The Mountaineers Programs
The Mountaineers cultivates a corps of 1,900 skilled and experienced volunteers who lead or instruct more than 3,200 courses and activities annually. We get people outside to engage them in a lifetime of outdoor pursuits. Our courses are integrated with training in low-impact recreation techniques, conservation education, and opportunities to provide stewardship of recreation areas.
The vast majority of today’s youth use technology on a daily basis, but only 10% say they are spending time outdoors every day. And youth from diverse communities are even less likely to be engaged in the outdoors. To combat this trend, The Mountaineers launched programs in 2011 to provide youth with outdoor experiences. Youth programs encompass a suite of opportunities, the centerpiece being Mountain Workshops. Delivered in partnership with local elementary schools, and community youth-serving organizations, the program reaches underserved youth ages 6-20 and includes a curriculum that integrates outdoor recreation instruction and activities with exploration and appreciation of the natural world.
The Mountaineers established Mountaineers Books to share its love of the outdoors with the publication of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. Today, with more than 700 titles in print, Mountaineers Books -- along with its Skipstone and Braided River imprints -- publishes a variety of award-winning outdoor recreation, sustainable lifestyle, and conservation advocacy books to lead readers to the great outdoors.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The Mountaineers youth programs have successfully introduced young people to the benefits of outdoor recreation, including a better appreciation of nature and a grounding in life skills such as resilience and self-confidence. Fueled by donor support and over 3,900 volunteer hours, our youth programs provided over 5,500 opportunities to get kids outside in 2014! And our conservation work connected our community with the landscapes in which they play, creating more advocates and inspiring more than 5,000 stewardship hours. But, we have so much more to do. Connecting youth with the outdoors is critical to their health and to the health of the natural landscapes. Young people need the benefit of a healthy, active lifestyle and our landscapes need the protection of individuals with a strong connection to the outdoors.
Donations through GiveBIG will advance The Mountaineers youth, conservation, books and volunteer development programs to get all people outside to connect with the natural world and engage in its stewardship and protection.