That’s Our Cookie!

Cookie Matson Honored as GLS Sierran of the Year

Sierran of the Year






Cookie beams after receiving the GLS "Sierran of the Year" Award.  "It's great to be honored for something which you really love to do," said Cookie


A Cookie Outings: Some Personal Thoughts

By Bonita Swan, Ph.D. and Cheri  Aiken, O.H.B.

Every once-in-a-while, an individual comes into your life and has such a positive influence, that you are convinced it was not by accident.  Cookie Matson is just that individual. She not only brings a brighter perspective to our lives but also adds a ray of sunshine.

If you are looking for a leader with endless energy, perpetual enthusiasm, and a heart of gold, look no further.  No one makes you feel more at home and with friends, than Cookie. Even if that home is in a tent out in the wilderness and the new-made friends include an inquisitive bear!

Cookie always makes each member of her group feel special.   She takes time each day, whether on a hike or around the campfire to be “personable and available” and above all, helpful with whatever needs or questions you might have.  For instance, I asked Cookie if I should come out of my duck taped, zipper challenged, tent door when a bear was visiting our campsite at Saddlebag.  She reassured me, “Don’t worry! Bears don’t use doors anyway!”

There are several areas of importance for Cookie, which makes her an outstanding leader.  The primary area of concern for Cookie is safety.  Other important areas are her organization of the trips, her schedule of activities, and, of course, to include  entertainment.  Like all Sierran leaders, she shows a great love and respect for the environment

For Cookie, providing a safe trip is imperative.  She makes sure that each member understands and follows the Sierra Club trip rules.  She always prepared to give first aid, with an elaborate first aid kit and her expertise to match.  She also makes sure that there’s always a “Sweep” and watches out for all trip members, both Tigers and Tortoises.  She makes it clear that whenever anyone wants to stop to take pictures, adjust a pack or visit a bush, that we all stop.  All members are accounted for at all times.

Cookie’s hikes are not only to beautiful, take-your-breath-away, places, but her hikes will also give you a great workout.  Cookie always explains the next day’s schedule the night before.  She gives you ample time to get your breakfast, square your tent away, pack for  the hike, and not feel rushed!  Most hikes start at 9 in the morning and end around 4 in the afternoon.  This all gives campers time to shower, cook dinner and prepare for the evening’s entertainment.

Cookie has the ability to lead trips that provide laughter and good times.  She goes all out for entertainment.  How many leaders would pack a “pristine” white suit on a mule pack trip in order to imitate John Travolta, disco dancing, at a surprise birthday party?  We actually danced to “Oldies but Goodies” out in the high Sierra wilderness!  Who else would make a point to bring rings and bracelets to pass out to her ever-increasing “harem”?  There’s always a fun time to be had with a Cookie-led outing.  Cookie has an ability to provide a physically challenging and entertaining time, insuring that on her trips, camaraderie, love, safety and care for the environment are all given top priority.  We are so happy that Cookie Matson has been honored with the “Sierran of the Year Award”.  She truly deserves it.