Two New Youth Volunteer Badges Available

This summer, newly-approved Leader Badges for youth volunteers became active! Youth and Family Hike Leader and Youth and Family Backpack Leader certifications are now available for Mountaineers youth volunteers to pursue.
Carl Marrs Carl Marrs
Associate Program Manager - Clubs
August 28, 2022
Two New Youth Volunteer Badges Available
Mountaineers Adventure Club student Zoe Predmore poses on top of a boulder while on a volunteer-led backpacking trip to Cascade Pass in the North Cascades. Photo by Ryan Daudistel

In a wonderful development for youth volunteers at The Mountaineers, two new leadership types were approved at this past winter’s Hiking and Backpacking Activity Summit; Youth and Family Hike Leader, and Youth and Family Backpack Leader.

Over the past several years, with the growth of youth programming at The Mountaineers, the need for more qualified volunteers to take our youth out on trips has become very apparent. These trips often become life-long memories for kids, and none of it would be possible without the support of dedicated parents and Mountaineers volunteers. These new leadership types are designed to make the process of becoming a leader for youth as straightforward as possible.

What are the differences between the new and old certifications?

The major difference between the regular Hike Leader and Backpack Leader certifications you may be familiar with and the new youth certifications is that prospective leaders with experience on youth programs and trips may have that experience count towards the prerequisites required of  leaders. 

Now, these aspiring leaders may attend youth trips (often with their children in various Mountaineers youth programs) as qualifying experience, lead mentored trips for youth within the particular program they are looking to support, and interact with the newly-formed Youth and Family Hiking and Backpacking committees. The aim is to reduce the barriers around leadership many busy families face, and make certification more accessible to a wider variety of folks. 

Take a look at the freshly-published badges for Youth and Family Hike Leader and Youth and Family Backpack Leader to learn what the requirements are. Inquire with your branches' youth committee for more information. See below for each committee's contact information. 

Anyone interested will also need to become a Qualified Youth Leader, our basic requirement of all who interact with youth at The Mountaineers.

Interested in Becoming a Leader?

Fantastic - The Mountaineers needs you! A great first step on this journey would be attending the Seattle Youth Volunteer Orientation Dinner on September 29. Catered dinner and refreshments will be provided, and attendees will get the full scoop on these new leadership types and what it takes to earn them. The dinner will also be a chance for current and prospective leaders to meet one another, share stories, network, and make plans to collaborate in support of the youth in our community.

RSVP for orientation dinner

Details on the next steps will be shared at the Orientation Dinner. However, an important date to mark now is that of the first official Youth and Family Hike and Backpack New Leader Seminar on October 27.

RSVP for new youth leader seminar

If you are unable to make one or both of those dates, or belong to another branch but are interested in supporting youth programming as a volunteer, please reach out to the youth program manager at your branch for information and next steps. Thank you for your support!

If you find yourself wondering why other branches aren’t listed, it is because they do not have active youth committees. If you are interested in banding together with some other volunteers to start one up, reach out to Carl Marrs to get started.

Lead image of Mountaineers Adventure Club student Zoe Predmore on top of a boulder while on a volunteer-led backpacking trip to Cascade Pass in the North Cascades. Photo by Ryan Daudistel.

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Chris Terpstra
Chris Terpstra says:
Sep 07, 2022 07:03 PM