Olympia Branch Service Award


Olympia Branch Service Award

For service above and beyond the call of duty to our Olympia Branch.


For service to our Olympia Branch above the call of duty. The Mountaineers Olympia Branch Service Award consists of two plaques, one large plaque listing all recipients with the new name added each year, and a small individual plaque. Each plaque has the recipient's name engraved on it. Recipients also receive a service award pin.


A committee comprised of the three most recent service award recipients chooses the next award recipient (from nominations submitted to the committee from fellow Olympia Branch members). Each award recipient serves a term of three years. The first year, the award recipient becomes the chair of the Service Award Committee

Current Recipient

Tom Eckhout

Tom Eckhout was awarded the Olympia Branch Service Award for his outstanding and long-term service to the branch and The Mountaineers on October 28, 2017 at the Olympia Branch recognition banquet. 

Since joining The Mountaineers in 1981, Tom has consistently participated, led, taught, and mentored with a true generosity of spirit and infectious enthusiasm. Enthusiasm not only for the outdoors and activities, but also for The Mountaineers philosophy and mission… a true and valuable ambassador for our organization.

In addition to all of this, Tom is always highly organized and well prepared. He is articulate and consistently imparts great knowledge and experience with good humor, fostering highly supportive learning experiences in activities, classes, and field trips. Feedback from his activities consistently reflects his enthusiasm, support, depth of knowledge, preparedness, and organization.

Many years ago, Tom graduated Backcountry Snowshoeing, Alpine Scrambling, and Basic Climbing in Seattle and spent many years contributing greatly by participating, volunteering, and leading activities in Seattle. In Olympia, he has been a member of almost every committee, including Alpine Scrambling, Climbing, the Branch Council, Hiking & Backpacking, MOFA, Navigation, Nordic Skiing, Snowshoe, and Winter Travel. Many of these our Tom has either chaired or co-chaired.

Over the past several years, Tom has received the Super Volunteer badge, the “10-Plus” Key Leader badge, and is a Qualified Youth Leader. His longevity of service stretches back well before accessible records, but just in the past 3 years, he has led almost 80 activities. At a conservative estimate, Tom has provided four or five hundred opportunities for participants to play and learn in the mountains. This is a truly impressive accomplishment that clearly shows Tom’s dedication and enthusiasm.

Tom has also been the chair and course instructor for Olympia's Alpine Scrambling class, as well as chair or co-chair of the Nordic Skiing and Snowshoe class for the last 5 years.

Almost every one of us has benefitted in one way or another through the contributions by Tom.  His love of the mountains and of helping others  experience the same joy is perhaps best articulated in his profile statement:

I love getting out into the mountains. For 35+ years as a member of the club, I have been having fun sharing experiences and learning about Mountaineering.  Summer outings are great but winter adventures are even betterer.  Let's go play.

For 36 years Tom has volunteered his time, skills, knowledge, and passion to The Mountaineers.   We are honored to have him as a member and honored to give him the 2017 Service Award.

Award Recipients

2017  Tom Eckhout
2016 Will Greenough
2015 Carla Jonientz
2014 Carolyn Burreson
2013 Mike Kretzler
2012 Curt Rosler
2011 Henry Romer
2010 Jim French
2009 Ron Raff
2008 John Flanagan
2007 Don Lund
2006 Jamer Lang
2005 Marilyn Miller
2004 Ed Henderson
2003 Kerry Lowry
2002 Paul Schaufler
2001 Olive Hull
2000 Edythe Hulet
1999 Thomas W. Pearson
1998 Frank Maranville
1997 Hugh Favero
1996 Tom Keller
1995 Tom Whitney
1994 Linda Stretz
1993 Bartlett Burns
1992 Roy and Grace Teague
1991       Paul Wiseman