Introducing Adventure with Purpose: The Mountaineers New Strategic Plan

For more than 100 years, the core of our mission has been to connect people to the natural world and to each other. We envision a world where our adventures extend beyond the reach of our own personal enjoyment. Where all people confidently enjoy and are inspired to protect the natural world: where we adventure with purpose.
Tom Vogl Tom Vogl
CEO, The Mountaineers
March 03, 2023
Introducing Adventure with Purpose: The Mountaineers New Strategic Plan

Our last strategic Plan, Vision 2022, provided an important foundation for us as leaders in innovative outdoor education, striving to engage future generations in advocacy, adventure, education, volunteerism, and community. Vision 2022 was community-centric and articulated strategic priorities that were bold and interconnected. Strongly supported by our community through a year-long, multi-level engagement process, Vision 2022 also put a stake in the ground for our goal of becoming a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.

Two factors caused us to slow implementation and narrow the scope of Vision 2022: (1) a decision to not embark on a dedicated funding campaign, and (2) significant operational impacts of the global pandemic that began in early 2020 and continued for nearly three years. Our decision not to proceed with a fundraising campaign came at the conclusion of a detailed feasibility study. At the same time the feasibility study recommended we not launch a fundraising campaign, it also provided a detailed trail map of capacity-building steps that we have acted upon over the last five years. 

The most profound change in the last five came as the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020. It’s fair to say that 2020 and 2021 were some of the most challenging years in Mountaineers history, impacting not only our day to day operations, but our entire community on a global scale. In March 2020, we halted all operations and took other immediate and aggressive actions to protect the future of The Mountaineers. Thanks to these austerity measures, the creativity and commitment of our volunteers and the generosity of our community, we weathered the storm. 


Even in the face of these headwinds, in the five years since Vision 2022 was authored, we’ve made tremendous progress as an organization. We invested in our leaders through the Alpine Ambassadors and Climb Leader Progression programs, the creation of Mountain Education Alliance, and expansion of our Leadership Development Series. We’ve seen our membership grow by nearly 23%, as we’ve focused on being a more equitable and inclusive organization. Youth experiences grew by nearly 85% to 14,749 through new and expanded programs like School Break Camps and Mini Mountaineers, as well as the addition of a gear library. Our investment in equity and inclusion is changing processes and creating opportunities for all people to feel belonging in The Mountaineers. And we’ve grown the impact and reach of our conservation and advocacy efforts, launching a Carbon Footprint Reduction Committee and Outdoor Alliance Washington. These accomplishments were made possible by our more than 3,000 volunteers and the financial support of our community that doubled in the last five years.  

The interconnected nature of The Mountaineers as a volunteer-led organization - which has hundreds of individual committees spread across seven branches, plus staff and organizational leadership - makes strategic planning a complicated process. Through conversations with our Board of Directors, Advisory Council, volunteer-led activity committees and a series of nine focus sessions, we heard from our community that the broad strategic priorities outlined in Vision 2022 were the right ones. Our community indicated that we should focus on continuing to evolve what those mean as we look to what we’re working on now into the future. That’s why our new strategic plan is designed to carry us up to 10 years into the future. 

The foundations of our new strategic plan remain tied to our mission, vision, and values - this is why its name is simply, Adventure with Purpose. Adventure with Purpose was built by our board, staff, volunteers and members of our community. It is based on feedback received from all levels of the organization, over the last five years, through surveys, meetings, and conversations. A Strategy Steering Committee, composed of volunteers and staff, guided this work and helped design an iterative implementation plan framework. This framework will support the strategic priorities of Adventure with Purpose, while allowing us to be nimble and responsive to a changing environment and the availability of resources. 


The power of our strategic priorities (Lead, Engage, and Advocate), combined with the community support via a flexible implementation plan, give Adventure with Purpose strength, resilience, and the ability to connect our 116 year legacy with our future where all people feel belonging in the outdoors. 

In the months ahead, we'll share additional updates detailing how we will begin to implement Adventure with Purpose. Our implementation plan will include specific priorities, actions and investments as well as medium-term goals to measure our progress. Please feel free to reach out to me with ideas about how we can best put the plan in motion and begin realizing our vision to adventure with purpose. 

The Mountaineers Strategic Plan 2023-2028

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Dale Kisker
Dale Kisker says:
Jul 31, 2023 04:03 PM

I've been a club member for over 50 years, was chair of the Baker Lodge committee for 14 years and yesterday returned from a three-day stay at the lodge. I've read a portion of the Mountaineer Strategic Plan 2023 2028 and I'm interested in goal L-2. Is there any more written detail on what is proposed that is available for me to read?
Dale Kisker

Tom Vogl
Tom Vogl says:
Aug 01, 2023 06:09 AM

Hi Dale, we don't yet have additional details complete for goal L-2 but are working on plans and intend to share more in the months ahead. L-2 is a critically important goal yet is particularly complex because the scope includes both current spaces such as lodges and program centers as well as potential new spaces. Please stay in touch and feel free to reach out to me directly with any feedback or suggestions ( Thanks for all you've done and continue to do to support our community and mission! - Tom