Let's celebrate! 2019 National Volunteer Week

It's no secret that volunteerism is at the core of The Mountaineers success. Help us celebrate our thousands of volunteers during this year's National Volunteer Week!
Sara Ramsay Sara Ramsay
Volunteer Development Manager
April 07, 2019

For the entirety of our 113-year history, volunteers have been at the heart of The Mountaineers mission. From big to small, nearly every aspect of what we do is powered by our volunteers! We truly cannot thank you enough for your leadership and service, and we're excited to have another opportunity to celebrate your hard-work and accomplishments during the 2019 National Volunteer Week!

Sponsored by Points of Light, an organization focused on supporting a national culture of volunteerism, National Volunteer Week is an "opportunity to celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world.” As an organization led and guided by volunteer leadership, The Mountaineers exemplifies the power of volunteer impact.

Many of our volunteers first join The Mountaineers as a student or trip participant. Inspired by the volunteers who have supported them through their education and participation, they step-up to give back by volunteering as an instructor or leader. Regardless of their journey to volunteerism, The Mountaineers community is strong because of the people who choose to be a part of it.

In 2018 alone, The Mountaineers had over 2,800 individual volunteers donated nearly 200,000 hours of time to support our programs. All told, this in-kind work from our volunteer leaders and instructors amounts to the equivalent of 96 full-time employees. There is no two ways around the fact that The Mountaineers could not provide this amount of programming - with impact throughout the Pacific Northwest (and beyond!) - without the support of our dedicated volunteers. Read more about last year’s accomplishments in our 2018 year in review.

Volunteers continue to pay it forward in every way, including offering advice and support to one another. Now entering it's third year of publication, Leader Spotlight is a monthly feature of our volunteer leadership at The Mountaineers. In every issue, we ask our featured individual to share tips with the aspiring leaders in our community. The resounding advice? Ask questions and go for it - you're probably more ready than you think!

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING LEADERS IN THE MOUNTAINEERS COMMUNITY?

  • "Jump in and get involved! We always have spots for volunteers of ranging skill levels. Don't wait until you think you're ready for the role, go ahead and let others know you are interested. Very quickly, you will find other volunteers offering to mentor and help you succeed as a volunteer." - Jacob Wolniewicz
  • "Be the type of leader you would have liked to learn from when you were starting this journey." - Ted Miller
  • "Ask for help and tips. This community has an immense store of knowledge that's yours for the asking. Sharing is what we do." -Henry Romer
  • "Give trip leadership a try! In my experience, the committees are pretty conservative in approving trip leaders, so if they think you are ready, you probably are. Most of the individuals I have met on outings have been great to climb with. Almost every trip has been a fun and positive experience." - Curtis Stock
  • "Attunement to your team and environment is as important as your climbing ability. You do not need to be the best or fastest, but develop a clear sense of your capabilities and limitations, and lead within the scope of your skill base." - Rena Chinn
  • "Do it because The Mountaineers organization only works and thrives when members give of their time, skills, and sweat equity. Do it because you enjoy helping a group of similarly-minded outdoor enthusiasts. DON'T do it because you like being in charge and telling people what to do. Do it because you love it." -Bill Coady 
  • "In addition to having appropriate skills, you are the one who sets the tone on a trip. I can't stress enough the importance of communication. Make everyone feel welcome, encourage participants to engage with each other, have fun and a sense of humor!" - Nancy Lloyd
  • "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." - Debbee Lynn Straub
  • "Lead out of your passion. Go places YOU want to go. " - Gordie Swartzman

Thank you to all of our volunteers for everything that you do to enrich The Mountaineers community, and to help our members explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond!

Interested to get involved?

Are you ready to take your membership to the next level? Learn about the many different ways to volunteer with The Mountaineers, including how to become a leader. Are you a course graduate? Consider volunteering as an instructor! There are countless ways to get involved, and we look forward to welcoming you into our vibrant volunteer community.

The Mountaineers also offers a wide variety of leadership development opportunities for current and prospective volunteers. Consider attending our annual Leadership Conference, register for one of our many Outdoor Leadership Courses, or sign-up for one of the continuing education seminars offered through the Leadership Development Series