2023 Impact Report: Engaging a Vibrant Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts

Donations help break down financial barriers and create inclusive spaces outdoors. Read how The Mountaineers engaged a vibrant outdoor community in 2023.
Dixie Havlak Dixie Havlak
40-year member, Olympia Youth and Family Programs Volunteer
July 06, 2024
2023 Impact Report: Engaging a Vibrant Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts

With the recent release of our annual impact report, we're celebrating all that donors and volunteers made possible through The Mountaineers in 2023. 

When I got involved with The Mountaineers Olympia Branch in 2002, outdoor programs for families didn’t exist. Recreating outdoors with kids can be challenging. The stakes feel higher and there aren’t many outdoor education opportunities available for young ones. As a parent, I remember having to put my outdoor activities on hold until my kids were old enough to enroll in adult programs. I’m so glad that families today can access Mountaineers programs that empower exploration of the outdoors together, responsibly and confidently.

I’m proud to have been involved in building family programs for parents and youth. Our curriculum breaks down barriers of entry and engages Mountaineers of all ages. Kids and families are supported through learning and trying new things and in turn, experienced volunteers get to share their joy of the outdoors with others. These programs not only cultivate the next generation of outdoor leaders and advocates, they provide older generations the opportunity to fall back in love with the natural world and find community among outdoor-minded folks.

In 2023, youth programs across The Mountaineers grew as strategic investments were made in staff to meet the growing demand for youth programming. Overnight lodge camps more than doubled in capacity, and a new lottery system for Seattle day camp increased the number of unique campers served by 20%. Here in Olympia, we saw summer camp enrollment thrive—serving 65 campers last fiscal year—and established a Jr. Mountaineers Adventure Club. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we were able to form new connections with youth-serving organizations, strengthen relationships with existing partners in our community, and increase the accessibility of our programs through scholarships so youth can participate in transformative learning regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

Investing in families is what keeps The Mountaineers vibrant. A handful of kids who began their Mountaineers journey in our
family programs are now volunteers for youth programs, a pathway we’re working to formalize as a new youth leadership program. This sustained engagement is proof that engaging a community of outdoor enthusiasts involves engaging Mountaineers at all ages, and I am grateful to be a part of programs that help Mountaineers of any age or experience level get outside.

Read the 2023 Impact Report

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Mountaineers guidebooks get readers of all skill levels outside. Series like Day Hiking and Urban Trails—both of which saw new releases in 2023—focus on single-day trips and transit-accessible hikes. Mountaineers Books also engages readers with outdoor literature, allowing every reader to see themselves in the natural world, whether planning an expedition or taking a journey vicariously. 2023 publications include Been Outside, a collection of nature writing by Black women and nonbinary writers, and Campfire Stories, Volume II, a collection of new writing about National Parks and long trails.

The Mountaineers® is a 501(c)(3) organization supported through earned revenue and elevated through charitable contributions. Our staff work to support our seven branches (Bellingham, Everett, Foothills, Kitsap, Olympia, Seattle, and Tacoma), three lodges (Baker, Meany, and Stevens), and our Kitsap Forest Theater. Tax ID: 27-3009280. 7700 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.