How To: Write a Great Activity Listing

Want more people on your activity? It starts with creating a great activity listing! Here are some tips and tricks for new and seasoned leaders alike.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 27, 2017

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 HQ!

  • Inspire! Read trip reports and review our database of routes and places to find inspiration for your next trip. Maybe you’ve lead the same activity in the same location over the same weekend in July for the past three years - but conditions change, and its possible that both you and your participants could be in for a surprise! In addition, you may want to think about offering an activity in a location we visit less frequently. A participant might be more willing to commit to a trip to Hidden Lake Lookout, for instance, as opposed to a trip to Mount Washington, which is listed on our website multiple times per month.

  • Inform! Be thorough, upfront, and objective about your plans for the trip, keeping in mind the standard difficulty ratings that The Mountaineers has defined on our Activity Overviews pages. Provide answers to the question: What? Where? When? and Why? Keep the listing descriptive, fun, and easy to read - break up the description into small paragraphs and avoid using Mountaineers-specific jargon.

  • Timing! Think about when you want registration to open, and when you want registration to close. A long window for registration means that members may have the opportunity to do more pre-trip planning, but it can also mean increased roster turnover for our leaders. Similarly, closing registration for an activity a week in advance of the trip might mean that your roster is more finalized - but it can also mean more admin work for the leader, if anyone needs to cancel last-minute.

  • Permissions! Consider requiring Leader’s Permission for trips that necessitate a higher level of commitment, skill, or fitness. This function allows you, as the leader, to do a bit of advanced vetting of those participants who’d like to join your roster. And when possible, leave your activity open to all to help us all achieve our goals of getting more folks into the outdoors. And note, you can always view past Participation Notes for any of our members. For more information on Participation Notes, including how to find them and when and how to write them, check out this blog post.

  • Welcome! Be open and inclusive to all members and guests that meet your trip criteria. Avoid unwelcoming phrases like "no stragglers" and "no dropping off the trip".

At the end of the day, it's important to remember that our members at The Mountaineers are human, things will come-up, and mistakes happen. As a leader, know that The Mountaineers does have an official Cancellation Policy, though we do not have any specific “No Show” policy. Activity participants should be marked as a “No Show” if they do not provide any advanced notice of their cancellation. If a participant has been marked as a “No Show” they will promptly receive an automatic email alerting them to the no show status. If a participant has canceled late (after registration closes) from four activities in three months, they will also receive an automatic email alerting them of these cancellations and how those affect both leaders and fellow trip participants.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication as a leader for The Mountaineers!

Members! Need to cancel from an upcoming activity? Check out this blog for more information about best practices and good cancellation etiquette!