Lakeside and Treetops

By: Chrissy Ludwikowski

As the days become shorter (and the work days seemingly longer), it can be hard for families to make time to be together, and one’s mind doesn’t normally put colder days hand-in-hand with outdoor activities. Fortunately, we live in a city that has opportunities available year-round to invoke our sense of adventure, even during our daily grind (and don’t worry, these adventures will get your blood pumping to keep you mighty warm)!

Thanks to Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh, my family has adopted a love for everything that the outdoors has to offer, so much so that outdoor recreation has become my career! In college, my summers were filled with lakeside views and PFD fittings as a Kayak Pittsburgh North Park attendant and supervisor, right alongside my brothers and sister; family is strongly rooted in the Kayak Pittsburgh staff and community!North Park Boathouse

Upon graduation, with a degree in nutrition and nowhere to put it, I traded in lakes and rivers for treetops at Go Ape North Park, just down the road from my boathouse home. Never heard of it? Go Ape is a 2-3-hour self-guided treetop adventure course where you are challenged, surprised, and excited by dangling obstacles, treetop swings (like Tarzan on his vine-rope!), and ziplines! Though they focus on diverse types of recreation, Go Ape and Venture Outdoors share similar values: to inspire people to get outside and live life adventurously. No one should have to go far to find a great activity to do with friends and family, and Pittsburgh is lucky to have organizations that can make outdoor adventures accessible to everyone.

Go Ape

Making time for outdoor adventure is especially important when we’re stuck in the workaday world. It’s what enlivens our days, breaks up repetition with excitement, and surrounds our lives and our communities with meaning. Venture Outdoors, Kayak Pittsburgh, and Go Ape are all here to not only shake up our cubicle-filled lives, but also, just maybe, instill in us a new sense of family and community.

__Go ApeGo Ape

This November, challenge, surprise, and excite your workaday life, your friends, and even your family by trading in Black Friday crowds for fun! There’s no better way to stay warm this holiday season than trying something new at a Go Ape ziplining course or at the Venture Outdoors’ Holiday Pie Hike on the 24th (what’s better than an adventure with pie!?). The holidays are for spending time with loved ones; be the family favorite this year and take your crew outdoors!

*Venture Outdoors members receive 15% off at Go Ape North Park!

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OUTDOOR News

  • Why Do You Volunteer?

    January 23, 2018

    By: Sara Cardamone

    Whether Trip Leaders, interns, or event volunteers, we have many dedicated individuals working alongside us. We appreciate all of our volunteers and we couldn’t do it without them!

    For today’s blog, we asked the question, “Why do you volunteer with Venture Outdoors?”. Here are some of their answers:

    “Why do I volunteer for Venture Outdoors? Mostly for my eight-year-old daughter. I want Mollie to know that women can be bold and adventurous and just as cool and daring as men. We can hike and kayak and swim and geocache.

     » Read more about: Why Do You Volunteer?  »

  • Getting to Know Our Staff: 14 Questions with… Vanessa Bashur

    January 16, 2018

    There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning your favorite outdoors adventures! Learn about those who work inside to get you outside.This week we’ll be interviewing Vanessa, our Kayak Pittsburgh Director.Vanessa Blog 2

    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 Dayton, Ohio and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Earth Sciences with a concentration in Geography & Mineralogy from Montana State University in 2005. I have been with Venture Outdoors for 5+ years and currently serve as our Kayak Pittsburgh Director.

     » Read more about: Getting to Know Our Staff: 14 Questions with… Vanessa Bashur  »

  • Safe Routes to Parks

    January 9, 2018

    By Kevin Hurley, Trip Leader Specialist

    A few weeks ago I had the exciting opportunity to work with two of my favorite groups located in the Hill District: The Jeron X. Grayson Community Center (JXGCC), with 6th to 8th graders, and the Center That C.A.R.E.S. (CTC), with 3rd to 5th graders. I was excited to see them as always, but this time we were going to do something pretty important. We were going to work with the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and audit the routes with their program called the “Safe Routes to Parks” initiative. At CTC we worked with Gavin White and provided the children with chalk to mark areas that they deemed unsafe on the way to the park.

     » Read more about: Safe Routes to Parks  »

  • Best Boot Forward

    January 2, 2018

    By: Grace Groeger

    Venture Outdoors is fortunate to have many outstanding volunteers. This year we wanted to find a new way to say thank you to our exemplary volunteers and show how valued they are to not only the Venture Outdoors staff but to our Members as well. We came up with the Best Boot Forward Award. The Venture Outdoors community had the opportunity to nominate one volunteer they believe stands out above the rest, someone who is always putting his/her Best Boot Forward. Our FIRST EVER Best Boot Forward Award goes to SHEILA STAGNITTA!

    BestBootForward

    Sheila grew up just outside the Pittsburgh area in the Mon Valley.

     » Read more about: Best Boot Forward  »

  • Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown

    December 12, 2017

    There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning your favorite outdoor adventures! Our staff questionnaire series allows you to learn about those who work inside to get you outside.This week we’ve interviewed Ian Brown, our new 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? 

    Ian Brown Blog 1I grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, located in the foothills of Southern Ohio. For those who don’t know, Chillicothe is home to the outdoor drama Tecumseh and was Ohio’s First Capital.  

     » Read more about: Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

Thank you for another great season!
We’ll see you on the water in 2018!

#KeepPittsburghPaddling


Featured Outing

Volunteers Are Vital

Annual Volunteer Meeting
Sunday, January 28
4 – 7 PM

All current and prospective volunteers are encouraged to attend our Annual Volunteer Meeting! The meeting will include presentations on the Venture Outdoors and plan for 2018 and a chance to meet and socialize with other volunteers. Dinner will be served. RSVP is requested by January 24.

SIGN UP HERE!