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.
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.
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.