by Sarah Bradham
If you have been following along with the Mazamas new IT Project and website you have probably heard the word badges. But what are badges and how are they going to be used? And why do you care?
Badges will be front and center in our new website and will drive much of the way you interact with the Mazamas moving forward. They are designed to be not only extremely functional but a fun way for you to track your involvement at the Mazamas and share your skills, education, and awards with others.
Types of Badges
There will be a variety of types of badges. Currently, we have Activity, Awards, Education, Leader Education, Outside Course, Qualification, Recognition, and Skill Badges.
How do you Get Badges?
Badges will primarily be earned through Mazama activities and classes, but they can also be earned by taking non-Mazama courses that are relevant to Mazama activities, as well as more administrative tasks such as completing a required form.
How will Badges be Used?
There are multiple objectives to employing the badge system:
- It lets you, as the site user, track your involvement with the Mazamas
- It lets the Mazamas verify that you have the skills for a certain activity or class
- It lets the Mazamas track that you have completed required tasks, such as leader training or volunteer training
That’s the nuts and bolts of it, but I’m sure you are all wondering how will this really work in practice? Let’s start with a couple of examples:
Applying for a Climb
Let’s say someone wants to climb Middle Sister. A Middle Sister climb is on the climb schedule and the prerequisites indicate that you need the Basic Snow (Skill Badge) badge in order to apply for the climb.
- Case 1: Joe Smith took BCEP several months prior and as a result was awarded the Course: BCEP (Education) badge as well as the Basic Rock (Skill) and Basic Snow badges. Since Joe has the required badge he can apply for the climb.
- Case 2: Jane Doe hasn’t take BCEP with the Mazamas, but she took a beginning mountaineering course with NOLS. She sees the Middle Sister climb on the calendar but it is greyed out as she doesn’t have the required skills to apply. But she sees an “apply for badge” link. She clicks on that link and applies for the Basic Snow badge because she feels the NOLS class provided her equivalent experience. Her application is reviewed and she is granted the Basic Snow badge. Jane can now apply for the climb.
Activities and volunteer roles also require other, more administrative, qualifications in order to participate. We are also tracking these requirements through badges.
- Waiver Badge: To participate in any Mazama Activity you must sign a Mazama waiver. Whether it is a hike, climb, course … a waiver is required. You probably are familiar with signing a waiver every single time you do an activity. But no more! To participate in a Mazama Activity you must have an account on the new Mazama website. When you go to sign up for your first Mazama Activity, you will be asked to review and sign the Mazama waiver. Once the waiver is signed, you can then register for an activity because you will have the Waiver Badge.
- Volunteer Orientation: All Mazama volunteers need to go through a Mazama Volunteer Orientation in order to sign up for a volunteer shift. Once you complete that orientation you will receive the Volunteer Orientation badge which will allow you to sign up for a volunteer shift.
- Background Check: If you want to volunteer for an activity that involves kids, you will have to have a background check. Once the background check is complete, you will receive a background check badge (this is one of the only badges that will always be private, i.e. it won’t show up on your profile even if you make the badges portion of your profile public)
Volunteerism: When your volunteer hours tick up past a certain number, we can award you badges, such as 100 hours, 200 hours, 500 hours, 1000 hours. It’ll be a great addition to your profile.
Awards: Have you climbed the Guardian Peaks with the Mazamas? Or hiked 250 miles? Based on your Mazama Activity history we will be able to award you these pages when you reach milestones.
Leadership: If you are a Mazama hike, climb, or outings leader you will have the appropriate badge on your profile. These leadership badges will allow you to do certain things, such as schedule a climb or hike.
There is a lot more to it than that, but this provides you with a broad overview of how the badge system will work. We have designed it to be flexible enough to allow for individuals outside of the traditional Mazama system to be able to easily participate in our activities by providing documentation of their training level. As well as to track your entire history of involvement with the Mazamas so you can quickly look back and see what you have done.
Questions? Please ask!