Our Climbing Curriculum: Tell us what you think!

Did you miss our Progressive Climbing Education listening sessions? Please use this survey to give us your input!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
June 19, 2016
Our Climbing Curriculum: Tell us what you think!

Did you miss the chance to attend our Progressive Climbing Education listening sessions? Please use this survey  to give us your input!

The Mountaineers Board of Directors has spent the last two years trying to understand what’s working for us and what needs improvement, specifically with regard to our education model. We spent the week of Jun 13, 2016, in three listening sessions with 60 members of our community learning about what works and where we can improve.

Based on those conversations, we saw a few key themes:

  • Many volunteers feel overburdened and burnout is high
  • Volunteer recruitment continues to be challenging
  • Permitting has made things increasingly more challenging
  • Our crags are becoming overrun with climbers, and more and more climbers who don’t really know what they’re doing
  • Our most skilled volunteers have few growth opportunities within The Mountaineers – there are limited opportunities for our advanced volunteers to take their skills further and continuing development of volunteers is inconsistent
  • Inconsistencies from branch to branch or even within a given branch's climbing program can be confusing and frustrating to both volunteers and students
  • We continue to struggle to attract younger and more diverse students.
  • Some things we do well and want to ensure we continue to do well, including: building community, providing mentorship, empowering creativity among our course leaders, providing high quality instruction with low student:instructor ratios for an affordable price

A true investment in the future

The Board is directing funds to a project we’re calling Progressive Climbing Education. The goal is to invest significant time and money into figuring out how we can make our suite of volunteer-led Climbing Programs easier and more fun for volunteers to run, easier to recruit volunteers for, more attractive to young new climbers (especially those coming out of the gym), and more advanced for our highly skilled volunteers.

We're listening

Our first step is to make sure we truly understand the needs of our volunteers who are running the courses, and of the community at large, including our students. We had three great listening sessions with more than 60 Mountaineers climbers. If you weren't able to make those sessions or have more ideas, please provide your input!

Share your input now

What’s the long-term vision? 

We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’ve got a good thing going, but we also recognize that the world is a very different place than it was even 20 years ago, and what got us here won’t necessarily take us to where we want to go. Our long-term goal is to work with our volunteer climbing leadership and partners in the community to identify, reinforce and support the things that are working, tweak things that need tweaking, add things that will make things easier or more relevant, and remove things that are in our way.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as this project progresses!