Participation Notes: An important, objective tool for our leaders

Understand the Participation Notes function on our website, and when and how to use them!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 27, 2017

Participation Notes are a crucial component of The Mountaineers’ internal reporting and tracking process - without this documentation, we’re unable to head-off potential problems, provide feedback, or track trends.

What are Participation Notes? Who can see them?

Participation Notes are confidential notes on a member’s profile that are visible to leaders and staff. They make note of things like a participant's level of mastery over a certain skill  and identify people with demonstrated leadership potential.

Leaders have the opportunity to add Participation Notes after any activity or field trip. The addition of Participation Notes is optional, not required, but The Mountaineers encourages leaders to add objective thoughts or feedback if it would benefit the community or help another leader better support that participant on a future trip.

How should leaders approach Participation notes?

Think of Participation Notes as objective, rather than something that is positive or negative. They are a tool to help you, the leader, to better vet the members on your roster. Use these notes to plan safer trips and to be better prepared to meet members’ individual needs.

Examples: If a member on your roster has had difficulty self-arresting on moderate snow slopes, or wet-exiting from his kayak, you need to know that. It's a safety concern! If a member on your roster consistently steps-up and brings a great attitude to every trip they attend, you want to know that, too. They’re an asset, and perhaps you can encourage them to become a leader, themselves!

How do I view someone’s Participation Notes?

To view a member’s Participation Notes, click on the “Activities” tab in his or her profile, then click on the blue “Review Participation Notes” button at the top of the screen.

If I’ve already completed an Incident Report and/or a Problem Behavior Form, do I still need to add Participation Notes?

Yes! Information from either of those forms will not auto-populate into the member’s Participation Notes from your activity. If you do not add any Participation Notes, that information will not be available to the next leader.

Are Participation Notes only meant to document problems or concerns?

No! Participation Notes are a great tool for identifying aspiring leaders and outstanding members of our community!

When can I add Participation Notes to a member’s profile?

For a refresher on how to close an activity and add Participation Notes, you can read more here.

Building our Community Together

The Mountaineers is a community of individuals, and it is our responsibility to look out for one another. As you go to close your next activity, think critically about your group. Did you wish you’d known more in advance about any of the group members’ hard skills or soft skills? Did you need to file an Incident Report? Did you notice any exceptional, aspiring leaders? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes”, chances are that you need to take a few minutes to add some Participant Notes. This system only works if our leaders take the time to “pay into” the system, so we appreciate your additional effort!

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Cheryl Talbert
Cheryl Talbert says:
Mon, Jul 31, 2017 6:56 AM

It's also VERY important for leaders reading a participant note to contact the leader who wrote that note to understand the situation before deciding to act on that info. We don't want one bad day to follow a participant around for years afterwards! Always be thoughtful of the person's feelings and seek to understand what happened, don't just reject a person for your trip based on a past bad note.

Peter Hendrickson
Peter Hendrickson says:
Thu, Aug 10, 2017 8:03 AM

Hoping that notes are clearly dated and that participants are able to both view and respond to provide, for example, a more recent picture of, say, fitness, skill level or approach.