Volunteers are the backbone and lifeblood of the American Alpine Club. Since our founding in 1902 volunteerism has guided every major idea, decision, effort, and achievement. We are an organization founded, influenced, and supported by dedicated and competent volunteer leaders.

Today, volunteers edit the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Climbing, serve on the Board of Directors, administer our grants, serve as Section and Chapter Chairs, and much much more. Our Volunteer Leadership oversee all initiatives serving members locally, including Section Benefit Dinners, Send & Social gatherings, educational programs, and conservation efforts.

We, as a club, are guided by a vision of a united community of competent climbers and healthy climbing landscapes. To get there, we rely upon a united corps of volunteers who take initiative, get involved, and make many individual strides—small and large—to serve their climbing communities and environments. 


RECRUITING: In order to be successful, recruiting is necessary to build the right crew. New club members are often eager and willing to take on volunteer opportunities. The AAC relies on volunteers to step in and get their hands dirty. Some volunteers have taken on their own events, or joined a national committee. With support from seasoned volunteers you can build a reliable network of helping hands.

TRAINING: Take the time to help volunteers understand their roles and responsibilities. Some people can dive right in, but others may need more information. The club will provide training for volunteer positions through the National Volunteer Leadership Summit, the Guidebook to Volunteerism and various online training resources. On the ground training for volunteers will be provided by Section and Chapter Chairs, with coordination and support from any regional staff.

ENGAGING: Engagement is the responsibility of Section and Chapter Chairs. Volunteers can be engaged on a national and local level through matching interests and skills with a variety of opportunities. Engagement also looks like developing a relationship with your crew by regularly checking in and following up with them. Get to know your volunteers, figure out what keeps them coming back. The ultimate goal of engagement is to have volunteers be empowered in their roles and to foster leadership.

THANKING: Thank volunteers early and often. Show them how much you appreciate their hard work. Verbally thanking your volunteers is the first order of business. Event kits and the Golden office will supply you with cool, blank thanking cards to hand write notes after events. Golden can also supply SWAG items, where apporpirate, to hand out to the very best among your crew!


Become a volunteer leader, take charge in giving back to your AAC community. There are numerous opportunities to get involved in the AAC community at a leader level, be it running a regional Section or starting a local chapter in your area. Find out more about becoming a volunteer leader.

If you are interested in getting involved at a base level to help the AAC, either locally or nationally, click the button below to contact the National Volunteer Program Senior Manager for how to get involved in your area.