is also our base for day trips to Mt. Rainier, kayaking in Puget Sound, and watching the salmon run at Ballard Locks. After a relaxing Shabbat on the University of Washington campus, we travel to Olympic National Park to explore its rainforests, rugged coastlines, and natural hot springs of America's far northwestern tip.
WEEK #2 | Portland, Ashland & Northern California
Head due south to Oregon, passing by the remains of volcanic Mt. St. Helens en route. In Oregon we explore Portland, raft down the Columbia River Gorge, look out across stunning Crater Lake, and spend a memorable Shabbat in quaint Ashland, Oregon — where we take part in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Northwest Connect caps off in Northern California, hiking through redwood forests, paddling up a tidal river, visiting beautiful Mendocino, and traveling down the coastline all the way to San Francisco.
Is Northwestern Connect right for my teen?
This experience is perfect for any Jewish teen in 6th-8th grade with a spirit for adventure around the American West. Northwestern Connect provides an opportunity for teens to discover the great outdoors, while also exploring their Jewish identity and college life along the way.
Are scholarships available for Northwestern Connect?
Yes, BBYO Passport is proud to partner with One Happy Camper to provide teens up to $1,000 off our U.S. based trips for their first summer at a Jewish overnight camp. Please view this list for qualifying communities, age requirements and contact information at the Eligibility Page.
Where will my teen stay on Northwestern Connect?
On this trip we will stay in several different kinds of lodgings, ranging from a 3 star hotel to college dormitories.
What is the weather like throughout this experience?
Temperatures range from hot to hotter during a summer in the American West. Daytime temperatures range from the 80’s to 100’s. The clothing that you pack should be light weight and comfortable in hot temperatures. Whenever we plan to be outside for an extended period of time, participants will be required to have a hat, a shirt with sleeves, sunscreen and water. These rules are strictly enforced because over exposure to the sun can cause heatstroke, dehydration and sunburns. The good news is that the heat is mostly dry – there is very little humidity. So the higher temperatures may feel more comfortable than what you are used to at home.
For more information, check out our general FAQs.
Sign-on for a full summer of eye-opening travel. Northwest Connect can be combined seamlessly with Southwest Connect for a four-week travel experience from Seattle to Phoenix.
Go on breathtaking hikes, explore new cities, give back on local service projects, and bond with new friends on the ultimate Western USA road trip. Learn More: Pacific Connect
Trip connections are always supervised and all-inclusive.