Leader Spotlight: Tom Eckhout

Leader Spotlight is a monthly blog to showcase our incredible volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. It's a platform for our leaders to share tips and tricks, favorite memories, and inspiration for new and rising leaders. Meet this month's featured leader: Tom Eckhout
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Education Manager
January 29, 2018

For our Leader Spotlight this month we talked to Tom Eckhout, a volunteer leader with the Olympia Branch who cherishes every moment he has in the mountains.

Name: Tom Eckhout
Branch: Olympia
Where do you live? Olympia, WA
How long have you been a leader? I started leading Alpine Scrambles in 1994, and I started leading Snowshoe trips a little earlier than that. I've been a member since 1982.
What activities do you lead? I lead Snowshoe outings, Nordic Ski outings, Hikes, and Alpine Scrambles.

Leadership Questions

What inspired you to become a Leader for The Mountaineers?

I have always been a bit of a volunteer. When I find a need for something to get done, I usually step up. Leading trips is a manifestation of this.

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

I am often asked about a favorite trip by students. I really do not have a favorite. My general rule is wherever I am in the mountains at any given moment is my favorite.

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

I think that with repetition my confidence as a leader has gotten much stronger. Keeping a positive attitude is also a major asset.

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

I like to keep my groups together as much as possible. Having been involved in incident/rescues early in my Mountaineers career has taught me that keeping close helps to prevent accidents and is very helpful if something does occur.

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

I try to advise new leaders that I look at my leadership from the perspective of being here for the students. I get my enjoyment from watching the students learn and gain confidence in the mountains.

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!

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Neal Kirby
Neal Kirby says:
Thu, Dec 7, 2017 12:35 PM

yay, Tom!! Thanks for all you do.

Ginger Sarver
Ginger Sarver says:
Mon, Jan 29, 2018 4:15 PM

Proud to have been one of your students and so glad you are an Olympia Mountaineer!

Siana Wong
Siana Wong says:
Fri, Feb 2, 2018 7:50 AM

Tom, you rock!

Jennifer Fortin
Jennifer Fortin says:
Thu, Feb 8, 2018 7:16 AM

Tom is a wonderful and inspiring teacher and leader Congratulations and well deserved!

Zua Stivers
Zua Stivers says:
Sat, Feb 24, 2018 10:04 AM

Thank you for stepping up and sharing your knowledge and experience! You are an amazing volunteer leader and course instructor for the Mountaineers!

Todd Mooney
Todd Mooney says:
Sun, Mar 4, 2018 2:55 PM

Tom I admire your love of teaching and gaining enjoyment from see people progress.