A Year in the Life of a WTA Superstar
Jaime Weber, a WTA member and volunteer, looks forward to the start of her personal trail work season. She saves her summers for hiking, and turns to trail work as fall shifts to winter. But that doesn’t mean she sits on her laurels during her trail-maintenance off-months.
by Whitney Allen
When you’re on a work party with WTA member and volunteer Jaime Weber, you have to bring her a bucket full of rocks before she says the punchline. (Today, you’re spared hauling rocks — just keep reading for the punchline.)
Jaime volunteers her time with WTA all year round, but most of her volunteer trail maintenance is in the fall and winter. She saves her summers for hiking (and participating in our annual fundraiser, Hike-a-Thon). From winning in nearly every Hike-a-Thon prize category to advocating for trail funding in Olympia to encouraging hikers to volunteer and donate, Jaime does a WTA job for each season. After reading this, you might be inspired to do the same.
Winter: Volunteer Trail Work
“My WTA new year is in October, when I invite my colleagues to join me for a volunteer work party,” Jaime says.
“Sometimes people tell me they are going to sign up and sometimes they don’t, so it’s delightful to see who I will meet on trail!” For Jaime, volunteering with WTA is how she connects with other people.
Through spring, Jaime continues with work parties and plans her trip to Olympia if its a Hiker Rally Day year. She loves these trips, despite being nervous for her first Rally Day. Speaking with policymakers pushes Jaime out of her comfort zone, which is important to her.
“Especially as I get older, I take time to think about the experiences I want to have and whether or not I’ve tried something new lately,” she says. “If a new thing makes me nervous, I know I’m on the right track.”
Despite initial nervousness, Jaime loved her first Hiker Rally Day and has now been to three. She’s hooked.
“It’s worth every ounce of effort to take the day off work, learn the platform and take action to support trails in a very different way than trail maintenance or fundraising.”
For Jaime, summer equals Hike-a-Thon! This August marks a decade of Jaime’s participation in the annual fundraiser, and the ninth year on her team, “We Trip We Fall.” The team's captain, Angella Wieben, has been integral in Jaime’s hiking journey, and stories of their adventures (and misadventures) shine through their Hike-a-Thon pages, photos and trip reports.
Angella was actually the person who first introduced Jaime to volunteering with WTA. Now, the two women are BHB (best hiking buds). Jaime uses hiking as a way to strengthen relationships with many of her friends and family, including her mom and her husband.
“With my mom, I love that I get to plan ‘the adventure,’ she shows up with all the junk food we like in her 4WD truck, and we drive off into the distance, leaving our husbands behind for the day,” Jaime said.
And while Jaime’s husband Adam isn’t a hiker, he makes a great carpool buddy. She drops him off at the golf course in the morning, and goes hiking. They swap stories in the evening when she returns to pick him up.
Fall: Hiking Guide work
The fall is a time for Jaime to relax. She helps ensure WTA is invited to her company’s annual workplace giving campaign. She writes for WTA’s hiking guide, visiting trails and gathering data to keep WTA's Hiking Guide up-to-date. And she looks forward to another year of volunteering.
What keeps her coming back for more? Jaime enjoys hiking, of course, and has grown to love the many ways she can give back to trails by partnering with WTA.
“There is so much volunteer support, professionalism and passion at WTA,” Jaime said. “It’s an organization that is easy to talk about all day long and easy to encourage others to get involved in, in whatever way makes sense for them.”
Alpaca the backpacks if you load the car! That’s the punchline.
Bonus joke: Knock knock. Who’s there? Summer. Summer who? Summer these jokes are funny and some are not.
Try it yourself
If you’re inspired by Jaime’s yearlong plan, why not try a new-to-you WTA activity?