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Lessons from Youth Outdoor Leaders | Part 2

Welcome to our second post featuring insights and lessons learned, written by the middle school outdoor leadership students at Manchester Academic Charter School! The middle school is located in the newly renovated Museum Lab located in Allegheny Commons – an excellent location to get kids outside during the school day to bike, hike, kayak, fish, and more! Participating students reflected on their leadership course at the end of the semester and their responses are shared below.



My name is Julian. I am 14 years old. I like biking, swimming, drawing, and hanging out with my friends. Venture Outdoors is a class that I like because it makes it easier to go outside and show people what you know when it comes to outdoor activities. Usually I get involved in Venture Outdoors by showing some of the other kids how and what to do if they’re confused. One of my most memorable moments in Venture Outdoors is when I first had my Venture Outdoors class in 4th grade I had a bunch of friends who I went kayaking with and we always raced against each other. We always went through this tunnel at the lake and it was really cool. Hopefully, when I get older, I can do something that will get me outside more than usual, like biking or going to the pool to swim and socialize with others.

Fun fact about Julian: He is currently one of the longest-tenured regular participants of Venture Outdoors youth programs, beginning with his after-school site at Providence Connections in 4th  grade – now he is in 8th grade at MACS and still participating!

Julian, an 8th grader at MACS, has participated on Venture Outdoors youth programs since 4th grade!


My name is Romele. I go to Manchester Academic Charter and I’m 13 years old. I have been with Venture Outdoors for  2 years in a row. Venture Outdoors Leadership looks like you telling and showing everybody on task and showing them how to do an activity. I mostly have fun in every class. My favorite activity is biking because that’s just what I like to do when I go outside. I feel great whenever I’m riding a bike. As I get older I would like to bike around the city to get outside.

My most memorable moments in Venture Outdoors were when we went bike riding and one of the students got attacked by a goose. There are many things about me that are great. For starters, I am friendly to many other people, my friends are very funny, and they like me. I think that a leader for Venture Outdoors is a person who takes care of their group members.

Romele fishing along the North Shore during weekly leadership class


Hello! My name is Jordyn and I am thirteen years old. I go to Manchester Academic Charter school, and I am now an 8th grade student. I love math and I do other things to keep me entertained outside of school. This is my second year of MACS so I been in Venture Outdoors for 2 years. In previous years, when I went to camp during the summer, there were activities that Venture Outdoors did with us. Now at my last year at MACS, I am taking a leadership class with Venture Outdoors. We do things like biking, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. The most memorable moment I had with Venture Outdoors would have to be kayaking because it was my first experience with the kayaking, it’s really fun to do, and I love water. This can improve my leadership skills because they teach us how to fix things. I can use these skills to help others in the future. I appreciate that Venture Outdoors is doing this different activities with me but I don’t know how I am going to stay doing outdoors things in the future. I wish I can attend it again next year.

“The most memorable moment I had with Venture Outdoors was kayaking.”



My name is Xavier and I’m 13 years old. I attend Manchester Academic Charter School. I enjoy Venture Outdoors because I like being outside and I like the people who work with us. I love to participate in the activities even if I think I won’t like it. I think that being a leader is that you are calm and confident, you are a listener and a loudspeaker. My favorite activity was when we built fires. I liked building fires because they reminded me of survival games and shows and when I build fires I feel like I’m in the game or show. In the future, I will get myself outside by going camping and running 5K and 10Ks.

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