In late 2021 Sara Khalil came to us wanting to teach women, girls, and people…
By: Shelby Rocco, Venture Outdoors Intern
Have you, adventurers, ever wondered about your Venture Outdoors volunteers, Trip Leaders, Trip Leader Council, or Venture Outdoors members? Venture Outdoors intern, Shelby Rocco, tells us what motivated her to join the Venture Outdoor team, about herself, and her favorite ways to explore the great outdoors!
1) What are you up to outside of Venture Outdoors?
Outside of Venture Outdoors, I am a student at Duquesne University. Along with being a student, I am on the Duquesne Rowing team and I have a part time on-campus job.
2) What brought you to Venture Outdoors?
I was looking for internships for the spring semester and saw Venture Outdoors posted a listing. When I went to the website, I was excited to apply and after visiting the office for an interview I was hooked. I left the office so excited, just praying I got it! I accepted the offer to intern without hesitation!
3) What are your top 3 favorite outdoor activities?
Currently, I am on Duquesne’s Rowing team; rowing out on the Allegheny has definitely become a favorite outdoor activity of mine. The view of the city is motivation enough to go out on the water. I also love running, especially in the evenings, as well as playing tennis on a sunny day! Laying in the grass and watching the clouds is on the top of my list too!
4) What are 3 things we wouldn’t know about you by looking at you?
First, I eat Mini Wheats by putting one in the bowl at a time and eating that one so that they don’t get soggy. Second, I can eat an entire large pizza by myself in one sitting. Third, when I was younger, I thought it would be a good idea to do a cartwheel down the stairs. It wasn’t, but all that came of it was a few bruises and a new hole in the wall.
5) What has been the top adventure of your life thus far?
The top adventure of my life would be what I call, ‘the bus ride from hell’. My dad and I were traveling home on a Greyhound bus from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg, and the driver decided to pass a tractor trailer in a tunnel on the turnpike. If you have never been in a tunnel on the turnpike, all buses and trucks are to stay in the right lane because the tunnel is not wide enough for vehicles of that size in both lanes. The bus proceeds to pass despite this rule and ultimately hits the truck. The mirror of the bus gets torn off and the side got all scratched up. The bus pulls over on the side of the busy turnpike with no exits for another mile or so. The bus is not legally allowed to drive because of the missing mirror so we have to sit along the road. As we sit, some members of the bus start to get upset at the bus driver for knocking the mirror off and they start yelling at the driver. It got worse when the driver starts yelling back at them. My dad is a police officer, so before this situation got worse he took the bus driver off the bus, and settled things down a bit (mind you we are all still sitting in a bus along the side of the turnpike). Eventually, a state police officer came and escorted the broken bus to the nearest exit (still an hour outside of Harrisburg). We were told the replacement bus would be another 4 hours and that we could either wait for the new bus or find a way home from there. Luckily a nice young man on the bus lived in a neighboring town and his parents were coming to pick him up and were willing to take my dad and I home. It was cool to see how everyone was willing to help others get home even though they did not know one another. Luckily, my trip ended up okay. However, if there is one lesson to be learned from my story, it’s this: Never take a Greyhound bus anywhere. Ever.
6) One person, dead or alive, you’d like to take on a Venture Outdoors outing– and specify what kind!
I would want to take my dad on any of the outings, but hiking especially would be the best! He always tells such funny stories, and teaches me life lessons when we go camping. Hiking would no doubt be the same.
7) Describe your role at Venture Outdoors in 10 words or less
Excel, Excel, Excel! Also, updating the wiki and sometimes crafts!
8) What is the craziest thing you have done?
My family and I had to help a hot air balloon land in our backyard because they were lost and being blown off course.
9) What are your top 3 favorite things to do in Pittsburgh?
Eating at all the restaurants, sitting at the Point on nice days and watching the sun go down, and all the sporting events! Steelers, Pirates, or Penguins – I’m in!
10) What is your favorite forest/camping snack?
My favorite outdoorsie snack is a tie between s’mores and mountain pies! Only the pizza flavored mountain pies though, because I’ve never been a fan of the dessert flavored mountain pies.
11) Favorite campfire music?
Anything Elton John because that’s what my family usually played when I was younger.