Aaron Aupperlee is from Ada, Michigan (a town near Grand Rapids) and has lived in Pittsburgh since being hired as a journalist for the Tribune-Review five years ago. He had heard of Venture Outdoors when he first came to Pittsburgh but did not get involved until much later. Once he heard the Venture Outdoors Junior Board was forming, Aaron decided to get involved and he now cites the Junior Board as one of his greatest achievements for Venture Outdoors:
“We’ve raised thousands of dollars for [Venture Outdoors], introduced hundreds of people to what the organization does and had a lot of fun while doing it. The board is still in its infancy, and I truly believe its greatest contributions are yet to come.”
While being involved in the Junior Board has given Aaron opportunities to meet people as passionate about the outdoors as he is, it has also presented him the challenge of expanding the horizons of Venture Outdoors’ clientele. He cites broadening the demographic of participants (including age, race, orientation, and financial status) as one of the greatest challenges faced not only by Venture Outdoors, but by the entire recreation sector.
Aaron’s favorite Venture Outdoors activities are the Banff Mountain Film Festival and Apres Banff party. When he’s not working on or playing with Venture Outdoors, he still stays active. Whether it’s hiking and camping in the great outdoors, skiing in winter, or teaching an indoor cycling class at the North Side YMCA, Aaron keeps busy even in his leisure time. When asked for advice to pass on to the leaders and volunteers of Venture Outdoors, he simply wants us to remember that, while we have some serious work to do, we need to remember to keep it fun.