Stuck Inside: Youth Edition, Episode 4

The Youth Team presents its fourth edition of Stuck Inside, a weekly blog featuring ideas and activities for kids of all ages to stay engaged while staying home safe. This week, we’re focusing on learning new skills!
Andy Bassett Andy Bassett
Youth Programs Manager
April 19, 2020
Stuck Inside: Youth Edition, Episode 4
Learning the Figure 8 Knot! Photo by Katie Love.

Welcome back! Each week, The Mountaineers youth team is sharing ideas and activities for kids of all ages to stay engaged while also staying home and safe. Last week’s Stuck Inside focused on connecting with others. This week, we are giving suggestions for new skills you can learn with all this extra time on our hands.

In previous episodes of Stuck Inside, we have covered learning a variety of skills during your time at home including cooking, art, and mindfulness. We'd now like to dive deeper into some topics you can learn during social distancing, such as skills for when you're in the mountains, knots, plants native to the Pacific Northwest, and navigating. Take some time to learn about something that sparks your creativity!

Mountaineering skills:

The Mountaineers website has many resources for people trying to learn the skills required to safely travel in the mountains. We just published a virtual education center last week! Take a look at some skills including belaying, glissading, and how to prepare for an overnight trip.

The Mountaineers website also has eLearning courses you can take to go deeper into a given topic. You even earn a badge for your profile when you complete the course! eLearning course offerings include:

If there's a topic you really want to master, check out Mountaineers books for how-to books and motivation for your next adventure.

Climbing Knots:

One skill all climbers need is the ability to tie a variety of knots. This skill is easy to learn and practice at home! Check out this website, Animated Climbing Knots, to learn the ropes. We recommend learning the Figure 8 Knot, the Clove Hitch, and the Prussik Knot. If you're up for the challenge, try the Bowline Knot or the Double Fishermans. 

Native Plants:

Get ready to name all the plants on the side of the trail this summer! The Washington Native Plant Society has a huge collection of activities for Kindergarteners through Middle Schoolers to learn about plants in the PNW. We recommend Meet Douglas Fir, Growing Native Seeds, Plant Assessment, and The Forest Floor.


Navigating is an essential skill for mountaineers. Geocaching is a great way to learn how to navigate! Use a GPS or phone to navigate to a geocache near you and see how many you can find in your neighborhood. While this might not be a great time to sign in at the caches, you can still find them and keep a log of how many you've found.

The 10 Essentials:

Get ready for your next outdoor adventure by learning (or reviewing) the 10 Essentials with the great video from REI. Afterward, make a 10 Essentials kit so you're ready to head to the mountains when the time comes!

Youth Team Highlight: Andy Bassett

I have been able to work in education for over 15 years, and still love being able to learn new skills. Though these days I'm trying to learn more about making video meetings effective and relying on less in person communication! My favorite moment when learning something new is when you feel the light bulb go off in your head and you just want to do it over and over to solidify the learning. Back when I was still learning to climb, I spent hours building two piece anchors around anything that stood still. It was fun to try and master new things and learn something I could build upon. Though I am spending less time outside right now, this still feels like a great time to learn something new and work towards mastering, who knows maybe this week I’ll work on stuffed croissants, or maybe doughnuts!

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Stay safe, have fun, be joyful. See you next week!

About Youth Programs:

The Mountaineers is committed to bringing outdoor experiences to today’s youth through our outdoor youth and family programs. We introduce young people to the benefits of outdoor experiences: a healthy lifestyle, outdoor recreation skills, perseverance, self-confidence, self-reliance, an appreciation for the natural world, and a commitment to protecting the outdoor experience. We offer year-round clubs, break and summer camps, outreach programs through Mountain Workshops, a youth gear lending library and even programs for our smallest members: Mini Mountaineers. 

Learn more about the programs we offer, and find out even more about Andy, on our youth page.

Youth learning the Figure 8 Knot! Main Photo by Katie Love.


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