Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Your Favorite Volunteer Memories of 2020

Your Favorite Volunteer Memories of 2020

Posted by Janée at Dec 11, 2020 11:47 AM |
Filed under: ,

You and other volunteers have accomplished a lot in 2020. Here are some of your favorite memories.

You and other volunteers have accomplished a lot in 2020. As part of Volunteer Appreciation week this year, we asked you to share some of your favorite volunteer memories with us, and you delivered.

We had so many of you tell us what you loved about this year, we decided to put together a few of your highlights and stories, as well as slideshow. Enjoy!

IMG_1389 (1).JPG
Suspender appreciation party. Photo by Judy Eib. 

Assistant crew leader Judy Eib caught this funny matching moment: her crew's matching suspenders as they evaluate a project at Moran State Park.

austin smith.jpg
Photo by Austin Smith.

Hiking guide correspondent and advocate Austin Smith loves being able to provide friends with recommendations he's personally researched. This year, a friend asked for a hike suggestion in the William O Douglas wilderness. Their conversation swung from Dumbbell Lake and an excellent campsite, to the lakes in the region and the history and etymology of Tumac Mountain.

"All of this was fresh in my memory banks thanks to a Tumac Mountain Loop trail I wrote up a few years ago for the WTA. To firsthand experience a friend using my beta to experience wilderness, in his way, really made my day. This was the greatest affirmation I could have asked for that what I’ve created by writing guidebook entries for the WTA is so wonderfully worthwhile."

doris wang.jpg
Katherine and Doris Photo by Doris Wang.

Advocate, hiking guide correspondent, trail maintenance volunteer and ambassador Doris Wang said: "Best memory from this year: Bringing a friend on her first BCRT and watching her earn her hard hat!"

Screenshot 2020-12-10 223116.jpg
Photo by Patrick Sullivan.

Volunteer blue hat Patrick Sullivan was grateful to be able to spend time on trail with other volunteers this year.

"The thing that will stick with me the most for this year is the gratitude of the participants to be outside having fun and doing something constructive that doesn’t involve a Zoom meeting. Leading crews greatly helped keep me sane."

jaime weber (work party from February).jpg
Photo by Jaime Weber in February 2020.

After volunteering pre-Covid in February, I took a longer-than-normal break from trail work, and was so thankful and grateful to return in October and experience the same friendly focus on safety, fun, and work! Nowadays, there are fewer people and more masks, of course, but still the same awesome way to give back to the hiker community. - Jaime Weber, hiking guide correspondent and trail maintenance volunteer

nancy denny_robin lakes.jpg
Photo by Nancy Denny.

Trip reporter OutsideNancy has enjoyed interacting with other hikers complimenting her on her trip reports. Above, a pic from her three-day September backpacking trip to Robin Lakes.

Sunset on Lookout Mountain with nameplate.jpg  Lyle Cherry.jpg  Bench Lake Burned Forest with nameplate' (1).jpg
Lookout Mountain, Lyle Cherry Orchard and Bench Lake. Photos by Sandy Watt.

Some of volunteer Sandy Watt's favorite memories of 2020 were made possible by volunteer chief crew leaders. On a work party at the East Fork of the Lewis River, Guy Hamblen arranged an after-work hike to Lookout Mountain for a sunset view (left). Sandy marked her 50th day on trail this year by working at Lyle Cherry Orchard (center) with Gabe Smith, one of the first crew leaders she met. And during a backcountry response team (BCRT) at Bench Lake, crew leader Tom Griffith pointed out details like the effects of the fire that had burned through years earlier.

Brian Chandler.jpg
Brian earns his green hat. Photo by Cherie Chandler.

"One of my favorite volunteer memories this year is when I got my hard hat at Whipple Creek. It's in my hometown and it's really fun to work on and hike on (like all trails are, but especially on a trail party). I volunteer because it's super fun and a great way to get to know other people and watch as the trail grows and evolves and gets better for the wildlife and people and it's fun to work." -- Brian Chandler, trail maintenance volunteer

shannon leader.jpg
Photo by Shannon Leader.

From Highway 12 to her own backyard, hiking guide correspondent Shannon Leader enjoys revisiting some of her favorite trails in order to write up hiking guide entries for them. 

Vanessa Weiland.jpg
Photo by Vanessa Weiland.

"On my BCRT this year we were working up on a ridge and it was very wet and windy. I was starting to get cold and cranky so I went to take a break and noticed that a bubble in my water bladder was smiling back at me. It was just silly enough to cheer me up, and we got some great work done!" - Vanessa Weiland, trail maintenance volunteer

Matt Roe.jpg
Photo by Matt Roe.

Matt Roe's favorite volunteer memory was attending his first trail maintenance crew!

Trail work is just one of many Youth Ambassador projects. Photo by Britt Lê.

"I volunteer with WTA because I want to give back to the trails and wild spaces that I love to use and enjoy. I feel like it's my way of saying thanks to the land I was raised on and love so much. My favorite memory of 2020 was organizing a trail work party at Discovery Park for my Youth Ambassador Project! It was so fun to help lead trail work and give back to my own community in Seattle!" - Kai Yuen, youth ambassador

john brink.jpg
Photo by John Brink.

Trip reporter and hiking guide correspondent thebrink enjoys submitting trip reports and sharing his photos. Here, the clouds offered an opening to a view of the Deming Glacier from the Park Butte Trail.


Trail work, hiking guide entries, trip reports and more - volunteers have a lot to celebrate in 2020.

Do you have a favorite volunteer memory from 2020? Share it in the comments below!