Youth Blog

Youth Blog

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Volunteer With Seattle Mountain Workshops

The Mountaineers partners with Seattle-area youth serving organizations to deliver single or multi-day experiences designed to get youth outside, expose youth to transferable outdoor skills, and impart a desire to explore and conserve the outdoors. We call these programs Mountain Workshops. Through our Seattle Mountain Workshop partner programs, The Mountaineers provides over 1,100 youth experiences a year. We couldn’t provide these programs without the support of our amazing volunteer community! Read more…

Youth Outside | Climbing is for Everyone

I learned how to rock climb through The Mountaineers. Learning to climb this way is empowering because you learn for yourself how to climb safely. As a teacher at the Tacoma Science and Math Institute (SAMI), a public school housed in Point Defiance Park and Zoo, I like to take this empowering educational approach with my students, and one great thing about my school is the requirement that teachers collaborate to co-teach an interdisciplinary class in January. We are encouraged to dream big. Read more…

Join us for Overnight Lodge Camps this summer - Registration Now Open!

Since the beginning of Mountaineers Youth Programs in 2011, camp has been a staple of our summers, filling the Seattle and Tacoma Program Centers with camp joy every year. As we strive to connect more youth with nature year after year, we’re excited to expand our summer offerings to include week-long camp programs from mid-June through mid-August. Join us for a week, or multiple, full of community building and outdoor exploration at a Mountaineers lodge this summer!  Read more…

Youth Outside | Exploring the Magic of Winter with the Mini Mountaineers

Growing up, my family had an off-grid cabin in the woods off Mountain Loop Highway. When my folks bought it, a faded wooden sign hung above the door that read “Scotty’s Castle.” The name stuck. Scotty’s Castle was an unassuming wood-frame cabin with no electricity or running water, but despite its lack of amenities, winter was my favorite time of year to visit the cabin. When the door creaked open to let us in, it would be so cold inside we could see our breath. We’d start a fire, light the gas lamps, and sweep out a few dead mice before unpacking. Read more…

Youth Outside | E.P.I.C. Adventures with Kids: Training and inspiring future youth leaders

It starts with a twinkle of curiosity in their eye. The twinkle turns into an adventurous grin, and in an instant, a child can become lost in their imagination. We want to nurture the spark of joyful adventure when working with youth in the outdoors, and that’s why the goal for each Mountaineers youth program is to introduce kids to the benefits of outdoor experiences. Read more…

Youth & Families Invited to View Salmon Run at Kitsap Forest Theater - Nov 12 & 13

The Kitsap Forest Theater invites all Mountaineers youth and their friends and families to witness the natural wonder of the chum salmon returning to Chico Creek this Saturday and Sunday!  Read more…

Seattle Youth Volunteer Orientation Dinner - Sep 29

Join us on Thursday, September 29 for an evening of good food, good company, and ample opportunities to support the next generation of climbers and outdoor explorers through our youth programs.  Read more…

Two New Youth Volunteer Badges Available

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. Read more…

Youth Outside | Rebuilding Mountain Workshops

Helping youth explore the outdoors is one of the key ways we foster a love of nature, a conservation mindset, and outdoor independence in future generations. Over the last decade, The Mountaineers has developed partnerships with school groups and youth-serving organizations across the greater Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia areas to provide quality outdoor programs known as Mountain Workshops. With the goal of decreasing barriers to the outdoors, Mountain Workshops provide the expertise and gear needed to get kids outside. Read more…

Seattle & Foothills Family Backpacking Courses - 2022

Are you a Seattle or Foothills parent interested in getting outside more with your kids? Join us for a family backpacking course! Backpacking with your kids in the backcountry can be a rewarding adventure for children and parents alike. Unplug, expose your kids to the joys of being outdoors, be together as a family, and watch your children mature into outdoor enthusiasts. Read more…

Join the Mini Mountaineers (ages 2-5) in Seattle

Our youth program for the youngest adventurers, ages 2-5, kicked off for the year last month, and there’s still time to join! Read on to learn about what we do in Mini Mountaineers and how to get your little one involved. Read more…

Seattle Day Camp Registration - Lottery Opens Jan 3, 2022

Since the inception of day camp at The Mountaineers in 2010, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing our programs and community grow in breadth and depth over the last twelve years. Every season is full of camp magic, laughter, bracelet-making, and an inevitably stressful registration day. In response to feedback provided by camp families, and in an attempt to make the registration process smooth for campers and staff alike, we’ve made the decision to reconfigure registration for our Seattle Day Camp offerings. Read more…

Seattle Day Camp Registration - Lottery Opens Jan 2, 2023

Since the inception of our day camps, we’ve had the pleasure of seeing our programs and community grow in breadth and depth. Every season is full of camp magic, laughter, bracelet-making, and outdoor adventure. Historically, camp has had an inevitably stressful registration day as well. In response to feedback provided by camp families, and in an attempt to make the registration process smooth for campers and staff alike, we’ve made the decision to reconfigure registration for our Seattle Day Camp offerings.  Read more…

Impact Giving | $150K Awarded to Mountain Workshops to Get More Youth Outside

Thanks to the advocacy and engagement of our outdoor community, conservation and outdoor recreation received strong support from our State Legislature this budget cycle. Earlier this year we shared the great news that outdoor programs in Washington State received record levels of funding, including $4.5 million dedicated to the No Child Left Inside (NCLI) grant program. Read more…

Youth Outside | Expanding Access to The Mountaineers Gear Library

This past January, Satish Shanmugasundaram was thinking about what resolutions to set for 2021 and getting outside more was at the top of the list. One of the first adventures inspired by his resolution was a snowshoe trip to the banks of Lake Kachess. There, he first learned about The Mountaineers. “I was struggling with the directions and I saw a group. One of them told me that they were from The Mountaineers, and I immediately signed up. Read more…

Become a Youth Volunteer - Oct 13 Orientation & Dinner

Did you know that The Mountaineers has year-round outdoor adventure clubs for youth? At the Seattle branch, there are five different clubs broken up by age for youth ages 6 through 18: Pathfinders for 6-7 year olds; Nomads for 8-9 year olds; Explorers for 10-11 year olds; Junior MAC for 12-13 year olds; and MAC (Mountaineers Adventure Club) for 14-18 year olds. Read more…

Youth Outside | On the Road: How our youth van helped us navigate COVID-19

A little over a year ago, a colleague and I ventured about an hour north of Seattle to the little seaside town of Anacortes. Although tempted by views of nearby Mount Erie State Park, we were on our way to pick up the newest addition to The Mountaineers: a 15-passenger van. The vehicle was fated to take Mountaineers youth to the lakes, trails, and mountains surrounding Puget Sound. Read more…

Impact Giving | Investing in the Future: A Conversation with Lily and Amber Walker

Sometimes a story asks to be told. As part of my role as Assistant Director of Development, I have the privilege of connecting with members to learn how Mountaineers philanthropy has positively impacted their lives. In last fall’s #GivingTuesday scholarship fundraising effort we introduced 18 year-old scholarship recipient Lily Walker, a five-year member of our year-round teen program, the Tacoma Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC). Read more…

New Opportunities for Teens in Mountaineers Summer Camps

Regardless of how old you are, you can’t deny that summer camp is a fun place to be. We get to play games, make friends, and explore beautiful parts of the Northwest. We work hard to make camp an inclusive, welcoming place, and we’re excited to expand that welcome to teens this summer!  Read more…

Youth Outside | Reimagining Camp Magic

Despite summer 2020 being the tenth year of summer camp, it was a year of firsts in more ways than one. With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in March, by June safety was a primary concern for both campers and staff. It led us to wonder – can we still provide summer camp? And if so, what can be done to preserve that classic camp feeling? Sitting shoulder-to shoulder eating s’mores was off the table, but there had to be a way to reclaim the spark that only camp can bring. Read more…

Get Your 8-9 Year Old Outside With Us

Winter has come and our youth programs are gearing up for some fun in the snow! We have a few spots left in our Nomads program (ages 8-9) - sign your kids up for a year of learning and exploration. Read more…

Learn How To Cross-country ski with your youth group this winter!

Forests far away from the rumble of traffic are much different than the asphalt, apartment buildings, and lawns that most of us see daily. Add a layer of freshly fallen snow, and it becomes even more magical! Our goal at The Mountaineers Gear Library is to help youth access incredible places and learn new skills by providing you with the tools and resources needed to get your groups outside. And in winter, what better way to explore than on skis?  Read more…

Youth Outside | The Power of Community

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take a group of incoming college freshmen on a rafting trip in Arizona. I scrambled to get all my gear together before we launched, and that first night I realized that I had forgotten to pack my tent. Thankfully we were in the desert, and I was sleeping on my boat, so I didn’t have to worry about insects and other critters on the beach. The first night I lucked out with a light breeze coming off the water and a crystal clear sky. I slept like a rock. Read more…

Get Your Kids Outside! Youth Programs for Ages 6-9

School is now in full swing, and many are looking for ways to get their kids outside safely while we navigate our new normal. We have good news - there are a few spots left in our Pathfinders (ages 6-7) and Nomads (ages 8-9) youth clubs! Don't miss out on the chance to sign your family up for a year of adventure. Read more…

Seattle Mountaineers Youth Clubs 2020-21: New Member Meetings & Registration

As summer comes to an end, many of us are focused on how to enjoy the last of the sunshine while staying socially distant. At The Mountaineers, we're gearing up for a new season of youth programming to keep our young members outside and engaged! Registration opens this month. Don't miss your chance to sign your kids up for a year of learning and exploration.   Read more…

Youth Outside | Favorite Moments with Mountaineers Youth

When my partner and I moved to Seattle two years ago, we both felt pretty lucky. Here we’d found a place with year-round outdoor activities, a cohort of adventure partners, and views of the mountains from every angle. I was warned that winters could be tough in the Pacific Northwest and to be prepared to go a while without seeing the sun. I steeled myself for this reality, checking the weather app every morning with my coffee to see how many minutes of daylight we’d be gifted that day. Read more…

There’s Something Different About Summer Camp

A typical Seattle Summer Camp day at Magnuson Park has always included swimming in the lake, making nature art near the tennis courts, and taking breaks from walking to savor blackberries. This year, however, we spread out in the water, make individual nature art projects, and sanitize our hands thoroughly before and after foraging. Seattle Day Camp, like everything else in our lives, has reorganized to keep campers, counselors, and their loved ones safe and yet the camp traditions and fun remain the same. Read more…

Dispatches from the Summer Quest

This summer, Mountaineers members are finding safe and creative ways to get out into the natural world to learn, explore, and generally have a good time. For some, that means small group activities with the requisite 11th essential, a mask, and for others, it means the pursuit of a new badge by completing the Youth Summer Quest Challenge! The Mountaineers Youth Education team has loved the creative and thoughtful submissions we’ve received so far and we are excited to share them with you. Read more…

Impact Giving | How Fundraising Improves Outdoor Access Through Mountain Workshops

At The Mountaineers, we believe a diverse and inclusive outdoors inspires unity, respect, and passion for the places we love. We also believe that the outdoors is for everyone. As part of our recurring Impact Giving blog series, this month we’re talking about one of our favorite donor-funded outreach efforts: Mountain Workshops. This program increases outdoor access for youth who may not easily have opportunities to enjoy positive experiences in our wild places.  Read more…

Register: Virtual Day Camps with a Field Trip - July 27-Aug 28

We invite you to join The Mountaineers for five days of summer camp activities and fun at home! Camps will run in morning sessions for 2.5 hours for campers aged 6-12, and each week includes a field trip to the Seattle Program Center at Magnuson Park. Read more…