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 nonprofits in the Portland area to offer climbing education and experience to youth groups. 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 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.


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Youth Outreach Climbing events run year-round, but are heavily concentrated from December-May. 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.

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Most events occur at the Mazama Mountaineering Center (MMC), though occasionally events occur at local crags or gyms. In this case, volunteers must provide their own transportation to and from the crag or gym.

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Youth Groups

Mazamas Youth Outreach Climbing partners range from one-on-one mentoring groups to residential programs to after-school groups. Many of our program partners are culturally-specific organizations.

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Climbing Curriculum

Youth Outreach Climbing events start off with an introduction to climbing: gear, tying in, safety checks, and commands.

Some groups will continue their curriculum to learn belaying, rappelling, and improve their climbing technique.

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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.

Volunteers must be age 14 or older.

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Volunteer Prerequisites

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:

Mazamas Volunteer Agreement

Youth Volunteer Policy Agreement

Background Check

Belay Check

If you are interested in volunteering with the program and are missing any of these badges, please contact Molly Mosenthal to get set up.

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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.