Outdoor Leadership

Outdoor Leadership

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The Mountaineers Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit: Fostering Belonging in the Outdoors

The outdoors has always been a source of inspiration and rejuvenation. It presents an opportunity to forge deep connections with nature, push our boundaries, and craft lasting memories. At The Mountaineers, we believe all people should have equitable access to the outdoors and the transformative benefits it provides. Through our volunteer-led programs, we strive to empower our members and foster a culture of belonging by providing outdoor skills education to individuals from all backgrounds. Read more…

Impact Giving | More than Breakfast and a Bunk

Every weekend this winter, tens of thousands of people will flock to the Cascades to play in the snow. The mountains come alive with the bustle of snow plows, ski lifts, and resort infrastructure catering to locals and tourists alike. And if you look closely, adjacent to the hubbub at three popular recreation areas, you’ll find vibrant and warm pockets of Mountaineers community. Read more…

2022 Impact Report: Innovating in Outdoor Education

With the recent release of our annual impact report, we're celebrating all that donors and volunteers made possible through The Mountaineers in 2022. 

The model of volunteer-led outdoor education at The Mountaineers is imbued with a sense of purpose that cultivates friendships, mentorships, and lifelong learning opportunities. We approach our outdoor pursuits with more than a “one and done” attitude; we build a culture that fosters collaboration between students and teachers and care for the natural world. And as our community grows out of authentic relationships, consistent values crop up across all activities: safety, respect, communication, and the joy of being outside together. Read more…

New Course: Emotional Safety in the Outdoors

One of the unwritten core values at The Mountaineers is safety. When we go out together, we make every effort to return safely. And, safety is about more than just physical safety. Feeling emotionally safe - to ask questions, share concerns, and show up as your full self - is a key component to physically safe outcomes. To support emotionally safe environments for our participants, we are excited to share our new Emotional Safety in the Outdoors eLearning course. Read more…

How To: Write a Great Activity Listing

As you sit down to plan your next activity with The Mountaineers, we encourage you to consider how your listing may impact registration and last-minute cancellations. Read on to find some helpful tips from the staff at The Mountaineers. Read more…

2022-2023 Leadership Development Series

The Mountaineers is committed to leading innovation in outdoor education. A key component of this commitment is investing in our volunteer leaders, the heart and soul of our vibrant organization. Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Emily Smith

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members and volunteers. For our volunteer profile this week we talked to... Read more…

Join Us at the Foundations of Leadership & Instruction In-Person Course - Dec 3

For over 100 years, The Mountaineers has enriched the outdoor community by helping thousands of people to explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We take pride in that legacy, and we we want to support our volunteer leaders who make it all happen!  Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Louise Suhr

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members and volunteers. For our volunteer profile this week we talked to... Read more…

Save the Date! Foundations of Leadership & Instruction (in-person course) - Dec 3

Historically, The Mountaineers Leadership Conference has been a one-day conference of leadership development for our community of outstanding volunteers. This year, the Leadership Conference will take on a new format and name, but the heart of this one-day professional development event and opportunity to collaborate across branches will remain.  Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Karina Vanderbilt

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members and volunteers. For our volunteer profile this week we talked to... Read more…

How To Get Involved as a Volunteer

The Mountaineers began as a volunteer organization, and 116 years later we are still largely run by volunteers, with a small staff supporting administrative tasks. Whether your interests are in teaching, leading trips, helping at events, supporting stewardship efforts, or serving on a committee that orchestrates such activities, we have opportunities for you to pitch in and make a difference!  Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Hannah Karbarz

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members and volunteers. For our volunteer profile this week we talked to... Read more…

New Courses: Foundations of Leadership, Foundations of Instruction

Over the past year, two new courses have been developed by staff and select volunteer leaders to help set the benchmark for outdoor leadership training at The Mountaineers. These courses are the Foundations of Leadership and the Foundations of Instruction eLearning courses. They were designed for our current and future volunteer trip leaders and instructors, with the goal of fostering diverse and passionate connections throughout The Mountaineers.  Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Josh Taylor

Each week we bring you a personal story from one of our members and volunteers. For our volunteer profile this week we talked to... Read more…

2021-2022 Leadership Development Series - It's a Wrap!

After an exciting seven months, The Mountaineers wrapped up our fourth 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 that joined us this past season! We are already excited for the next season of Leadership Development Series starting in October 2023. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Meredith Mosman

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Meredith Mosman, a climbing, backcountry ski, and avalanche education volunteer leader with the Tacoma Branch. Meredith strives to constantly learn from fellow leaders and advises aspiring leaders to always look for opportunities to grow.  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Alyssa Opland

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Alyssa Opland, a volunteer leader with the Tacoma Branch who focuses on inclusive leadership in her climbing programs by asking questions and seeking input. She encourages prospective volunteers to get connected with mentors!  Read more…

2021-2022 Leadership Development Series: Upcoming Events

It's been a busy six months for our Leadership Development Series! We hosted over 35 high-quality, continuing education remote seminars for over 500 volunteer leaders from October 2021 through April 2022, and it's not done yet. We're excited to highlight five more upcoming sessions as we wrap up our 2021-2022 Leadership Development Series. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: SuJ'n Chon

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to SuJ'n Chon a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch who has volunteered with the Equity & Inclusion Committee and overcame her fear of heights through the Basic Alpine Scrambling Course.  Read more…

Impact Giving | Our Most Valuable Resource: How Donations Support Volunteers

On any given weekend, you can find hundreds of people enjoying local parks, forests, waterways, and more under the leadership of a Mountaineers volunteer. Last year, we had an average of 11 Mountaineers activities every day. 2,300 volunteers donated more than 200,000 hours of service in 2021 to connect people with safe and meaningful outdoor experiences. The Mountaineers has an administrative staff of just 25 people to support programs; this kind of impact simply would not be possible without our extensive network of volunteer leaders, instructors, lodge hosts, and committee members.  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Peter Tran

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Peter Tran, current Climbing Chair with the Foothills Branch. Peter is the 2021 Mountaineers Service Award recipient and favors the chipotle breakfast burrito from Safeway as his go-to trail snack. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Brynne Koscianski

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Brynne Koscianski, a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch who serves on the Finance Committee and as a Director At Large on The Mountaineers Board.  Read more…

Outside Insights | Breaking Every Halo with Katja Hurt

Following the climbing death of a close friend on a non-Mountaineers climb in 2018, Katjarina (Katja) Hurt and a group of climbers came together to uncover the thinking errors that culminated in their friend’s death. Their work led Katja to create Breaking the Halo: Empowering Students in Outdoor Education, a course in understanding how leaders’ decisions often go unquestioned due to their expert status, also referred to as the “halo effect.” Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Joel Guay

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Joel Guay, a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch. He is a Sea Kayak leader whose volunteer leadership evolved from solely showing up for activities to helping out. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Randy Oakley

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Randy Oakley. He's a backcountry skiing and trail running  volunteer leader with the Foothills and Seattle Branch, who welcomes constructive feedback and emphasizes engaging team members.  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Takeo Kuraishi

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Takeo Kuraishi, a volunteer leader with the Seattle Branch who serves on the Climbing Committee for  the Foothills and Seattle branch. Takeo is also one of our newly elected Board Directors from the 2021 Board & Branch elections! Read more…

Join us for a Leadership Development Series Seminar

The Mountaineers is committed to leading innovation in outdoor education. A key component of this commitment is investing in our volunteer leaders, the heart and soul of our vibrant organization. Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Larry Walker

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Larry Walker, a volunteer leader who discovered alpine hiking later in life. He serves in the Safety, Kitsap Branch's Alpine Scrambling and Climbing Program, and Tacoma Branch's Hiking & Backpacking Committees.  Read more…

Leader Spotlight: Molly Kirk

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Molly Kirk, a volunteer leader with the Everett Branch who strives to create a safe environment for all her Climbing and Nordic Skiing programs. She also serves on Everett's Alpine Scrambling Committee and Equity & Inclusion Working Group for The Mountaineers.  Read more…