2024 Block Party Recap: Celebrating the impact of Mountaineers Donors and Volunteers

On May 30, 2024 The Mountaineers celebrated super volunteers, key leaders, and donors at the Seattle Program Center. This annual Block Party is a thank you for the time, expertise, and financial support they give in support of our vision, Adventure with Purpose.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 31, 2024
2024 Block Party Recap: Celebrating the impact of Mountaineers Donors and Volunteers

With the western sun shining brightly on the Seattle Program Center, 122 volunteers, donors, and staff gathered for a Block Party to kick off summer and celebrate their contributions to our outdoor community, celebrate our mission impact, and have a bit of fun, too! 

Guests roamed around the Seattle Program Center to visit stations that exemplify our  Adventure with Purpose strategic priorities: LEAD Innovation in Outdoor Education, ENGAGE a Vibrant Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts, and ADVOCATE on Behalf of our Natural World. Stations such as our Youth Programs table, Mountaineers Books table, and Mountaineers Book Store provided a window into the mission focused work that each of those programs support. 


The evening was a chance for our leaders, advocates, educators, and outdoor enthusiasts from across The Mountaineers—who care deeply about the outdoor experience–to gather together, celebrate and connect. Folks enjoyed a lovely Caribbean inspired dinner provided by Bongos Cafe and sipped wine and beer from our generous beverage sponsors Tinte Cellars, Georgetown Brewing, Ghostfish Brewing and Seattle Cider. Between bites and sips members played games such as giant Jenga, cornhole and connected about adventures from the last year.


After dinner was served, Director of Community Engagement, Bri Vanderlinden, lifted her glass in gratitude for everyone in attendance.

“Tonight is about appreciation and celebrating all who take extra effort to bring our mission and vision to life! To our volunteers and instructors, you are the secret sauce of this community… and to those of you who also choose to support with donations, you help to accelerate our ability to fulfill our vision. And to our staff, you are some of the most passionate and dedicated people I’ve ever had the honor to work alongside. Thank you for all you do to guide the future of the org in the most positive way.  

“I’d like to raise a toast: to lifelong friendships, our commitment to education and learning forward, a spirit of giving back in service to one another, and to a future where this community cultivates a culture where everyone can find belonging in and are inspired to protect the natural world.”

-Bri Vanderlinden, Director of Community Engagement


Lead innovation in outdoor education

Many of our Block Party attendees regularly lead activities, serve on committees, or teach courses at The Mountaineers. We welcomed friends from the lodge communities, from the Kitsap Forest Theater, and contributors to the forthcoming 10th edition of Freedom. We are immensely grateful for all the ways people generously give their time and expertise in support of innovative and high-quality outdoor education.

Everyone was invited to test their Mountaineers knowledge with some trivia at the LEAD table. Did you know that donors help provide leadership development opportunities across the organization? Or that half of the charter members of The Mountaineers in 1906 were women? What about the fact that the most-awarded badge of all time is the Top Rope Belay Certification badge?

20240530_174302.jpgMountaineers Books staff hosted a game of “which cover did we publish” where guests could see some of the options we considered for recent and upcoming guide books. Photo by Mountaineers staff.

Engage a vibrant community of outdoor enthusiasts

Representatives from our Equity & Inclusion Committee were on site to share about the ways that we reduce barriers so that anyone who wants to can access outdoor education. Volunteers are at the front lines of helping people feel belonging outside. And donors invest in equity by funding  youth programs, scholarships, and volunteer DEI training.

The ENGAGE table welcomed folks to look up the Native lands in which they live and recreate using the Native Land CA site with an address look up (https://native-land.ca/) and share it on a community mural. There was also an opportunity to dive deeper into the concept of Native land acknowledgements and going beyond land acknowledgements by engaging with our Honoring Native Lands and Peoples blog series writing in partnership with the Sacred Lands Conservancy.

IMG_7590.HEICTo highlight “Engage a Vibrant Community of Outdoor Enthusiasts,” members contributed to a community mural sharing Native land acknowledgements. Photo by Mountaineers staff.

Advocate on behalf of the natural world

As each of us builds a deeper connection to the natural world, we also find our place in protecting and conserving it for future generations. This year the Conservation and Advocacy team launched our Advocacy 101 course which is the third in the series of eLearning courses that includes Low Impact Recreation and Public Lands 101. At the ADVOCACY table guests had a chance to sign up for Advocacy 101 and a chance to earn yet another Conservation badge.

IMG_7588.HEICGuests signed up for Advocacy 101 course at the “Advocate On Behalf of the Natural World” table. Photo by Mountaineers Staff.

Support the mission of The Mountaineers

This annual appreciation event celebrates the role and impact of Mountaineers donors and Super Volunteers.

We help people confidently enjoy the outdoors, find belonging outside, and conserve the natural world for generations to come. Volunteers lead almost every aspect of our programming, from leading trips to writing for Mountaineer magazine to teaching courses to cooking family-style meals at our lodges.

Explore Volunteer Opportunities

Donors amplify our mission by supporting youth programs, scholarships, leadership development, conservation advocacy, nonprofit outdoor publishing, volunteer support, and more.


It was also meaningful to invite everyone back to this particular place once again. The Seattle Program Center has been one of the most-utilized homes for our community. Thank you to those of you who were able to join us, and we hope to see many new and returning faces at our Block Party in 2025.




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.

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