Pacific Connect

  • Join us for an authentic adventure in the great American West designed for current 6th-8th graders. Pacific 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 Pacific Connect.

    • The Must-Sees and the Hidden Gems
      Pacific Connect covers all of the major destinations from the far north to the far south of the American West. Explore Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Sedona, and the many national parks along the way. We visit world renown sites like the Microsoft Campus, Puget Sound, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Crater Lake. We also make time for more off-the-beaten path experiences like kayaking on Lake Tahoe and staying at a dude-ranch in Utah.
    • Once-in-a-Lifetime Outdoor Adventures
      Pacific Connect is also about the wide open spaces and stunning national park's of the American West. Live the great outdoors by hiking on a glacier in Mt. Ranier, exploring the rainforests of Olympic National Park, walking in the shadow of giants in Redwood National Park, climbing to the base of Half Dome in Yosemite, descending deep into the Grand Canyon, and ascending to the towering peak of Angels Landing in Zion 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, Pacific 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 at the University of Washington, on a dude ranch in Utah and with the local Jewish communities of Ashland, Oregon and Berkeley, California.
    • An Introduction to College Life
      Participants on Pacific Connect spend part of the program based on the picturesque college campuses of the University of Washington, 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. 

    • Visit cities including Seattle, Portland, Ashland, San Francisco, Sedona, and Phoenix
    • Explore national parks that include Olympic, Mt. Rainier, Crater Lake, Redwood, Yosemite, Zion and Grand Canyon
    • Hike on a snowy glacier atop Mt. Rainier and relax in a natural hot spring in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
    • Raft down the Columbia River Gorge, kayak on Lake Tahoe, and enjoy the rugged Pacific Coast beaches of the Northwest
    • Step back in time at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, shop at Pike Place Market in Seattle, and explore Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco
    • Tour the innovation headquarters of Microsoft and Boeing
    • Walk through a redwood tree, learn how to pan for gold, and experience life on an Indian Reservation
    • Learn about social change at the Gates Foundation and take part in a series of service and conservation projects
    • Celebrate Shabbat at the University of Washington, on a dude ranch in Utah, and with the Jewish communities of Ashland, Oregon and Berkeley, California
    • Get an introduction to college campus life living in the dorms at the University of Washington, Southern Oregon University, and Berkeley

  • A sample itinerary is available for an even fuller sense of the experience.

    WEEK #1 | Seattle, Mt. Rainier & Olympic National Park

    Pacific Connect starts in Seattle where we explore Pike Place Market, the Microsoft Campus, 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, and kayaking in Puget Sound. 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.

    WEEK #2 | Portland, Ashland & Northern California

    In week two we travel southwards to Oregon, stopping at Mt. St. Helens en route. In Oregon we explore Portland, raft down the Columbia River Gorge, take in the views at 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, learning about salmon conservation efforts, and traveling down the coastline all the way to San Francisco.

    WEEK #3 | Yosemite, Tahoe & the Bay Area

    Our third week starts in the San Francisco where we visit all of the highlights in the city and around the Bay Area — capped off by a Shabbat on the camps of UC Berkeley. From the Bay Area we climb into the Sierra-Nevada Mountains to explore Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park's Half Dome. Along the way, we learn how to pan for gold and even make a visit to the Jelly Belly Factory.

    WEEK #4 | Zion, Bryce & Grand Canyon National Park 

    In our final week together, we travel to the canyons lands of the southwest — exploring Bryce, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Park. Our final Shabbat is a rewarding one, at the Ponderosa Ranch in Southern Utah. Our journey concludes at the red rocks of Sedona, rafting down the Salt River, and a final celebration in Phoenix.

  • Is Pacific 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. Pacific 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 Pacific 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 Pacific 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. This experience is the seamless combination of Northwest Connect and Southwest Connect.