JOHN (HAWK) HAWKINS
Education: Bachelor of Science in Outdoor Recreation Management, Western Washington University
Certifications: CPR/First Aid
Interests: Skiing, Mountain biking, Sea kayaking, Backpacking. Those are my big 4, but I do other outdoor adventure activities. I also enjoy woodworking and have a pretty decent wood shop.
I was born in Socorro, NM and lived most of my childhood near St. Louis, MO and Farmington, NM. Our family moved to Washington my Jr. Year of high school where went to Lake Stevens High. After graduating I went into the Marine Corps for 4 years and was stationed at Camp Smith, Hawaii. I always liked riding bikes so I got a 10 speed and rode it all over the island of Oahu while I was there. I got out of the Marine Corps as a Sergeant in 1981 and went to Everett Community College to study art and design. I got a job with student activities as the Hiking and Biking Coordinator in 1983. That was the beginning of my outdoor recreation career. I really enjoyed the job and started skiing at that time. I instantly fell in love with it. I could see how graphic design was really heading toward computers while one of my friends transferred up to Western WA University to study Recreation. “You can do that?” was my thought. The next year I found myself at Western following her footsteps. I made that decision while sitting on top of a crow’s nest at sunset in the San Juan Islands on a 3 masted wooden schooner called the Sylvia.
After graduating Western, I worked at Mt Baker Ski resort for the first winter, and then started working for the Boys and Girls club in Tacoma. But the mountains called and my new wife and I packed up everything we owned and moved to Sun Valley, ID for two years. We got in lots of incredible skiing and I even ended up as the Recreation Director at Elkhorn Resort. After two years we decide to move back to Washington, where I started working for NSB Bangor as the Outdoor Recreation Program Manager. I worked for the West Sound MWR Outdoor Recreation Dept. for 15 years. I then started my own business making RAX, which is what I am doing now when not playing in the woods. RAX are beautifully hand crafted ski storage for your home or for resorts. I also make other equipment storage for snowboards, skateboards, bikes, kayak paddles and even wine RAX. You can check them out at radicallyinclined.com.
I have a 17 year old daughter who is my pride and joy. She is also an outdoorsy kind of girl and a good snowboarder; she grew up as a skier but went over to the dark side a couple of years agoJ She has always helped out a lot with the ski bus. We live near Poulsbo and have dogs, cats, chickens, a couple of goats, and my daughter has a horse on our little farm.
I have been running mountain bike and ski programs for Bainbridge Parks and Rec going into my 4th year now. It’s a great program and a lot of fun to get people into the outdoors. It’s the best feeling when you see it “click” for someone and they get the outdoor bug. It’s really worth it when I run into people and kids years later and they are still active in the outdoors. It has always had a very positive impact on their lives. It’s funny I run into more people I know out on the trails somewhere than I do at the grocery store.
Do you volunteer for any organizations?
I have been involved with several outdoor organizations and have done a fair amount of volunteering with North Kitsap School district when my daughter was younger. I started Northwest Trailrider’s Mountain bike club, which eventually became part of Ride Kitsap and Evergreen Mt bike Alliance, West Sound. I was one of the Founding Members of North Kitsap Trails Association. I have always been involved with helping to develop trails and trail advocacy and education.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I really enjoy getting outdoors with all of the kids and adults on Bainbridge. People here in the Northwest just seem to have a natural passion for the outdoors and it’s exciting to be part of that connection for them.
See you in the Mountains