Creating Community During Hike-a-Thon
Meet three Hike-a-Thon participants and learn how they’re building community while enjoy time on trails all through August.
WTA’s Hike-a-Thon is a celebration of community and spending time outdoors. Whether you’re a thru-hiker, weekend warrior or find joy on neighborhood paths, it’s a great opportunity to connect with other hikers and raise funds in support of trails.
I checked in with three different Hike-a-Thon participants to learn more about how they are using Hike-a-Thon to build community this summer. Hiking, of course, was a major topic of our conversations. But the community aspect was important to each of them, as well.
Kendra is getting involved with Hike-a-Thon through her company’s group. Outdoors@Amazon is a group of outdoor enthusiasts who work for Amazon and has 900 members companywide. In Washington, 20 members located in Washington are participating in Hike-a-Thon for the first time and they’re excited to get started.
For Kendra’s team, there’s a wide range of outdoor experience within the group. Some members just moved into the state, while others pursue backcountry adventures every weekend. Organizing group hikes enables them to experience the outdoors together. During Hike-a-Thon, they plan to explore hikes along the I-90 corridor and within Seattle’s parks, which are easily accessible for everyone in the group. There’s a little friendly competition, too. Individuals are competing within the group to see who can hike the most!
Mani is the captain of her family’s team: Mountain Slayers + 2. She and her husband first heard about Hike-a-Thon in 2013, when it was too late to join in. They waited in anticipation until they could join in 2014. They’ve participated ever since and even added team members: their two kids! Hike-a-Thon is a family event they look forward to each summer.
Mani and her family enjoy being outdoors together. They celebrate birthdays with special hikes and backpacking trips. Even after giving birth to her daughter in July of 2015, she participated in Hike-a-Thon the following month with her baby! Mani shifted her hikes to local, neighborhood trails that everyone in her family could enjoy. It’s important to Mani to share how easy it is to participate in Hike-a-Thon. As a person of color, she wants everyone to experience the joy of being outdoors, especially people of color with limited financial resources. Mani participates in Hike-a-Thon to increase awareness of the event and WTA’s work within her own community and also to invite people to participate.
Karen is a long-time supporter of WTA. As the former executive director and board member of WTA, she knows firsthand how important Hike-a-Thon is to the WTA community. This year, she’s dedicating her fundraising efforts to a special individual.
Karen says hiking is her passion. She shares her love for the outdoors with everyone she knows. Hike-a-Thon gives her an opportunity to connect with her hiker friends of the past, present and future. She is also grateful for the opportunity to support WTA’s trail crews and their trail maintenance work. Earlier this year, Karen hiked with Bronka Sundstrom. Bronka is the oldest woman to summit Mount Rainier and, with the exception of maybe a few professional guides, has hiked to Camp Muir and back more than anyone else. Karen was so inspired by Bronka’s story that she is dedicating her 2022 Hike-a-Thon participation to her and pledged to hike 96 miles in honor of Bronka's age.
While their Hike-a-Thon journeys are different, these participants all have the same goal: to join a community of hikers dedicated to giving back to trails. If you want to get involved with Hike-a-Thon and our special group of participants, register today.