The Golden Youth Award Camp 2019

The 12th Golden Youth Award Camp

14th July 2019

(From Left is the 12th Golden Youth Award Camp winner, Ms.Palden Tshering Yangchen, next is Mr.Sonam Tenzin Wangchuk and His Honourable Prime Minister, Dr.Lotay Tshering, from right is Ms.Sonam Tshomo and Ms.Tshering Yangchen Lhamo.)

The ten days of GYA program came to a successful happy ending on the 14th of July after Ms.Palden Tshering Yangchen of Drukgyel Central School, Paro was crowned as the 12th Golden Youth Award winner.

 From the total of 80 participants, Mr. Sonam Tenzin Wangchuk from ELC High school, Thimphu took away the first runner-up title,  Ms.Tshering Yangchen Lhamo of Samtse High school took the Second runner-up title, Ms.Sonam Tshomo of Jakar High school, Bumthang took the third runner-up title and the Mengom Leksho (Participant’s choice) entitlement was taken by Mr.Pema Sherab, Bitekha Middle Secondary School, Paro.

The Golden Youth Award Camp has always been a reunification of the participants coming from all corners of the nation gleaming under the one roof in advocating the importance of youth in the society and celebrating young and vibrant age of the human race. Each participant takes home not just the best memories of their life but also all those enriching experiences and knowledge learned from one another. Each participant joined the camp with the individual share of stories and expectation from the camp which taught the young minds that ‘somethings in life are worth waiting for and sharing has never made anyone poor’.

This year the camp functioned with the theme Selwai Melong– The Mirror of Clarity asking are children and youth manifestations of our making? Are they imitating us? What does the mirror of clarity reveal?

To sum up, the 12th GYA theme is a pledge of both youth and adults to be leaders and mentors for the current and future generations of Bhutan.

The GYA camp was started on 4th of July – 14th July with 8 escort teachers and 45 volunteers.The closing ceremony was graced by the Honorable Prime Minister, Dr.Lotay Tshering.YDF would like to thank our partners, supporters, volunteers(Y-VIAs & YDF Scholarship Alumni) and well-wishers for their continued support and time.


Here is a camp impression written by Mr.Sonam Tenzin Wangchuk of ELC school sharing his experiences of the 12th GYA camp during the closing event.

Camp Impressions

” Kuzuzangpola,

Honorable Prime Minister, your Excellencies, esteemed guests, proud parents and principals, and of course, all my dear friends from the Golden Youth Award Camp 2019. I, Sonam Tenzin Wangchuk of ELC High school, one of the nominees from Thimphu Dzongkhag, am both humbled and honored to be given the opportunity to present the camp impressions during this prestigious event.

Let us begin, at the very beginning. The first day was one filled with mystery and apprehension. I for one was quite nervous, which was justified as we were soon going to see a lot of new places and a lot of new faces. We arrived late under a garden of stars at Tsheluna on the 4th of July, and then it all began.

We were greeted with warm smiles and delicious food and received a quick introductory presentation after which we moved to our dorms and slept the first night away.

For the next three days to follow, we were greeting our mornings with an hour of exercise and intensive yoga. We spent the rest of the day in interactive and engaging workshop sessions centered on finding happiness through self-exploration and spiritual development. The workshop focused on what it means to be human and helped us understand our own minds working a little better.

 A particularly memorable event was the “silent journey”. It was an experience filled with a bombardment of emotions that were often conflicting. It was an hour long walk through 5 rooms, each evoking a different emotion buried deep within us. The white room was arguably the most impactful, with its façade of purity and innocence. It showed the extent of destruction that mankind can cause through its greed, the injustice that we can shower upon the world. It was truly an unforgettable experience that helped us permanently see the world from a new perspective.

And then by the dawn of the 7th, the real “competition” began. But having been slightly enlightened by the workshop, we were not nervous for the competition, rather we were excited to strive for excellence, together.

The first day was quite tame compared to the pandemonium that would shortly follow. We had a comprehensive orientation in the morning followed by a tour of Thimphu City in the afternoon. We visited the Bhutan Shooting Federation, the Bhutan Archery Federation and the innovation center, FABLAB.

The next three days revolved around competitions of literature, sportsmanship and talent respectively. They were all filled to the brim with educational values and were just the right kind of exhausting. From extempore speeches and endurance runs to archery, shooting and a grand talent show, it was mesmerizing experience of holistic development in an individual.

Then we had a treasure hunt testing our group coordination and analytical reasoning. It was a one-of-a-kind adventure, but even more than the competitions and the fun, the human kindness demonstrated by the groups to other people was truly memorable. The helping of the old and those in need was a highlight of this experience.

Yesterday, we had an amazing workshop entitled, “Am I Me?” It placed a spotlight on our own identity, the identities of those around us and the means of connecting and communicating between such identities. We also held an appreciation circle which truly helped us connect with each other to form lifelong relations and memories near the end of the camp.

And just a few hours ago, we had an audience with His Majesty the 5th King. His Majesty gave us an enlightening talk on preserving the Bhutanese identity and pursuing STEM subjects to keep on par with the rest of the world. It was an opportunity we were all blessed to receive.

Alas, the ultimate goal of such an event, filled with learning and self-growth, is to have it become the norm. If we can collaborate with one another and make an entire curriculum based on the past ten days, we could make an entire generation of golden youth. A generation that is ideal, one with a mirror of clarity that can achieve Gross National Happiness. I think I speak for all my dear friends when I say this was a life transforming experience, and that I am eternally grateful to everyone who made this possible, especially Her Majesty Tshering Pem Wangchuck. Thank you all for your time, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the program” – Mr.Sonam Tenzin Wangchuk.


2019 GYA First organizing Committee Meeting

As the spring roll by and the fragrance of the fresh blossoms are out, the team of Golden Youth Award buzz out with its preparation for the most stimulating event of the year. The first organizing committee meeting for the 12th GYA camp was held on 30th April, 2019 in YDF conference hall.

With the rousing excitement and undying promises, the commitee meeting highlighted the updates on 2018 GYA talking in its best practices, feedback and suggestions from the 2018 campers. The committee discussed on its TOR for membership, theme of the 2019 camp, event management and program structures.

This year, the GYA committee is joined by an innovative team named FabLab Bhutan to enrich the programs in a more innovative and fun learning.

This year, the tentative date for the camp is from 4th to 14th July 2019.

Here is one of the reflection on 11th GYA camp by the previous camper.


In the long gown of darkness of the night
Golden Youth Camp 2018 empowered my sight
With the spectrum beam,
And cleared the dust of my eyes.

True in nature with optimistic thought,
For the creams of the nation,
Made to realize the positive deeds ,
It change the course of life and pushed to safer side.

Flawless speech and the feelings it gave
Enlightened every participants each year
Gave the leisure delight
Yet lonely be the time ,l do not despair.

Pejorative feeling it gave and utter darkness vanished
Although our eyes are at a distance,
But they have the same destiny
I am a child ,
I am a youth ,
I was once a participant of GYA camp
The world has waited for my arrival
For l bring joy and happiness
And the future will decide its own tune.
I feel the camp is the twin pillar of the nation ,
The great parent of the civilized human
With a great and clean thought
I pay you my homage and salute to the Camp Organizers.

                                                                          – Phurba Lhaki Sherpa, Dagapela MSS.


Golden Youth Award 2019

Tentative Camp date: 4th to 14th July 2019

Venue: YDF Nazhoen Pelri and Bhutan Institute of Wellbeing

The Bhutan Youth Development Fund (YDF) will be organizing 12th Golden Youth Award Camp in July 2019 at YDF Nazhoen Pelri, Thimphu. GYA camp was first initiated in 2005 to commemorate the 50th birth anniversary of the Fourth DrukGyalpo Jigme SingyeWangchuck.

GYA is a platform created to inspire and motivate the youth to excel holistically and portray excellence beyond academics. The most outstanding person earns the title of the ‘Golden Youth’ and receives a scholarship to study in a prestigious college abroad. So far, YDF has offered nine full scholarships to the GYA winners in United World Colleges across the world. The winner of 11th GYA camp will go to UWC Southeast Asia, Singapore in August 2019.

Every year, 80 outstanding students studying in class 10 are selected from 20 Dzongkhags to take part in the program. While all other programs in YDF focus on helping the disadvantaged and marginalized youth, GYA focuses on recognizing gifted youth to grow as a responsible citizen.  The camp is held in the capital for 10 days where the participants take part in innovation lab, GNH values workshop, capital tour, literary and arts, edutainment programs and other fun learning activities. The program ends with the declaration of the Golden Youth.

Please click here to download the GYA background

Please click here to download the entry form

Please click here to download the guidelines of the selection committee

Please click here to download the selection criteria for GYA

Please click here  to download the logistic details

To view the ‘list of things to bring‘, please click here

For any queries, please write to or or call 02 329135/17999347




Older news – Jan 8, 2018

Laya students visit YDF


On 8th January 2018, 15 students from Laya who were on Winter Educational Tour from 3rd January, visited YDF before their return journey to Punakha.

As soon as they arrived, the students were guided by the Young Volunteers in Action(Y-VIA) to the meeting hall for a brief interactive session. The Executive Director of YDF started with an introduction about the development of YDF and explained its roles and functions. She informed the young children about various opportunities that they uphold and ensured YDF’s support for any developmental projects.

The students were also reminded about their responsibility as highlanders to protect, preserve and contribute to nation building. Sangay, one of the students said that he wishes to share the knowledge he gained from this trip to his family and friends and help initiate various projects at their school. There are a good number of students who are the members of Y-VIA at their school. As a member of Y-VIA, they contributed to society by going on cleaning campaigns and planting trees.

Laya is changing and it is changing fast. With improved road connectivity, it takes about eight hours to reach the gewog that is still considered remote given its location at 4000 meters. Its residents carry android phones and the community has 10 grocery shops. However, a practice that has remained unchanged in Laya is students leaving school, some before completing basic education. Laya Lower Secondary School (LSS) is the only school in the gewog and encouraging youth to pursue higher education remains a challenge for the community.


Older News – Dec 26 2017


To commemorate the 60th Birth Anniversary of YDF President, Her Majesty Gyalyum Tseyring Pem Wangchuck, the Young Volunteers in Action (Y-VIA) organized a blood donation camp on 23 December in 18 Dzongkhags.

The Thimphu Y-VIA organized the blood donation camp at YDF campus. The volunteers and staff also planted dogwood around the compound on the day.

YDF board members, friends, partners, military personnel and volunteers attended the camp along with YDF staff.

We thank everyone for the support and cooperation.


Older news – Nov 14 2017



Do you have books that you enjoyed reading and now you want to share it with others who can enjoy it as well?

Here is the opportunity to help The Bhutan Youth Development Fund build a library with the book donation campaign. We will be doing a book donation drive to create a library where your unwanted or read or a new pile of books will be of use to others who enjoy reading as much as you do. We will be accepting all types and genres of printed products (magazines, science fiction, drama, health, romance, guide, travel, religion, spirituality and new age, history, poetry, diaries, journals, encyclopedias, autobiographies, prayer books, etc).

We will work on collecting them, categorizing them and preparing them until the library is formed. We will also be requesting offices and bookstores to keep a box each in designated spots where they can put in/donate new or gently used books.

We would like to request everyone to help us share about this book drive and also if you have books that you want to donate, please let us know. Arrangement for collection will be made by our office. YDF will keep track of which books you donate, as well as their conditions for any purposes.

For details, please write to  or call our library coordinator at 17564749