Hoot Camp

An inclusive leadership development program

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As our mission states, Seattle Audubon advocates and organizes for cities where people and birds thrive. Our board of directors has affirmed that the fight to protect birds and nature is not separate from the fight for equity and justice, and to succeed at one we must succeed at both. This work needs everyone—board, staff, members, and volunteers—pulling in the same direction and committed to change.

Launched November 14, 2021, Hoot Camp is a series of educational workshops intended to ensure that Seattle Audubon programming is welcoming, safe, and inclusive for all. Hoot Camp was created in direct response to feedback from community members and volunteers, who shared they did not always feel welcome when participating in Seattle Audubon’s programs. While these trainings are an important first step to promoting a more inclusive culture, this Hoot Camp is only the beginning. This work has the power to be transformational over time, and will require consistent practice and effort. We’re already planning Hoot Camp 2022!

Investing in People

Seattle Audubon volunteers have powered impressive conservation accomplishments throughout the organization’s long history. They have created a close community that cares about birds.

While we now have a professional staff, volunteer leaders continue to represent Seattle Audubon and the organization’s values in almost every activity and program we offer. In The Nature Shop, leading a field trip or Neighborhood Bird Walk, serving on the board or a working committee, or volunteering for a youth education activity, volunteers are in a position to demonstrate those values, and are a vital connection to the organization for the public. Seattle Audubon celebrates the importance of these roles, and as an organization, have has an obligation to support volunteers’ success in fulfilling the mission, just as we do for our staff.

All staff and all volunteers in leadership roles, or who interact with the public, are encouraged to attend Hoot Camp workshops, and attendance will soon be required in order to volunteer for certain roles. Future learning opportunities will be offered for other volunteers, Seattle Audubon members, and anyone who wants to co-create an inclusive experience in birding and bird conservation.

Information for Participants


Volunteers being offered this free training opportunity should have received a save-the-date message. If you did not receive an invitation and believe that you should, please contact Community Engagement Manager, Wendy Walker at wendyw@seattleaudubon.org. 

  • Participation in this leadership development training will be a mandatory prerequisite for many existing volunteer roles, beginning in 2023. 
  • We will be scheduling online make-up sessions soon.

    In order to make the most of our time together, we have prepared a few pre-work activities to prime everyone for Hoot Camp topics.

    Conservation Communications pre-work 

    Step 1: Complete the pre-training assessment survey if you did NOT already complete it in spring 2021 .

    Step 2: Watch the four conservation training videos linked below (no passwords needed; all videos set to public viewing) 

    1. Threats to Habitat (9 minutes) | Handout for Video 1
    2. Climate Change (5 minutes) | Handout for Video 2
    3. Bird-Safe Cities (8 minutes) | Handout for Video 3
    4. Conservation Communication (17 minutes) | Handout for Video 4

    Step 3: Complete the post-training assessment survey 

    Field Safety pre-work 

    • Please watch at least three of the videos in this collection. They’re short and thought-provoking – feel free to watch them all!
    • Consider these questions (no need to write anything down or send us your answers):
      -Think through a time when you felt awkward, left out, or excluded in a group setting. How did it make you feel? What, specifically, made you feel this way?
      -Think about a time when you joined a new group and you felt embraced. What, specifically, made you feel this way?
    HOOT CAMP SCHEDULE (for in-person event only)

    Sunday, November 14, 2021

    9:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. inclusive of breaks Note: the start time is 3o minutes later than originally planned.

    Morning (9:15-11:30a.m.) (Zoom links will be emailed to attendees by November 10):
    Harassment bystander intervention (online)
    Disrupting implicit bias (online)

    Break/lunch on own/travel to Phinney Neighborhood Center (brick building Community Hall)*

    Afternoon (doors open at 1:00p.m., sessions run from 1:30-4:30p.m.):  
    Conservation communications workshop (in person)
    Field safety, including physical safety, inclusive leadership, and social/emotional safety (in person)

    *Covid-19 Vaccination Required for Afternoon In-Person Sessions
    For the afternoon portion of Hoot Camp, which is happening in-person, we will be requiring all attendees to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination status before entering. You can find what can be used as proof of vaccination here.

    Hoot Camp 2021 Recap

    What we learned from our first Hoot Camp in November 2021, and what we are for planning next.

    Not only are our Hoot Camp participants walking away with new skills in leadership, safety, and inclusion, they are also walking away with some Eddie Bauer swag. Special thanks to our friends at Eddie Bauer for donating a gift for all our 2021 Hoot Camp participants!