Volunteers Share Why They Serve The Mountaineers

Tell us, and others, why you volunteer with The Mountaineers!
Chris Williams Chris Williams
April 17, 2014

Volunteers often spend 1-2 days a week training course participants in skills to ensure safe and responsible enjoyment of our natural world. Others also help coordinate and administer course offerings. This is the core of what defines us - The Mountaineers - as a community. 

Hearing from the volunteers helps explain our community to others so they understand why we do what we do. Tell us why you volunteer! Feel free to include your favorite stories! 


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Cebe Wallace
Cebe Wallace says:
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 2:31 PM

For a certain subset of students, learning to climb opens a door to something that will be a major delight in their lives. Being an agent of that is about the most satisfying thing I've ever done with my life.

Deling Ren
Deling Ren says:
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 2:33 PM

I learned a ton in my first year with The Mountaineers. It took a lot of volunteer work to make that happen. I can only pay that forward.

Dick Maguire
Dick Maguire says:
Fri, Apr 25, 2014 2:43 PM

I love teaching and sharing my interest in the outdoors and really appreciate that The Mountaineers give me the opportunity to do so.

Cheryl Talbert
Cheryl Talbert says:
Tue, Apr 29, 2014 5:41 AM

When you watch someone's eyes light up when they see a flowerfield on the side of Rainier on their first hike in the Northwest, and you know that you've helped them get there and gain the skills and passion to go back over and over again, there is nothing like it.

Derek Pierson
Derek Pierson says:
Mon, May 5, 2014 2:07 PM

I remember a time when I struggled with a certain knot or critical skill, then miraculously when I thought I'd never get it a volunteer showed me some random way to remember it, a trick, and it stuck. It's volunteers like that who make the mountaineers who they are today; I can only hope to be that helpful someday to students.

Paul Thomsen
Paul Thomsen says:
Mon, May 5, 2014 9:30 PM

The mountains! Need we say more?

Matt Palubinskas
Matt Palubinskas says:
Tue, May 6, 2014 7:33 PM

Volunteering is a great way to give back to the mountaineering community which I embrace so dearly.

Chris Williams
Chris Williams says:
Thu, May 8, 2014 2:06 PM

Thanks all. I think stories like this help people "get" The Mountaineers in a way that they otherwise wouldn't from simply looking through our course offerings. I've heard stories of members (literally) saving lives, strengthening relationships with their children, reinvigorating their professional careers, and forming lifelong friendships through contact with our organization. "Inspiring" doesn't come close to capturing the power of what we do.

Bill Shecket
Bill Shecket says:
Mon, May 19, 2014 7:27 PM

Doing activities with the Mountaineers CAN JUST BE FUN!
- Bill

Todd Mitchell
Todd Mitchell says:
Mon, Jun 23, 2014 12:02 PM

I volunteer with the Seattle branch Backpacking Committee, because I want to help other people to get out to see beautiful backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. Also, the more people I teach, the more pleasant dinner conversations I can have! Climb on!

Mary Rohlman
Mary Rohlman says:
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 8:48 PM

I really enjoy leading "beginner" hikes and backpacks. The best part is being there to watch the moment a new backpacker or hiker is born.

Liz DelVecchio
Liz DelVecchio says:
Tue, Aug 19, 2014 5:20 PM

Woo hoo! I'm a brand new implant to the PNW from New Jersey. I really didn't feel "at home" here until I started hanging out with the Mountaineers. Long story short, it's the least I can do to return the favor to someone else one day in the future.

Deepak Kumar
Deepak Kumar says:
Fri, Sep 26, 2014 11:20 AM

The Mountaineers in general, and specifically the CHS course I'm graduating on Saturday, have been a life-changing experience for me. I have lost 30 lbs. of weight, and have transitioned from a couch potato into leading 15 mile CHS hikes, all in under a year.