2022-2023 Leadership Development Series - it's a wrap!

After an exciting eight months, The Mountaineers wrapped up our fifth year of the Leadership Development Series this May. Learn more about this year's Leadership Development Series, access recorded presentations, and provide suggestions for next year's topics and featured presenters.
Michelle Song Michelle Song
Volunteer Development Manager
May 29, 2023
2022-2023 Leadership Development Series - it's a wrap!
Photo by Skye Stoury.

After an exciting eight months, The Mountaineers wrapped up the fifth year of our Leadership Development Series this May. It was another year of high-quality, continuing education opportunities for our volunteer leaders. Thank you to all participants and presenters who joined us this past season! We are already excited for the next season of our Leadership Development Series starting in October 2024.


The Leadership Development Series consists of free standalone seminars, as well as short series of seminars, that cover a wide variety of leadership topics for Mountaineers members. Current and aspiring volunteer leaders and instructors are encouraged to attend and expand their outdoor leadership skillset. 

The Leadership Development Series seminars run from October - April (sometimes going into May) of each year. They are primarily held online, with the occasional session held at one of our branches.


This year's Leadership Development Series continued to grow. Throughout the year we saw:

  • 347 total attendees
  • 32 sessions, facilitated by 18 presenters
  • 9 new presenters from Washington and beyond
  • 9 returning presenters


This year, the Leadership Development Series presentations were organized into five categories:

  • Equity & Inclusion, with 7 sessions offered
  • Education & Instruction, with 9 sessions offered
  • Group Facilitation & Mentorship, with 2 sessions offered
  • Risk Management, with 13 sessions offered
  • Continuing Education, with 1 session offered

Many presenters agreed to have their presentations recorded. You can find available recordings and a list of all past presentations on our Mountaineers Leadership Development page.



Most presentations were offered remotely, allowing us to serve a broader range of members. We were excited to offer our final session, E.P.I.C. Adventures with Kids, as an in-person learning opportunity.

The sessions were well-received by volunteers. Participants shared their appreciation for the excellent learning environment fostered in each session.

  • "It gives me language and structure for thinking about risk management in a logical and consistent way. I think about risk management a lot and worked in an environment where it was mandatory on a continuing basis. [Tom’s] ideas add to my preexisting strategies." - For Practical Risk Management by Tom Unger

  • "I completed a two year AmeriCorps term as a garden educator, and am now a field mentor doing outdoor education with elementary age youth. This activity brought four years of education experience together and wrapped it up with a bow. I now feel like I have words to describe my ideas and a more clear path towards being an effective outdoor leader" - For Craft Impactful Learning Experiences by Liz Riggs Meder

  • "The leader made you think and reflect by asking questions and reflecting on a series of topics. It made me realize that I need to be a better listener." - For Mental Health On and Off the Trail by Natasha Buffo

  • "Presenter had ample high-level real world experience. Good method of presentation: present the facts and applicable principles, and discuss possible outcomes before giving actual outcome and rationale." - For The Assumption of Risk Defense in Real Life by Brian Augenthaler

  • “The instructor did a great job framing the issue of mental stress injuries in a way that mirrored how we identify and deal with physical stress very well. This is one of the best leadership development seminars I've attended. Very thought provoking." - For Operational Stress in Rescue: Tools for Early Recognition and Mitigation by Laura McGladrey

  • "This was so well done, it was directly applicable to leading groups and immediately relevant to the way that we work with members (especially youth)." - For Doing the Work: How to make outdoor programs more inclusive and affirming for LGBTQ+ folks by rza allen

If you have any questions, comments, or additional feedback, please contact Michelle Song.


Do you have an idea for a presentation topic or know a possible presenter for the 2022-2024 Leadership Development Series? We want to hear from you! Please submit your topic proposal or presenter nominations using this form, or contact Michelle Song.


Our Leadership Development Series is only made possible through the generous support of our organization’s charitable donors. If you’re inspired to support our programming and wish to contribute, please consider making a donation to The Mountaineers.