The Tacoma Mountaineers have two year-round programs in place in hopes of getting more children into the outdoors.
The local branch of the regional outdoor group is programs for children ages 10-13 called Explorers, and one for children ages 14-18 called Mountaineers Adventure Club, said Sarah Holt, program manager for the Tacoma group.
The Explorers group gets kids outdoors through activities such as hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and camping. Participants go on one or two weekend outings a month, and families are welcome to come along.
Among the scheduled trips are a camping-climbing trip to Frenchman Coulee near Vantage and a hike to the Mount Freemont lookout.
Holt said children need not have prior experience. The Mountaineers will teach all the skills necessary to participate. The group also has a large inventory of equipment that can be borrowed. Registration costs $199 for members and $300 for non-members, and covers nine months of adventures. Learn more at mountaineers.org/TacomaExplorers.
The Mountaineers Adventure Club in Tacoma will be launched in March. The club’s activities will focus on teaching teens to safely learn to climb mountains and travel in the backcountry of the Washington Cascades and Olympics. Students will learn rock climbing and scrambling skills, belaying, rappelling, snow travel, ice axe arrest, backcountry camping skills, and more.
When the training is complete, students will have the opportunity to climb a Cascades mountain this summer, guided by qualified adult leaders. There will be 1-2 weekend trips per month, focusing on training and building outdoor skills. Startup fee is $20, and monthly dues are $35. Learn more at mountaineers.org/TacomaMAC.