Bryan Martin and Elizabeth Williams work at Big City Mountaineers, a Colorado-based nonprofit that transforms the lives of underserved youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions. Through partnerships with community youth programs around the United States, Big City Mountaineers exposes close to 1,000 youth per year to outdoor adventures in some of our country’s most spectacular public lands. Not only do these young people learn outdoor skills, but more importantly, they learn critical life skills while also improving their self-confidence, communication skills, and leadership abilities.
Prior to assuming his role as executive director at BCM, Bryan enjoyed great success with a wide variety of conservation and outdoor-related organizations including the Nature Conservancy, Continental Divide Trail Alliance, Colorado Mountain Club, and the Land Trust Alliance. Elizabeth was a teacher in India and Nepal before joining BCM as a marketing intern—10 years and a lot of hard work later, she has risen through the ranks and is now the Director of Programs. Bryan and Elizabeth share a deep enthusiasm for the outdoors and a belief that outdoor experiences can be transformative. Their passion for the work and BCM’s mission is palpable, so I know you’ll enjoy getting to know them.
I met Bryan and Elizabeth at the BCM offices in the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colorado, where we discussed BCM’s mission, the details of their wilderness expeditions, and why outdoor adventures can be such life-changing experiences. We chat about Bryan and Elizabeth’s professional backgrounds and learn what drew them to careers centered around the outdoors and service. They also tell a heart-warming success story in which a student overcomes her initial fears to thrive on a weeklong wilderness trip.
Thanks to Bryan and Elizabeth for taking the time to chat. Hope you enjoy!
- Big City Mountaineers
- BCM on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Bryan’s letter regarding the importance of public lands
- Summit for Someone
- National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)
- Outward Bound
- The Hippy Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder and Other Mountains by Skip Yowell
- Forever Changed by Linda Mornell
- Summer Search
- The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko
- The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
- Chaco Presents: The Time Travelers
- Doug Topkins: Wild Legacy