The Mazamas offers a variety of classes for all ability levels. Learn new skills in mountaineering, rock climbing, first aid, ski mountaineering, and more.
The goal of the Youth Outreach Climbing Program is to further the mission of youth-serving organizations through climbing education and community building at the Mazama Mountaineering Center and at local outdoor climbing areas. During a Youth Outreach Climb, participants learn the basics of climbing equipment, safety and commands, how to properly belay one another and the fundamentals of climbing technique. Class curriculum may be modified at any time to meet the immediate goals of the Youth Outreach Partner. Mazama volunteers provide belaying, instruction, and mentoring to youth.
Volunteering with Mazama Youth Outreach Climbing Events
Mazamas partners with youth-serving groups in the Portland area to offer climbing education and experiences to youth of all ages. This program is largely run by volunteers. Volunteers provide belaying, climbing instruction, and mentoring to young climbers. Volunteers are welcome to join for a single event or for many. Volunteer shift times vary, including weekends and weekdays, during typical business hours as well as evenings.
Interested in volunteering? In order to volunteer, we require that volunteers complete the following items prior to their first shift:
Background Check (cost-free to volunteers)
Read, understand, and agree to the Youth Policy Agreement
Read, understand, and agree to the general Mazama Volunteer Agreement
Complete a Mazama Youth Belay Check (on site for your first volunteer shift)
To get started on completing these items or for questions, contact Molly Mosenthal.
To sign up for a shift, view our calendar of upcoming climbs to the right. Click each event to view more details or to register to volunteer.
Don't see any upcoming events? We'll schedule some soon! Contact Molly Mosenthal to receive updates when new events are added.
Youth Outreach Climbing Partners
Mazamas partners with a variety of youth-serving organizations in the Portland area, serving youth of all ages. If you are affiliated with a youth-serving organization that may benefit from a partnership with this program, we would love to connect with you. Please fill out this brief form and we will be in touch shortly.
Youth Outreach Climbing Partners
Youth Outreach Climbing events run year-round, but are concentrated during the school year. Events occur on weekdays and weekends, at varying times.
Some Youth Outreach Climbing partners come once for a single event, and some build upon their experience will multiple successive events.
Most events occur at the Mazama Mountaineering Center (MMC), though occasionally events occur at local crags or gyms. In this case, partner organizations and volunteers must provide their own transportation to and from the crag or gym.
Mazamas Youth Outreach Climbing partners range from one-on-one mentoring groups to residential mental health treatment programs to after-school groups to much more. Many of our program partners are culturally-specific organizations.
We strive to meet the needs of your youth, whatever that entails. If you are interested in bringing a youth group and unsure if we will be able to meet your needs, please contact us to discuss.
After some ice breaker and get-to-know-ya time, Youth Outreach Climbing events kick off with an introduction to climbing: gear, tying in, safety checks, and commands. Once we have the basics under our belts, participants get on the wall to practice their skills and technique.
Some groups will continue their curriculum to learn belaying, rappelling, and more.
If you are interested in something other than climbing (i.e. hiking, snowshoeing, camp-outs, skiing or more), let's chat! We are always open to discussing new possibilities that could work for your group.
Youth Outreach Climbing groups range from pre-k to post-high school, with most of our partners serving youth in middle and high school.
The only requirement is that youth are large enough to fit into a full-body harness safely, typically around 40 lbs minimum, but variable depending on body shape.
Volunteers must be age 14 or older.
Youth Outreach Climbing Volunteers need to be comfortable belaying and enjoy working with youth of diverse backgrounds.
In order to volunteer with this program, volunteers must have the following badges:
Youth Volunteer Belay Check
If you are interested in volunteering with the program and are missing any of these badges, please contact us to get set up.
In addition to the mandatory youth volunteer pre-requisites, we offer periodic volunteer trainings to enhance your skills and confidence in working with youth in outdoor education. Training topics vary, and we highly encourage all volunteers, new and returning, to attend as many of these as they are able to. You will find these opportunities on the calendar on the right hand side of this page. Don't see any now? Check back soon!
Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own harness and belay device to events. If you do not have access to this gear, we have extras at each event that you are welcome to use.
Mazamas will supply all gear for partners and participants.
- Indoor Climbs
- 3 hours or less: $150 for all participants, up to 15 youth participants. Additional fees apply for events over 3 hours or with more than 15 youth participants.
- Outdoor Climbs
- For local events (<25mi from Mazama Mountaineering Center): $250 daily for all participants, up to 10 youth participants. Additional approval required for more than 10 youth participants.