By: Sara Cardamone
In July of 2016, Sophie was looking to try something new. She had already planned to get away from the world for a while and decided to head to her grandparent’s house in upstate New York. Surrounded only by the sights and sounds of nature, it was the perfect place for her to relax and truly spend time with herself. As the end of the school year approached, her grandpa sent a message to her and her sister mentioning a club that he had heard a bit about called the Forty Sixers Club. The club was centered in the Adirondacks and the only way to get in is to reach all 46 high peaks in the mountain range.
» Read more about: The Forty Sixers Club »
By: Stephanie Capilongo
“We’re not selling an object, but rather an experience.”
Once a fashion major, I relied on material things to give me comfort. I have long forgotten that outlook and believe the experiences I have had in the outdoors is what has given me confidence to encourage others to do the same.
Throughout the last two years of working at Kayak Pittsburgh I realized how the things you’re passionate about can also be your job. Maybe it’s the constant dose of Vitamin D or the eager customers. Regardless, there is never a dull moment.
» Read more about: The Beautiful Truth behind Kayak Pittsburgh »
By: Patrick Panasko
“Raise them on the water with a fishing pole, not in the house playing video games”
When you see the North Shore of Pittsburgh you see sports stadiums where big catches are made by professional athletes. The sport of fishing can offer a more valuable catch to kids and adults alike. Over the past 16 years Venture Outdoors has hosted TriAnglers Lunch Time fishing.
Many inner city youth and adults do not get the chance to go fishing and enjoy the pleasures of it.
» Read more about: To Fish or Not To Fish »
By: Beth Zabiegalski
As an organization, Venture Outdoors does some really awesome and exciting things with local youth in after-school and summer programs, getting them outside for the first time or teaching them something new to do in nature. Most of our outings are a couple hours or less, but when we build meaningful relationships with our students, we create formative outdoor experiences with memories that last more than just that afternoon.
Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a two-day Restorative Practices Training through Venture Outdoors’ partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools. I’ll admit I had next to no idea what to expect,
» Read more about: Restorative Practices in an Outdoor Setting »
A Day a Phipps
By: Sara Cardamone
Now that Spring is finally here, so is the rain! In Pittsburgh, sometimes it can be hard to find ways to be in nature when it is rainy and muddy. However, there are tons of fun alternatives if you look hard enough! Since I’m a student at Pitt, I pass Phipps Conservatory all the time but I always felt like I never had enough time to stop in. Fast forward to now, the first big rainy day of Spring was upon us and I was struggling to find a calming activity to take my mind off of school and then it hit me.
» Read more about: Spring Inside »
By Stephanie Capilongo
“Go Outside… amidst the simple beauty of nature… and know that as long as places like this exist, there will be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be.” -Anne Frank.
The outdoors, it appears, is complicated. But it’s not. It can free your mind and give you a new appreciation for beauty. It brings things and people together, whether it’s your best friend, significant other or your cat. The people you go with mean everything. And no matter who you are or what you do, you can find joy.
» Read more about: My Mirror is the Outdoors »
By: Lo Hutelmyer, Ryan Singleton and Ty’Shay Thorton
To an educator, few things are more rewarding than witnessing a student discover his or her own passion. More rewarding still is when they show their first glimpses of leadership by taking charge to teach others about their passion.
For those of you who may know me, it’s sometimes a challenge for me to stay quiet. But when I had the opportunity to watch Ty’Shay and Ryan present at last month’s conference, I was speechless. Ty’Shay and Ryan, 7th graders from Manchester Academic Charter School, have been participating regularly on Venture Outdoors trips for two years.
» Read more about: When Youth Find their Voices »
By: La’Nell Pennington, Trip Leader Specialist
Last October, youth group members at Mount Ararat Community Activity Center in East Liberty participated in an after-school workshop with Pittsburgh’s own Group Against Smog and Pollution. (GASP).
What is air pollution? We started out by asking the children if they knew what air pollution was. All the kids raised their hands excited to give answers. After a short hike to the Larimer Community Garden, we took turns giving examples of different types of air pollution and where it comes from. The children identified pollution sources such as cars,
» Read more about: Mount Ararat Community Activity Center takes on GASP! »
By: Josh Doty of Foto-Foraging
Spring is here. If you have been hiding from the snow and cold temperatures, it is now time to venture outdoors again. There is so much to see, even if you only have a chance to go to your local park or even your own backyard.
The Nature Treasure Hunt
The Nature Treasure Hunt is a quest to explore, discover, document, learn and share (Instagram #naturetreasurehunt, #ventureoutdoors) nature with others. It is a year-long activity that will provide exercise, fresh air, strong family/friend bonding moments, opportunities to discover and learn,
» Read more about: The Nature Treasure Hunt is Here – Join Now! »
By: Iris Marzolf
My favorite Venture Outdoors program I’ve attended thus far is the Winter Tree ID hike in January at Frick Park.
It was an educational hike, so participants got a two-for-one deal—exercising while learning how to identify trees without leaves. Winter tree identification is a lot easier and more engaging than one would think. My opinion of trees in winter is generally negative; they look like dull brown skeletons. They’re all the same. Ugly.
BUT ACTUALLY trees are like people; certain types look the same, and they all have unique characteristics depending on how they grew up.
» Read more about: Winter Tree ID »