The Mountaineers Kitsap Branch
About The Mountaineers
Founded in 1906, The Mountaineers is Washington’s premier outdoor club. The Mountaineers club is dedicated to the principles of preserving, protecting and enjoying the outdoors.
The Mountaineers Kitsap Branch
Formed March 6, 2003, the Kitsap Branch is a young, vibrant and growing branch of The Mountaineers. It is proud to be a sister to the branches in Bellingham, Everett, Olympia, Seattle, Snoqualmie Foothills, and Tacoma. The Kitsap Branch uses Kitsap Cabin (the Forest Theater/Rhododendron Preserve property) at 3153 Seabeck Highway as its home base and holds many of its events there. Gatherings, meetings, and socials may be held throughout Kitsap County. Information about Kitsap Branch events can always be found posted on the Brach website at www.kitsapmountaineers.org.
Benefits of Membership
Membership in The Mountaineers Kitsap Branch provides a wealth of benefits, foremost of which is access to training at greatly reduced rates. Courses offered by The Mountaineers include such offerings as basic climbing, intermediate climbing, cragging, introductory hiking, MOFA (Mountaineering Oriented First Aid), photography, sea kayaking, winter travels/snowshoeing and Scrambling. Other courses are offered as need and interest indicates. All courses are available to members at a significant savings over comparable commercial classes and course enrollment typically opens for members before opening to the general public. Additional benefits include organized activities and priority access to the recreational properties owned by The Mountaineers. Members have first access to activities of both the Kitsap Branch and other club branches. Activities include hikes, climbs, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, singles, family activities and a host of others. Members also have access to The Mountaineers five recreational properties. These properties include the Kitsap Cabin/Forest Theater and the adjoining Mountaineers Foundation Rhododendron Preserve as well as the Snoqualmie property and the three ski lodges, Meany Ski Hut, Baker Lodge and Stevens Lodge. Lodge fees for members are significantly lower than those charged the general public.
The Kitsap Property
The Kitsap property consists of twenty acres owned by The Mountaineers. Located on the property are a number of structures. Chief among these structures is Kitsap Cabin, a registered state heritage site, built in 1918 primarily by Mountaineer women as the men were fighting World War I. A niche was left in the chimney of the river rock fireplace to hold a plaque honoring Mountaineer war dead. In celebration of the fact that no Mountaineers lost their lives in that war the niche remains empty. Also located on the property is the Forest Theatre, a natural amphitheatre that has been home of The Mountaineers Players annual Spring Play since 1926. In addition there is a dormitory, and numerous tent sites as well as storage facilities on the property.
The Mountaineers’ property is surrounded by The Rhododendron Preserve 460+ acres of lowland rain forest containing the last remaining old growth in Kitsap County as well as one of the largest Douglas fir trees in the state. This surrounding property belongs to The Mountaineers Foundation (visit www.mountaineersfoundation.org for more information) a separate but related organization. This natural classroom and laboratory is used by The Mountaineers Kitsap Branch for educational outreach programs with the local school district, scout and campfire groups and local home school associations as well as being used for training courses where appropriate.
Community and Youth
The Kitsap Branch is excited to be part of the incredible communities of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental stewards in Kitsap County. In addition to our Hiking, Climbing, Sea Kayaking, Photography, Navigation, First Aid, and Winter Travel/Snowshoe programs, the Kitsap Branch has several programs specifically designed to encourage outdoor learning, stewardship and conservation among young people. Current offerings include unforgettable Salmon Safaris and the incredibly popular Youth Theater Camp. Salmon Safaris has recently transitioned to a year around program but still concentrates most of its efforts on bringing groups onto the Rhododendron Preserve to view spawning salmon in the fall and fry in the spring. Providing this up close and personal experience with nature encourages greater understanding and connection with the natural world. Youth Theater Camp fosters love for the outdoors by offering theatrical training including, acting, dance, music and stage combat outdoors at the Kitsap Cabin site. Long range plans are to build on the existing programs in order to create an outdoor education/environmental learning center. The Rhododendron Learning Center as it is known will be dedicated to spawning outdoor learning.
Youth are very important to the Kitsap Branch and in addition to our education programs we are proud to be able to offer HARK (Hiking and Active Recreation with Kids) a program dedicated to getting young people out in nature and teaching them the fundamentals of outdoor activities.
How to Join
To join, simply fill out an application at any Branch meeting or on-line at www.mountaineers.org
For current list of The Mountaineers Kitsap Branch activities visit our website www.kitsapmountaineers.org. Specific questions may be directed to the website or e-mail us at
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