Leader Spotlight: Debbee Lynn Straub

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. Meet this month's featured leader: Debbee Lynn Straub. She is an avid climber - and paddler! - who was motivated to become a leader to encourage other women to lead and to help build a positive community.
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
February 27, 2019

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Debbee Lynn Straub, a volunteer leader with the Kitsap Branch who co-chairs the Basic Climbing course and believes that outdoor adventure is all about camaraderie.

Name: Debbee Lynn Straub
Branch: Kitsap
Where do you live? Bremerton, WA
How long have you been a leader? 4 years (member since 2014)
What activities do you lead? I am one of the Kitsap Basic Climbing co-chairs; I lead the snow portion of the course. I also lead rock and glacier climbs, youth activities, and I help teach at the Kitsap Intermediate Climbing course.

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to become a Leader for The Mountaineers?

I am influenced and honored by all the people who set foot before me to teach and encourage mountaineering skills. But I was genuinely inspired after an all women's international trip to South America. From this adventure, I was motivated to be a female in leadership to encourage other women to lead and build a positive community.

What is your favorite trip that you've led for The Mountaineers?

I think my most favorite trip I led was the Mt. Rainier Emmons Route last year. It was successful with lots of lessons, but I would say this is true for all outings. We had a great team that pulled together even with wicked winds while setting up our tents the first night. I think the biggest highlight was having everyone prepared to succeed through communication and planning, plus weather and conditions that were entirely in our favor.

How has your leadership style evolved as you've gained experience?

I keep learning and reflecting on my style and have evolved to be more aware of conditions in the environment and with people. I have much more to learn and welcome that continued growth.

What learning experiences you can share with us, such as take-aways from a close call or a near miss?

There are a couple of climbs, one at Baker and one on Ingalls, where the team as a whole pulled together for the success of one climber who had fallen ill and slowed significantly. If the team did not pull together with fast thinking and compromise, both situations could have turned out very differently. In the end, our journey outdoors is not about the summit or glory of "I", but the experience and camaraderie of "we" as a team.

What advice do you have for aspiring leaders in The Mountaineers community?

Don't be afraid to volunteer and lead. Keep learning and reflecting on all outings because each is a lesson if you are open to it, ask if you do not understand, seek clarity and communication, and support your branch the best you can.

Is there aNYTHING ELSE WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I am a brand ambassador for Honey Bunchies; you will see a lot of photos at a hike or climb featuring this delicious bar. I paddled the Seventy48 which was a paddle adventure in June 2018 from Tacoma to Port Townsend, which I completed in about 28 hours. Also, I am a mindfulness and yoga instructor who would like to share those practices with others in the outdoors to further our understanding of how we are a part of the ecosystem, not the other way around.

is there Someone that you'd like to see in the spotlight?

Send an email to Sara Ramsay to make a recommendation for one of our upcoming Leader Spotlights!