Volunteer Trip Leader

Venture Outdoors has established a robust Volunteer Trip Leader program that focuses on developing individual’s leadership skills through outdoor recreation.

We offer plenty of training opportunities and an apprentice program to get new leaders up to speed. Becoming a trip leader offers fun, camaraderie, personal growth, and the opportunity to contribute to the Venture Outdoors mission of getting more people outside. Trip leaders are invited to special leaders-only activities, can attend many Venture Outdoors trips free of charge, and enjoy great support from Venture Outdoors staff and other leaders.

Volunteer leaders are absolutely essential to Venture Outdoors’s success, and we highly value the contribution our leaders make. If you love to hike, bike, paddle, backpack–or do anything outside–and want to share your love of these activities with others, please consider becoming a Venture Outdoors trip leader today. Click the link to fill out our volunteer request form.

Trip Leader Expectations

    • Be a current member of Venture Outdoors
    • Have current certifications in CPR (Adult/Child/Infant) and Basic First Aid. Certifications must be from a nationally recognized certifying institution such as Wilderness Medicine Institute, the American Red Cross, or the American Heart Association. (Volunteer trip leaders who hold current Wilderness First Aid certification will be considered to have met the Basic First Aid expectation.)
    • Hold current Child Abuse and Criminal Background Check Clearances
    • Have attended Venture Outdoors Volunteer Orientation
    • Have completed Outdoor Leadership Training—Weekend or Modules (Training scholarship are available by filling out the form)
    • Be in good physical condition to lead the particular activity involved
    • Have some proficiency and experience in the particular activity involved.
    •  Have knowledge of and access to appropriate clothing, footwear, and gear for the particular activity involved
    • Desire to share knowledge with others
    • Commitment to uphold Leave No Trace ethics
    • Act in a professional and courteous manner at all times
    • Ability to work with diverse groups of people in a friendly manner
    • Properly complete program paperwork and return to office staff in a timely manner

OUTDOOR News

  • An Overview of Pittsburgh City Parks

    March 28, 2017

    By: Grace Cooper 

    Besides being a beautiful city, Pittsburgh has some lovely parks maintained for us by the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. So, as we make our way into spring, let’s take advantage of the beautiful recreation areas our city has to offer!  

    Emerald View Park 

    Emerald View Park is the place to get a good view of Pittsburgh. The 257-acre park is actually a combination of three older parks on Mount Washington, Grandview, and Olympia. The wooded hillsides are perfect for hiking, biking, walking—whatever suits your mood.

     » Read more about: An Overview of Pittsburgh City Parks  »

  • Venture Outdoors Youth Programs

    March 21, 2017

    How our team is impacting young lives around the city.

    By: Meg Taylor, Youth Program Intern

    Here at Venture Outdoors, we are known around the city of Pittsburgh as the people that get you outdoors. Whether we take you kayaking along the Allegheny River downtown, on a morning hike in Schenley Park, or cross country skiing at Kooser State Park, you’ll always find us doing something fun outdoors. In addition to the public programs you can find on our website  Activities Calendar, we have also found a way to work outdoors with youth in our local communities. 

     » Read more about: Venture Outdoors Youth Programs  »

  • Mount Washington- A Spring Ritual

    March 14, 2017

    By: David Paul

            

    It rises over everything around it, offering a commanding view of the landscapes that define its rugged region. Despite its steep, unforgiving slopes, tourists flock to it year round, ascending to the top by automobile, a special type of rail car, bicycling, and even using their own two feet. Mount Washington’s vistas offer anyone who makes it to its top a sense of accomplishment; it’s a place for families, friends, couples, and individuals to take in one of the best backdrops in the United States and offers a meaningful place for reflection,

     » Read more about: Mount Washington- A Spring Ritual  »

  • Trail Tails from Witch Doctor

    March 7, 2017

    By: Brian Beach, Youth Program Intern

    Virginia is absolutely the longest state on the Appalachian Trail. I might have had a beard during my 2005 Appalachian Trail thru-hike down in Georgia or Tennessee, but it became a “Grizzly Adams” beard in Virginia. I imagine there was a specific mountain where I snapped due to the solitude. (If so, it was probably Sassafras Mountain. There were at least four or five with that name.) The evolution of a thru-hiker from a “backpacker” to a “homeless person” is less obvious to those residing on the trail. Regardless, it was certainly in Virginia that I became a little more salty than usual.

     » Read more about: Trail Tails from Witch Doctor  »

  • Getting to Know our Staff: Fifteen Questions with… Lora Woodward

    February 28, 2017

    By: Grace Eggleston, Communications Intern

    We are continuing our staff spotlight series. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes brain power that goes into planning your favorite programs, be it public, family-friendly, or custom outings. Learn about those who work inside so you can get outside.

    This week we’ll be interviewing Lora Woodward, our Program Director.

    1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors? 

    I grew up in Harrisburg, PA on a four-acre property across from my grandparents’

     » Read more about: Getting to Know our Staff: Fifteen Questions with… Lora Woodward  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Get your 2017 Season Pass!

Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore and North Park open Saturday May 6!
Aspinwall Riverfront Park opens Saturday, May 27!

Featured Outing

 Spring Wildflower Walk
Sunday, April 30
10 AM – 1 PM

Join local ecologist Henry Schumacher for a tour of one of the most vibrant local spring wildflower patches here in Southwestern PA. We will take in the fleeting beauty of this annual natural wildflower display and discuss the ecology of wildflowers and their role in the ecosystem.

SIGN UP HERE!