Olympia Social and Awards Celebration 2022 Recap

At the 2022 Olympia Branch Social and Awards Celebration we celebrated all the folks who make the Olympia Branch so incredible, with special mentions of course graduates, outstanding volunteers, and award recipients.
Regina Robinson Regina Robinson
Olympia Branch Communications Volunteer
October 27, 2022
Olympia Social and Awards Celebration 2022 Recap

This month the Olympia Branch held its annual Social and Awards Celebration to honor 2022 course graduates and award pins, patches, and services awards to our outstanding members. Mike Endres was our guest speaker. A guide book writer and photographer, he captivated the crowd with stories about his travels climbing and adventuring from Colorado to Alaska. Although there was no banquet this year, light refreshments were served and plenty of radiant smiles were shared as members reminisced and celebrated the skills acquired, lessons learned, and memories made during this past year.

Congratulations to our course graduates
Congratulations to all of our students who graduated from Olympia Mountaineers Courses! And thank you to our 2020 students for sticking with us during the Covid-19 pandemic. All of your hard work and perseverance has led you to this moment. We are so proud of you and honored to have been able to celebrate your graduation day. Just know we will be looking to you to volunteer next year for future classes, courses, activities, and events. You are our next leaders!

In addition to all of our course graduates, I would like to give a special shout-out to those course participants who chose to take not one, but two or more courses with us. It isn’t easy managing more than one course along with jobs, families, and everything else life throws our way. You made it! Congratulations.

Linda.PNGLinda Nelson at FOSS, TAMANOS, AND MARCUS PEAKS. Linda was the second 2022 Alpine Scrambling student to graduate.

Thank you to our Youth Programs volunteers and leaders

We are so thankful for our many youth programs volunteers and leaders. You all make our youth programs shine and we could not be the best at what we do without you.

I’d like to give a special thank you to the following volunteers and leaders in the Youth Programs:

  • Summer Camp Outstanding Volunteers: Rob Schanz, Jennifer Fortin, Carol Frolich, Michelle Garcia, and Jenn Updyke
  • Family Climbing Coordinator: Ben Whitten, with help from his daughter Claire
  • Family Skills Classes: Warren Divine and Luke Robert (a special thanks for offering Family Backpacking)
  • Youth Outreach Outstanding Volunteers: Joseph Natterer and Rob Schanz 
  • Family Hiking: Dixie Havlak, with sidekick Dirk Havlak and Paul Kallman
  • Overall Coordinator: Dixie Havlak (thank you for assisting staff in program planning, camps, programs, and as hike and backpack leader)

2022 Award recipient Highlights

max.PNGMaxine Dunkelman receiving the 2022 Service Award. Photo by Dee Ann Kline. 

A huge congratulations to Maxine Dunkelman who was presented with the 2022 Service Award, the highest award in the Olympia Branch. Maxine joined The Mountaineers in 1990 and took over the Olympia Branch Library in 1994. She was kind enough to move the library to her very own home where she thoughtfully operates the lending of important resources to our members. Over the years she has lent laptops and projectors, eventually loaning bear canisters. As librarian, Maxine has volunteered at more branch events than anyone else, and at each event she brings a selection of pertinent books for members to enjoy. Thank you Maxine.

lind.PNGNancy Lloyd was honored as the 2022 Hike Leader of the Year. Photo by Dee Ann Klein.

Congratulations to Nancy for being awarded the 2022 Hike Leader of the Year! Nancy has led many hikes this year for the Olympia Hiking and Backpacking Committee. She is very knowledgeable about all hiking topics and excellent at sharing her knowledge with new hikers. Nancy has been a key leader for the Conditioning Hiking Series. Thank you Nancy for being a Super Volunteer!

 ken.PNGKen Ames receiving the Olympia Mountaineers Frank Maranville Memorial Award. Photo by Dee Ann Klein.

Congratulations to Ken Ames, who received the prestigious Olympia Mountaineers Frank Maranville Memorial Stewardship Award. Ken joined The Mountaineers in 2014 and has completed and volunteered with many Mountaineers courses including Basic Alpine Climbing, Basic Sea Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Cross Country Skiing, Avalanche Awareness, and more. He is also a 2019 Super Volunteer.

Ken was Crosscut Sawyer Certified with the Olympia Branch in 2018 and has helped with subsequent Sawyer course instructions. He has joined us on almost all of our log outs over the past three years and has participated with many of our other (non-log out) work parties.

Ken took it upon himself to become one of the first in The Olympia Mountaineers to be certified with a chainsaw because he saw there were log out problems that couldn’t be fixed with a crosscut saw. In addition, he completed Dolly Chapman's saw sharpening class and is part of our Team Sharp!

He purchased a cordless Stihl chainsaw for our branch because it makes little engine noise, emits no fossil fuel issues, and is more compatible with public land managers' attitudes toward power tools. He is the first recipient of our Chainsaw Operator Certification badge and the reason why the badge exists. He is widely admired for his leadership, instructor skills, and willingness to help new and experienced sawyers. Additionally, he is a good problem solver and master trip planner.

Ken often applies his knowledge of school grounds and maintenance to problems we encounter, like the repairs to several boardwalks in Tolmie State Park. Congratulations Ken on your well-deserved award.

 Thank you

This blog is just a snippet of all the amazing folks who were recognized at our Olympia Social and Awards Celebration. Congratulations and thank you to all Olympia volunteers, leaders, course graduates, and overall members who contribute to making our Olympia Mountaineers community so amazing. You truly are the heart and soul of this community, and we are so grateful for all the time and energy you spend making our courses, activities, events, and programs the very best they can be. 

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