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The Mazamas have a proud tradition of volunteer service. One of the most important avenues for this is to serve on a committee, where most of the real work of the Mazamas is done. Typically, a committee term lasts three years, and most committees meet once a month.
Annually, over 20,000 hours are contributed by our members on these committees and through class instruction - thanks!
Below is an overview of the many active committees within the Mazamas. If you’re considering joining any of these committees, please contact us at the Mazama Mountaineering Center and we’ll help you get started.
Adventurous Young Mazamas (AYM) - AYM features hikes, climbs, and other adventures for members and nonmembers alike who are (or would like to be) under 40 years of age. In reality, AYM events are open to all, regardless of age. AYM activities can include adventures a bit outside the usual realm of Mazama-sponsored trips; these can include white-water rafting, sea kayaking, mountain biking and cave exploration, to name just a few. Recently, AYM expanded dramatically and now includes hundreds of members and nonmembers in its varied and fun-filled activities. In addition, each year AYM offers a number of climbs geared for younger climbers.
Access - This committee advocates for enhanced access to climbing areas in the Northwest and actively participates in projects aimed at achieving that goal. It coordinates projects with the Access Fund and maintains liaisons with government agencies in order to accomplish this mission. Recent efforts have been directed toward maintaining climbing access to the Madrone Wall in northwestern Oregon, as one example.
Annual Celebration- The Annual Celebration, held in November, at the end of the climbing season, is a social get-together and party for all members, new and old. It features a dinner followed by presentations of various annual awards, with a well-known climber as guest speaker. The Annual Celebration Committee organizes all aspects of this event, including its silent auction of outdoor-related gear and services.
Bylaws - This committee reviews the Bylaws annually and recommends to the Executive Council any necessary amendments or alterations. It also responds to requests from the Council for changes to the Bylaws and places notice of these in the monthly Bulletin for review by the membership.
Climbing - The Climbing Committee is responsible for all aspects of climbing within the Mazamas. It plans and supervises the organization’s climbs, trains climb leaders in the latest mountaineering techniques, sets standards for climb leaders and assistants, and provides a rigorous training program for members who wish to become climb leaders. In addition, the committee is responsible for providing instruction in the principles and methods of mountaineering through its many schools.
Conservation - The Conservation Committee promotes preservation of scenic and recreational resources throughout the Northwest. Since its beginnings, this committee has helped the Mazamas play a key role in preserving wilderness areas such as Crater Lake and Mt. Rainier National Parks, the Oregon Caves National Monument, and Forest Park in Portland. This committee maintains liaisons with land management agencies to promote the views of the organization in the wise use of these unique natural resources.
Critical Incident Debriefing Team (CIDT) : Adverse incidents can occur in the mountains and, although these are fortunately rare in the Mazamas, should they occur, they can have short- and long-term effects on the individuals involved. Trained Mazama members and nonmember ancillary personnel of the CIDT provide private, confidential, and voluntary debriefings for individuals involved in these incidents, with the goals of speeding recovery, enhancing coping skills, and promoting self-healing.
Education The Education Committee is tasked with managing the education aspects of the Mazamas. The committee handles an education scheduling meeting in May to plan all educational activities for the upcoming class year (October - September). In addition they work with the subcommittees to update curriculum and provide oversight and educational expertise. The committee is comprised of a core group of committee members in addition to liaisons from the education subcommittees.
Expedition - The Expedition Committee promotes mountaineering and exploratory expeditions through endorsements, sponsorships, and grants. This support is geared toward expeditions into remote mountain environments. This committee also organizes presentations to the public by well-known expeditionary mountaineers at various local venues.
Financial Affairs - The Financial Affairs Committee works with the Executive Council and other committees to prepare our annual budgets, prepares quarterly budget forecasts, and advises Executive Council on financial and accounting procedures or decisions.
Information Technology - The advancing field of information technology has created the need for this committee, which helps the Mazamas communicate our organization’s activities on the World Wide Web and also aids committees with their web-based projects.
Library and Historical Archives- With one of the most current and extensive collections of mountaineering books and related materials in the country, the Mazamas has charged this committee with obtaining, maintaining, and preserving our valuable literary and historical archives, including the rare book collection. The library collection consists of approximately 5,000 volumes with an emphasis on mountaineering, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, skiing, conservation, map reading, and wilderness medicine. The committee also fosters a vital oral history program and collaborates with a professional archivist to preserve and document our organization’s records, summit registers, and the Mazama photograph archives, films, videotapes, and DVD’s, and related historical materials, including historical artifacts from the earliest days of mountaineering. Books, videos, and DVD’s may be borrowed by members for a maximum of four weeks without charge.
Lodge - Along with the on-site managers, the Lodge Committee assists in the operations of the Mazama Lodge, located near Government Camp. This committee assists with Lodge maintenance and organizes volunteers to help with Lodge tasks. It also helps plan special Lodge activities, such as family weekends and special-use events such as weddings, and assists with publicity for the Lodge.
Membership Services - This committee educates and involves members and nonmembers about Mazama functions and events. It also strives to recruit and retain members through such activities as the annual Discovery Night party held in the fall for new and potential members and through representation at outdoor-related community events. In addition, this committee provides the Membership handbook - we hope you find it useful!
Old-Timers - This committee sponsors alternative activities for individuals who have been members for 25 years or more. Activities can include city walks and country hikes, nature tours, lectures, and social events.
Outreach - The goal of this committee is to enhance the awareness of Mazama activities in our community and to our own members as well. The committee seeks to enhance visibility of the Mazamas as an important member of the outdoor and conservation-oriented community and as a credible organization promoting research into, and conservation of, Northwest ecosystems. It also promotes awareness of the Mazama public education programs. It strives to accomplish these goals through presentations at outdoor-related community events, press releases about Mazama activities, and publication and placement of posters and flyers in community locations.
Outings - Outings throughout the world are organized by this committee. These active tours can last from five days to three weeks and can involve climbing, hiking, trekking, backpacking, touring, whitewater rafting, canoeing, and/or ski trips. Although a number of destinations include natural and scenic areas of the western United States, others take participants to more distant locations. Recent outings have included adventures in Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Mexico, the Swiss Alps, the Dolomites in Italy, Tibet, and Bhutan.
Program - The Program Committee plans and hosts informational and educational programs, including free Wednesday and Friday evening presentations, at the Mazama Mountaineering Center. These entertaining programs, which can range from movies and slide shows to lectures and demonstrations, are offered from October through May and are open to members as well as the public.
Publications - The Mazama Annual Journal, monthly Bulletin, and Membership Directory are all produced by this committee, which also oversees their distribution to all Mazama members. The Annual Journal features mountaineering articles, photographs, outing reviews, committee reports, and reviews of significant Mazama events and activities of the year. The Bulletin publishes news of Mazama activities; class, hike, and climb schedules; announcements of upcoming outings; Executive Council actions; topics for the Wednesday and Friday evening presentations; and news of volunteer opportunities. The Directory lists contact information for all members and information about committee membership.
Research - The Research Committee provides grants, scholarships and awards for scientific studies promoting wilderness ecology, mountain travel, and safety in the outdoors. Investigations funded can include studies of phenomena pertaining to geology, volcanology, glaciology, botany, forestry, ecology, and those related to the other natural sciences. Summary reports of grantees are published in each Annual Journal and final reports are bound and archived at the Mazama library. Many of these final reports go on to be published in nationally- and internationally-recognized scientific journals. Grants can be awarded to graduate and undergraduate students, university faculty members, and local pre-college teachers and classrooms for projects involving our natural environment.
Risk Management - This committee has two functions: The first is to review any Mazama incidents and report on their causes to the Executive Council; the second is to recommend to the Executive Council any practices and educational policies which would enhance safe management of the risks inherent in our outdoor activities.
Trail Trips - Hundreds of hikes in northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington are sponsored each year by this committee, which organizes our schedule of trail trips, backpacks and the popular bi-weekly city walks known as “street rambles”. These can vary from moderately paced strolls to strenuous conditioning hikes. They can also include regular day hikes, weekend backpacks, and snowshoe trips. A description of each activity is published in the monthly Bulletin, including meeting times, driving and hiking distances, elevation to be gained, suggestions about what to bring along, and the leader’s contact information. A nominal fee is charged and car-pooling is encouraged. As with most Mazama activities, the hikes and other trips overseen by this committee are open to nonmembers.
Trail Tenders - An important subcommittee of Trail Trips, the Trail Tenders perform regular volunteer maintenance on hiking trails throughout our region.