Outdoor Leadership

Outdoor Leadership

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New Foothills Mentored Backpack Leaders Course

The Mentored Backpack Leaders course is an exciting, new offering for the Foothills community. The main objective of the course is to provide an additional pathway for branch members pursuing the Backpack Leader badge. Read more…

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!  Read more…

Outside Insights | The Return of The Mountaineers Leadership Conference

As part of The Mountaineers leadership development team, I have the privilege of supporting our impressive collective of 3000+ volunteers. The dedication of our volunteers is incredible, to say the least. The list of their contributions to our community and the greater outdoors has grown significantly over our 117-year history. From planning and guiding activities, to mentoring new Mountaineers, to managing our lodges, it’s clear that our volunteers are generous with their time. While they share a common passion for the outdoors, our volunteers are driven by a range of motivations, such as paying it forward or expanding their adventure partner network. Our leadership development programs enhance these intrinsic rewards and invest back into our volunteers. Read more…

First Ever Tacoma Leadership Conference – March 23

Nearly 200 current and aspiring volunteers turned out at our Seattle Leadership Conference on December 2 for a dynamic day of learning and networking. Outdoor professionals from diverse backgrounds led our community through a series of interactive sessions exploring leadership from multiple angles. Read more…

Mount Rainier National Park Announces Timed Entry Reservations for Summer 2024

Note: The Park's timed entry FAQ webpage is the best resource with the most up to date information on how to visit Mount Rainier National Park  during summer 2024.

Last week, Mount Rainier National Park announced that many visitors will need reservations to access the park through popular entrances during peak hours this summer. From May 24 through Labor Day, most visitors entering through the Nisqually and Stevens entrances between 7am and 3pm will need to make an online or phone reservation ahead of time. Reservations will also be required at the White River entrance beginning July 3 and lasting through Labor Day.  Read more…

How To: Behavior Complaint Form

At The Mountaineers, we strive to create policies and learning environments that foster experiences where all participants feel belonging. To support this goal, we have a Member Code of Ethics to define expectations for members and leaders for a welcoming, inclusive, and respectful community. We developed these comprehensive policies so that everyone understands our expectations for how we should treat one another and for how we handle complaints of inappropriate behavior.  Read more…

Your Donation Supports Learners and Leaders

I am afraid of going downhill. Everyone is afraid of something, and for me it’s moving fast downhill on trail, rock, or snow. I am sometimes tempted to hide my fears and insecurities, but when I started the Scrambling course, I knew I would have to share this fear with my instructors and classmates. It felt like a true confession. Read more…

Branch Support Donation Program Continues in FY2024

While unrestricted giving is critical to grow our mission impact across all program areas, some members seek to leverage donations to strengthen the community within their local Branch. One of our strategic goals is to deepen our culture of giving back by providing new opportunities to contribute.  Read more…

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…

The Leadership Conference is Back - 2023/24

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

Impact Giving | Donors Support Leadership Development

The Mountaineers is internationally known for high-quality outdoor education and experiences, yet many people are surprised when they find out that our programs are almost entirely led by volunteers.  Read more…

Mountaineer of the Week: Peter Clitherow

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 Lodge Host

Among The Mountaineers properties are our three rustic lodges: Baker, Meany, and Stevens. Each nestled close to their own mountain terrain, our lodges provide a restful atmosphere after a long day outdoors. Read more…

2022-2023 Leadership Development Series - it's a wrap!

After an exciting eight months, The Mountaineers wrapped up the fifth 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 who joined us this past season! We are already excited for the next season of our Leadership Development Series starting in October 2024. Read more…

Donations support volunteer-led outdoor education

Spring is an exciting time at The Mountaineers as people from all backgrounds and experience levels turn to us to seek outdoor education. Many of our most popular adult courses are underway or wrapping up. Kids in our after-school programs are finally getting some long, sunny afternoons to learn and play outside. The activity calendar is filling rapidly, and the latest guidebooks are flying off the shelves as people gear up for summer.  Read more…

How to Get Involved with Branch and Committee Leadership

Our mission to help people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond is driven and executed by over 2,000 highly skilled volunteers serving our community of over 16,000 members. Each year, our volunteers teach hundreds of courses, lead thousands of trips, and dedicate thousands of hours to regional stewardship and conservation advocacy efforts to help ensure our members can get outside safely and responsibly. All of this work happens through our seven branches. Read more…

How to Get Involved as a Trip Leader

 At The Mountaineers, leadership plays an integral part in every facet of our organization. We have a wide variety of leaders in many different roles - from Branch Treasurer, to Qualified Youth Leader, to Committee Chair. The term "leader" also specifically refers to a volunteer who has been vetted by an activity committee to lead a Mountaineers activity. These trips leaders have fulfilled the technical and interpersonal skill requirements included in our Club-wide Activity Standards. By leading hundreds of trips each month, trip leaders play a fundamental role within our organization.  Read more…

Congratulations To Our 2022 Volunteer Award Recipients!

This past year, as always, our volunteers have remained at the core of our operations. Thank you to the 3,254 members who volunteered their time during fiscal year 2022 (October 2021-September 2022), and to the many others who supported from afar! Each of you has made a difference. 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…

Introducing The Mountaineers Equity & Inclusion Leader Toolkit

Over the past 18 months, Mountaineers volunteers have been working to create an Equity and Inclusion (E&I) Leader Toolkit for our community. The E&I Leader Toolkit is designed to help you (our volunteer leaders) foster a culture of belonging in your courses and activities. As part of our organizational commitment to equity and inclusion, we are working to create a Mountaineers where everyone can feel belonging. We hope this toolkit is a helpful resource for the many volunteers requesting more E&I support. Read more…

Snow-Free Activities to Keep You Outdoors All Winter Long

Although snow-capped mountains and freshly-groomed trails dominate the public imagination this time of year, not all winter activities are snow-centered. This is especially true in the Pacific Northwest, where we have an abundance of activities to enjoy year-round with just a few modifications. In celebration of The Mountaineers diverse offerings throughout all four seasons, we connected with a few of our volunteers to learn how they continue to stay active throughout the chilliest months. Read more…

Impact Giving | We Go Beyond Fun

Like all Mountaineers, our Super Volunteers delight in small moments of frivolity. A cold beverage shared between a paddler and a powerboat. Playing lighthearted pranks during an Urban Walk. Watching the magnificent, performative hunt of a short-eared owl. Community-based fun is the heartbeat of The Mountaineers. Read more…

Volunteer Appreciation Night - Back In-person!

After three years, The Mountaineers annual Volunteer Appreciation Night is back in-person. Last year, we pivoted to a virtual event and had a wonderful time recognizing our 2021 Volunteer Award Recipients. Read more…

Affinity Groups at The Mountaineers

At The Mountaineers, we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. This belief is reflected in our core values and is the driving vision to foster outdoor experiences where all people feel belonging. One way we strive to do that is through affinity group activities.  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…