Getting to Know our Staff… 13 Questions with Jayme Penner

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 Jayme Penner, our Membership and Special Projects Coordinator.

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 Pittsburgh. I went to Chatham University and majored in Business. For a short time period, I lived in Colorado, when I moved back I knew I’d want to eventually end up in recreation. One thing led to another and I found myself as a Kayak Pittsburgh supervisor in 2014 and then hired full time by Venture Outdoors in fall 2014.

2. Describe your role at Venture Outdoors in 10 words or less.
Community Outreach, Special Events, Junior Board.

3. What does “getting outside” mean to you?
Appreciating the natural wonders of your backyard…with a beer in hand.

4. If you had to pick only one recreational activity to practice for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Skiing – because it’s SO MUCH FUN: speed, gravity, downhill sports – YAY!

5. What is the craziest thing you have done?
Moving to a small ski town in Colorado without a job, place to live, or knowing a soul and making it work!

6. What are your top five favorite outdoors/travel destinations?
1. Frick Park
2. Crested Butte, CO
3. Israel
4. Family Farm in West Virginia
5. My parents’ back yard

7. What is your favorite forest/camping snack?
Beer is a snack right?

8. Name three people in history (dead or alive) with whom you would want to take on a Venture Outdoors program of your choice.
1. My grandfather
2. Whitney Houston (She’d sing the soundtrack to my greatest adventure)
3. Glen Plake

9. What is your favorite Venture Outdoors memory?
Apres Banff 2016. Or this day (see picture below):

10. What is the earliest memory you have of being outside?
Learning how to ski at Seven Springs with my Dad.

11. What would the title of your autobiography be?
“I Didn’t Write This” or “Snark”

12.Any hidden talents?
I can touch my nose with my tongue.

13. What is your favorite song (or album) right now?
My favorite song has always been: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston

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OUTDOOR News

  • Why Venture Outdoors?

    August 15, 2017

    By: Jacob Tumminello

    For many of us, the most time we spend outdoors comes from transitioning between cars and buildings, if that even counts.  As we continue to develop new technological advancements to make our lives easier, we have slowly begun to remove ourselves from the outdoor environment to shift towards safer and less demanding settings. 

    We as a species are less challenged to obtain food which is now carried by large machines to our destinations, and we spend most of our time sitting or sedentary.  Millions of people are damaging their eyes and backs sitting in front of computer screens for hours each day,

     » Read more about: Why Venture Outdoors?  »

  • My First Backpacking Trip with Venture Outdoors

    August 8, 2017

    By: Joshua Tenenbaum

    My backpacking trip to Raccoon State Park was a remarkable experience that I won’t soon forget. Going to the outfitter to select backpacking and camping gear and having the opportunity to use it on the trail was very gratifying. I had a ton of fun packing my bag, trying to distribute weight evenly in my pack, and organizing all my gear and food in the pack (although, it took me multiple tries to get everything to fit).

    Early in the morning, we dusted off our gear and headed out to experience the beauty of Raccoon Creek State Park.

     » Read more about: My First Backpacking Trip with Venture Outdoors  »

  • Where is She Now

    August 1, 2017

    By: Grace Eggleston, Former Communications/ Photography Intern

    This past April, my fantastic internship with Venture Outdoors came to an end. After finishing up my junior year at Pitt, I packed the car and drove down to Washington DC to start my next adventure… as a Communications Intern at the World Wildlife Fund US Headquarters!

    I’m now halfway through my internship, and absolutely loving it! As a Communications Intern on the Science Team at WWF, I have a handful of different jobs. I help out with social media, create flyers for events, and contact WWF grantees for information on their conservation projects.

     » Read more about: Where is She Now  »

  • The Beauty of Hiking

    July 25, 2017

    By: Chloe Seletz, Communications Intern 

    When I am asked what my dream vacation would be, it is always a no brainer. Anywhere I can go hiking. I spent a portion of my childhood living in San Francisco which is where I discovered the beauty of hiking. Every Sunday, my family and I took advantage of the amazing trails California has to offer. Even at a young age, I remember the feeling of getting to the top of a mountain and seeing such mesmerizing views.

    Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel and hike in many different places.

     » Read more about: The Beauty of Hiking  »

  • Art in the Outdoors

    July 18, 2017

    By: Joshua Tenebaum

    This past week I spent a bit of time developing and furthering my blog post project and compiling photographs and field recordings to showcase to the Venture Outdoors community. Liz Fager and Jessica Wiegand both approached me about writing a blog post to be featured on the Venture Outdoors website. I began reading the other posts to determine an appropriate topic and voice for my writing; I decided to write about art and the outdoors. A rather broad topic, I specifically chose to speak about why I make art, my process, and my impressions of nature whenever I venture outdoors.

     » Read more about: Art in the Outdoors  »

Featured Outing

Beginner Paddle – North Shore
Multiple Dates
6:00 – 8:30 PM

We’ll start with instruction and practice, and then head onto the Allegheny River to see just how easy it is to paddle. Bedazzled by the gorgeous Pittsburgh skyline, you won’t even realize that you’re suddenly paddling like a pro! Equipment, guides and instruction are provided. Solo kayaks are highly recommended for this outing.


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