Title: Communications & Media Manager

Email: jess@ventureoutdoors.org

Phone: 412-255-0564 x226

15 Questions with Jessica Layre, our Communications and Media Manager

1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors?
I usually just tell people I’m from the woods because I’m from Cascade, PA – a tiny wooded township 45 minutes north of Williamsport, PA (the Home of Little League). I went to Penn College in Williamsport and studied Business Administration and concentrated in Marketing. As a college junior I was perplexed with what to do with my post college life after fearfully realizing that with my degree I would most likely end up at a desk… all day long. Last year I Googled “Outdoor Marketing Internships” and as fate would have it, Venture Outdoors was looking for a marketing intern! Fast-forward one year and I’m spending my post-grad life enjoying the balance between office and outdoor life!

2. Describe your role at Venture Outdoors in 10 words or less.
Social media, design, communication, ‘I need a photo of ______’.

3. What does “getting outside” mean to you?
Getting outside means keeping my sanity. I crave the outdoors – whether it’s a 10-mile hike or a 10-minute walk I can’t go a day without it.

4. If you had to pick only one recreational activity to practice for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This is easy… hiking. It’s always been my favorite recreational activity because you can choose your own pace, do it alone or with a group, and have your breath taken away by some pretty spectacular views.

5. What is the craziest thing you have done?
Aside from the regular bridge jumping (sorry Mom)… My family does a winter picnic every year called “Mt. Joy Field” where we do weird outdoor things that most people would consider slightly barbaric… a few years ago I was finally allowed to drive the demolition car – it would only go in reverse and there was quite a bit of snow but all my passengers came out completely unharmed (as per usual because obviously safety is a top priority at Mt. Joy Field….).

6. What are your top five favorite outdoors/travel destinations?
– Letchworth State Park
– Rock Run
– Great Smoky Mountains National Park
– Watkins Glen State Park
– Rickett’s Glen State Park

7. What is your favorite forest/camping snack?
The Wiegand family essential snack pack:
– Swedish Fish
– Trail mix with 2x the cashews
– S’mores
– Atomic Fireballs

8. Name three people in history (dead or alive) with whom you would want to take on a Venture Outdoors program of your choice.
1. My Pappap Vanemon because he was gone way too soon but his heart was pure gold.
2. John and Walter Wegman because they opened the first Wegmans and I’d like to thank them.
3. Albus Dumbledore because my Harry Potter obsession is only getting worse with age.

9. What is your favorite Venture Outdoors memory?
There’s a lot to choose from… but recently the National Trails Day hike was a lot of fun so I’ll go with that!

10. Do you collect anything? If yes, what and why?
Yes – cards. Birthday cards, congratulation cards, thank you cards, etc. I’ve kept them all since my fifth birthday and have received the perfect balance of really funny cards and sentimental cards over the years. I’m not 100% sure why I love cards so much but it means a lot to me when someone searches that daunting wall of cards to find the perfect one.

11. What is the earliest memory you have of being outside?
Hiking! My fondest memories are of the entire group of us somewhere deep in the woods! I’d beg my Dad to give me a piggyback ride even though he already had my younger brother on his shoulders (and he would), sing along with my Mom and Aunt as they sang “You Are my Sunshine”, and my two older brothers would convince me that Gatorade was actually magic water so I’d be able to hike for another four miles.

12. What would the title of your autobiography be?
“I’ve Got 99 Problems But Protein Isn’t One: A Vegetarian’s Thoughts on Life and Stuff”
By: Jessica Rose Wiegand

13. Any hidden talents?
I consider myself a self-proclaimed artist… I can paint and draw. Not very realistically but usually inspired from being outside and full of color so that’s something. I’m not really sure if it’s hidden because I’m a broke college grad so almost everyone I know gets homemade gifts.

14. What is your favorite song (or album) right now?
My favorite song has always been and will always be “No Rain” by Blind Melon

15. What is your biggest challenge nowadays?
Living four hours from my family.