2019 Leadership Conference - Review and Recap

A review and recap of our 2019 Leadership Conference held on Saturday, December 7, at the Seattle Program Center!
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Volunteer Development Manager
December 29, 2019
2019 Leadership Conference - Review and Recap

The Mountaineers hosted our sixth annual Leadership Conference on Saturday, December 7, at the Seattle Program Center. It was an outstanding day of leadership development for our volunteer community - thank you to everyone who joined us!

The theme for this year's conference was Vision Forward. Our conference breakout sessions aligned with the three core tenets of our Vision 2022 strategic plan: leading innovation in outdoor education, engaging future Mountaineers, and advocating for wild places - plus we offered a core track for the sessions that are central to who we are and what we do. New this year, we also offered an outdoor skills track for folks who were looking for something a little bit different.

As a part of the Welcome Session, Mountaineers Board President Lorna Corrigan provided a mid-flight progress update on Vision 2022. We're grateful for the many ways our volunteer leaders continue to shape the direction of the organization, and it was inspiring to share how The Mountaineers continues to refine our leadership during a day of skill building and development.

By the numbers

This year's Leadership Conference continued to grow and evolve, and we were excited to offer more breakout sessions than ever before! Throughout the day, we saw:

  • 344 Attendees
  • 18 Breakout Sessions, facilitated by 33 Presenters
  • 33 Support Volunteers

This event has become one of our favorite days of the year and it is energizing to see so many members of our community gather under one roof to learn and grow together. 

Breakout sessions

The presentations at the 2019 Leadership Conference were organized into five tracks:

  • Lead
  • Engage
  • Advocate
  • Core
  • Outdoor Skills

As a part of the Engage and Core tracks, we had five sessions about DEI-related topics. Diversity, equity, and inclusion has been a part of the Leadership Conference since year-one, and we're excited to continue growing and expanding the content we offer along this theme each year.

Presentation Materials

Many of our presenters have generously shared their slide decks and/or presentation materials. We will continue to add materials to our Resource Center as we receive them.

Resource Center

Additionally, we’re excited to share full-length video recordings of three of this year’s presentations, including the Keynote Presentation from Deb Ajango. 


Each year, we compile and review all of our attendees’ feedback to continue improving this event. It is your input that has guided and shaped the direction of the conference year over year! Here's an overview of this year's themes:

Conference Content

  • Attendees found it hard to choose which sessions to attend, and our presenters provided so much content that many ran out of time.
  • There is a lot of interest to hear more from our land manager partners.
  • Attendees want to hear from a mix of internal presenters (our rockstar leaders) and external presenters (experts and industry professionals).
  • Mountaineers Bingo, our get-to-know-each-other activity, was a fun, low-barrier way to meet new people. But some of the questions were too hard to find.
  • Many attendees appreciated having a station that prompted them to add pronouns to their name tags.
  • Many attendees were motivated to become better stewards and to seek new stewardship opportunities through our partner organizations.

Food & Facilities

  • We didn't have enough food available at lunch, and food wasn't adequately labelled or provided for those with food allergies or special diets.
  • Many folks appreciated our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint by having fewer meat options.
  • Attendees valued having volunteers sorting compost, recycling, and garbage to streamline and reduce our waste.
  • Many folks were excited about this year's Leadership Conference hats, and others missed having t-shirts.
  • The breakout session rooms were inconsistently heated, and some of the high-interest sessions were over-crowded.

General Feedback

  • It was inspiring to see so many Mountaineers leaders together in one place. (We agree!)
  • Mountaineers are special people who are part of a special organization. People are open and willing to share, willing to make a new friend, and encouraging to each other's goals and plans.

If you have any questions, comments, or additional feedback, please contact Sara Ramsay.


Leadership Development Series

The Mountaineers is excited to offer an ongoing Leadership Development Series to provide high-quality, continuing education opportunities for our volunteer leaders. Find a full list of workshops and sign up.

Digital navigation and Trip Planning

One of the sessions that folks were most excited about was Up Your Trip Planning Game with Digital Tools with Travis Prescott. Many of you expressed an interested in learning more and we're in luck. Travis offers a more in-depth Digital Navigation and Trip Planning course through the Foothills Branch. This course is online only, making it a great options for members throughout our community. Registration is now open and space is limited, sign-up today.

Become a Leader

Are you an aspiring leader within our community? Leadership at The Mountaineers is managed by our individual activity communities. To learn more about leading trips, please contact your local committee chair! Not sure who to ask, or have additional questions? Get in touch with our Member Services team at info@mountaineers.org or 206-521-6001.

Save the date for 2020

Thank you for everything that you do to support The Mountaineers! We hope to see you next year. Save the date for Saturday, December 5, 2020.

If you are interested to be a part of the planning process, or you have a suggestion for a speaker, please contact Sara Ramsay!

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