Carolyn Burreson Honored as Coordinator of Olympia Adventure Speaker Series

Carolyn Burreson, the inspiration and force behind the Olympia Potluck and Adventure Speaker Series, has been coordinating the series for eleven years. She was honored and thanked for her accomplishments at the May 2 event.
Dee Ann Kline Dee Ann Kline
Olympia Branch Super Volunteer
May 03, 2018

Carolyn Burreson has been a member of The Mountaineers since 1982 and is the inspiration and force behind the Olympia Branch Potluck & Adventure Speaker Series, which she's coordinated for the last eleven years. We are grateful for all she's given to The Mountaineers!

Her interest in The Mountaineers began with scrambling before she moved on to basic and intermediate climbing, sea kayaking, and telemark skiing. She is a hike and sea kayak leader, has served on numerous committees, and was sea kayaking chair for 5+ years.

“The great thing about The Mountaineers is the opportunity to volunteer. You can get involved as much as you like in an activity you enjoy. As a kayak trip leader, I like being able to share places I enjoy.” Says Carolyn. 

She also helps teach the basic kayak course and enjoys helping others improve their skill.

Carolyn is an avid adventure traveler and has traveled extensively throughout the world, mostly backpacking, hiking and kayaking. Some of her adventure travels have taken her to China, Thailand, Nepal, Seychelles, Bahamas, Belize, New Zealand, Costa Rica, South America, Africa, Mexico, Canada and Alaska.

adventure speaker series history

The Olympia Mountaineers had a history of sponsoring a monthly potluck with a slide show. That ended in 2005 due to lack of a coordinator. In 2007, Carolyn went to the board and asked permission to reinstate it. She changed the name to the Adventure Speaker Series/Potluck and set the date to the first Wednesday of every month, September- May (excluding November). Nowadays, the Friends Meeting Hall in Olympia fills with outdoor enthusiasts for each presentation.

Carolyn’s vision for the Adventure Speaker Series was to create a free activity for all Mountaineers members, friends, and spouses; an opportunity for different groups within The Mountaineers to unite; and to educate, entertain, and inspire people to get outdoors, play, and see the world.

She begins working on the speaker lineup in the spring of each year. She first seeks out members of the Olympia Mountaineers who are able to do a new and complete presentation. Other sources include Mountaineers Books staff where she finds authors with new book releases. Carolyn tries to reach the different audiences within The Mountaineers. The 2017-2018 series included speakers on bicycling, hiking, climbing, kayaking.    

The Adventure Speaker Series is free and open to Mountaineers members, family, friends, and the community. It is a time when different groups within The Mountaineers unite, socialize, share a meal and introduce community members to the classes and opportunities Mountaineers offers. She commented, “I am proud of what the Mountaineers has to offer. The Mountaineers have great classes, events and activities. Becoming active in the Mountaineers can lead to long lasting friendships.”

monthly event

Join us for the 2018-2019 season of the Potluck and Adventure Speaker Series, featuring speakers guaranteed to inspire you for your next adventure. The eight part series occurs on the first Wednesday of the month, September through May (excluding November) at the Friends Meeting House.

Doors open at 5:30pm, and our potluck dinner starts promptly at 6pm. Bring a dish to share, plate, and flatware. You can also grab a hot drink, check out our Mountaineers library, audiovisual presentation, or pick up membership, activities and class information. Branch announcements are at 6:45pm, and our outstanding Adventure Speaker Series starts at 7pm. Presentations are followed by a Q&A. Check out our calendar for the next season's announced speakers soon!

Olympia Branch Calendar


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Carla Jonientz
Carla Jonientz says:
Sun, May 6, 2018 6:13 AM

Thank you Carolyn, for many years of devotion to this event! And, than you Dee Ann for this great article!