Olympia Branch Gets Families Outside

Olympia Youth Volunteers and Hiking Committee are expanding offerings for families with young kids as well as grandparents with young grandkids!
Dixie Havlak Dixie Havlak
May 09, 2016

If you live in the South Sound and want to explore the outdoors with your little ones, we have some new opportunities to help you do that. Join our Olympia Family Hike Leaders on a fun South Sound adventure!

Youth volunteers and our Hiking committee decided it was time to expand offerings for families with young kids as well as grandparents with young grandkids. A new Family Hiking Subcommittee has launched within the Hiking Committee to begin offering more family hiking opportunities and to help families make hiking both safe and fun. 

Olympia family hikes

So far, seven successful winter and spring hikes have explored our lowland areas. Three to four families and 6-8 kids have enjoyed these each of these outings. Special activities along the routes include scavenger hunts and frequent stops to explore historical logging machinery, wildlife or other fun things. Journal

Participating kids are given passports and at the conclusion of each trip are given stickers with the trip name and mileage. Kids get to add up their mileage so that our volunteers can award them with pins for a certain level of miles hiked! Kids are also given a chance to put nature stickers and comments or stories on a page of their passports after each adventure. 

All families are encouraged to check out our Olympia Branch Family activities!  For more information or to volunteer as a Family Hike Leader, email Carla Jonientz at carlajonientz@yahoo.com

Find upcoming activities

Community Outreach

A highly successful partnership with the Hands On Children’s Museum has given us interactions with close to 150 kids each month over the past five months. Our two day programs have included snowshoeing on straw, hiking on a funny obstacle course, nature feely meely boxes, and a knot tying extravaganza. We have participated in a large South Sound Green environmental event for elementary aged kids, engaging 33 kids in water purifying and shelter building.  Upcoming events will be abbreviated Wilderness Skills classes for fourth graders in five different school districts and more children’s museum programming. We are creating materials and ideas we are happy to share with others.

Many families who have gotten to know Mountaineers through the Hands On Children’s Museum activities are excited about more opportunities to get outside as a family. We are in the process of developing a Family Adventure Group to meet that need! With this group, we hope to encourage more families to join Mountaineers so that we can foster a fun community of families that can explore together. We also hope to sponsor outdoor adventures such as tree planting, salmon viewing or clamming or attending local outdoor festivals - activities that are not hikes but are a chance for families to come together with their children to appreciate the out of doors. 

Calling All Volunteers

Whether you have kids of your own, have experience working with kids, or just love to have a fun time exploring the outdoors, we'd love to welcome you as a Youth Volunteer or even a Family Hike Leader! Contact Dixie Havlak at .