Women On the Water: My first adventure with Venture Outdoors

By: Grace Groeger, Communications Intern


I decided to hit the ground running and just dove into any program with an opening my first week with Venture Outdoors. I started scrolling through the activities calendar and saw an opening for Women on the Water (WOW), and I thought to myself, that’s the one I’m doing. I couldn’t be more excited about signing up for my first program; my friends were sick of me already for bragging about how awesome my internship is only a week in.

There I was bright and early down in Pittsburgh on the home opener for the Steelers trying to find parking. Never being to the Kayak Pittsburgh North Shore location before I was in awe by all the gorgeous equipment as soon as I walked in. The Trip

Leaders quickly said hi to me as I had the look of ‘this is my first time here on my face.’ We checked me, sized me up with a paddle and PDF and off to the group dry lesson I was.

There we all were getting a nice crash course on how to kayak. We went around the group introducing ourselves and talking about the last times we were on the water kayaking. It was nice to find out that I was surrounded by women of all ages and all different levels of kayaking experience.

Women On the Water - Grace Blog

Our Trip Leaders showed us to our kayaks and to the water we went. Once on the water other women came right up to me and made me feel so welcomed on this trip. I was curious to how Women on the Water started and how they all knew each other. The Trip Leaders informed me that WOW was started to give women the opportunity to get out and not feel judged or inferior when on the water kayaking or paddle boarding. As well, it gives women an opportunity to meet other women that love to be outside doing things in nature. And that is exactly how they all got to know each other. One woman came and brought her friend and another brought herself and a friend and quickly everyone intermingled.

Grace Blog

In between chitchat, our Leader broke up the paddle by telling us some amazing history or fun facts about the river and its surroundings while we paddled. After hitting our turnaround point we stopped and grabbed boats, sharing a delicious snack one of the Leaders brought.

It was amazing to be out doing something I love with women that love the outdoors as much as I do. It just goes to show that the outdoors can do so many beautiful things like bring people together. I hope to try and reach more women my age to get out and leave their boyfriends at home and have fun. But over all I would recommend WOW to anyone of my girlfriends. I can’t wait to get out again and see these ladies in Women in Nature.

Women On Water Blog Post

Our last Women on the Water of 2017 is on Sunday, October 15 – register today!

Posted in Outing Recaps


  • The Nature Treasure Hunt is Here – Join Now!

    March 20, 2018

    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!  »

  • Winter Tree ID

    March 13, 2018

    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  »

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid

    March 6, 2018

    By: Maggie Zangara

    On November 20, 2017, I had the opportunity to participate in an interesting training hosted by Venture Outdoors. The name of the training was Youth Mental Health First Aid, and it took place at Venture Outdoors through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. A fun fact is that Lady GaGa, who is a first aider herself and an advocate of the program, has set a goal of getting 150,000 people trained this year.

    Youth Mental Health First Aid ActivityThe intent of the training was to teach family members, teachers, school staff, health and human services workers and other caring citizens how to help adolescents who are experiencing a mental health crisis.

     » Read more about: Youth Mental Health First Aid  »

  • Rachel Carson Trails

    February 27, 2018

    By: Amy Nelson, Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy, Member and Volunteer 

    In 2015, three friends and I did the Rachel Carson Trail Challenge  for the first time. We were avid road runners, bored with the monotony of pavement.  A 34-mile trek through the woods seemed like a great way to mix things up. Cut to the day of the event. Twenty miles into it, we experienced a torrential downpour which caused mud slides on some of the steepest hills. Mother Nature can be cruel.  By the time the last five miles rolled around our spirits were broken and we prayed for it to be over.

     » Read more about: Rachel Carson Trails  »

  • Leaving No Trace

    February 20, 2018

    By: Sara Cardamone

    At the Annual Volunteer Meeting, I had the opportunity to attend the Leave No Trace breakout session. Led by Joel Johnston, the interactive gathering was focused on educating participants on what Leave No Trace is truly about. Here are some of the things that I learned!

    Leave No Trace was launched when attendance at parks started to increase, so much so that it was taking a toll on the environment. The mission of the organization is to “protect the outdoors by teaching and inspiring people to enjoy it responsibly”. This comes in the form of seven principles that one should keep in mind when enjoying the outdoors.

     » Read more about: Leaving No Trace  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

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


Featured Outing


About Boating Safely
Saturday, March 24
9 AM – 5 PM

Join Venture Outdoors and members of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for About Boating Safely. This course gives participants the knowledge needed to obtain a boat license or safety certification in Pennsylvania.