Olympia Mountaineers welcomes Becky Nielsen as Youth Program Director

Becky brings excitement and enthusiasm to the Olympia Youth Program where she will focus on building the next generation; giving them the opportunity to learn skills and build an outdoors lifestyle.
Dee Ann Kline Dee Ann Kline
Olympia Branch Super Volunteer
April 25, 2018

Becky Nielsen grew up in the shadow of the Teton Mountains where she climbed, hiked, and kayaked. When she met her husband, who grew up in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains, he introduced her to the joys of backpacking. They have three daughters ages 5, 7, and 9 and are raising them to appreciate the outdoors. “They will push you to the top of Mount St. Helens, show you all of the best huckleberry patches on Mt. Rainier, and the coolest streams to soak your feet after a long day hike through the Olympics."

Summer youth activities

Becky already has a full schedule of summer outdoor activities planned for youth and families. On May 31, she is offering Car Camping for Families. This 2.5-hour class gives families the information and skills they need to have a successful car camping experience. 

During a 2.5-hour Outdoor Skills for Family Backpacking class on June 7, families will learn how to plan trips, find budget friendly gear, and prepare for a successful and fun backpacking trip. 

Working in conjunction with Carla Jonientz and other Olympia hike leaders, she is striving to schedule at least 4 family hikes per month, many as a themed adventure. Adventure hike themes could include: stewardship, learning about wildflowers, berry picking, bat night, Pier Peer night lights, low tide activity and rock climbing. Register for Family hikes and Adventures at Family Hikes and Adventures.

And in a first for the Olympia Mountaineers, we'll be hosting Summer Day Camp August 6-10. Participants will learn outdoor skills and participate in outdoor activities such as cooking, shelter building, kayaking, hiking, and rock climbing. Kids ages 5-12 are encouraged to participate. 

about becky

Becky has an extensive background in program development and training management, and has developed and directed numerous volunteer-led programs in multiple countries. She has extensive experience in China, where she co-developed English language classes in non-traditional classroom settings. At the invitation of a church in Puyallup, she put on a summer camp for over 300 girls for multiple summers.

When she moved to Puyallup 5 years ago, she had her first views of Mt Rainier and began to dream of the possibilities of the mountain. She made her first summit a few months after moving and has summited every year since, many trips which she led.

She realized people in the Puyallup area wanted to learn mountaineering skills but didn’t know where to begin or were not able to afford professional classes, so she created some curriculum, developed a Facebook page with a hands-on training guide, and quickly developed an outdoor community. Her first main community outing was on Mt. St Helens on Mother’s Day 2014, and although there are much bigger summits throughout the year, St. Helens has been the highlight and a growing tradition every year since. This year, 32 people in her training group have obtained permits to climb with her, including 5 preteens.

Becky “volunteers because it provides opportunity and purpose for everyone involved, no matter the work. Even small things like sharing a hobby can have a big impact on someone else that you may not realize at the time.”

Becky Nielsen and Olympia Family and Youth Activities can be found at Olympia Youth Outreach Committee.


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