By: Mary Lynn Marsico, Venture Outdoors Volunteer Trip Leader

Mary Lynn Marsico
Photo by the very talented Nanci Goldberg

First let me introduce myself. My name is Mary Lynn and I have been a Venture Outdoors Volunteer Trip Leader for almost six years. When I was first introduced to Venture Outdoors by a friend I began hiking, biking and kayaking with the organization. It was a whole new world out there that promoted a healthier lifestyle and a better appreciation of the environment! Before I knew it, I was tagging along as an Assistant Trip Leader. This was the perfect time in my life to dedicate my time as a Trip Leader. Being a single mom and working full time I had missed out on the active outdoor lifestyle that I once enjoyed. Now that the kids are grown, I am able to enjoy all the benefits of being outdoors and teaching others to do the same.
As an intensive care nurse, every single day that I wake up I am very thankful for my health. I am reminded daily at work how quickly one’s health can be taken away – often in the blink of an eye. Many people do not plan on being sick and in the hospital. The majority of my patients lead a sedentary lifestyle. A growing body of research links more time in nature with drastically reduced stress and depression, faster healing time, and a reduced need for pain medication. All the more reason to be outdoors as much as possible!
Many times when asked why I volunteer as a Leader I tell people it is my therapy! I enjoy sharing with others, inspiring an active lifestyle, and providing a positive way for maintaining an excellent quality of life – just by being outdoors.There is also the added bonus of fostering a greater appreciation for our environment. Positively impacting other people’s lives by teaching them how to enjoy the outdoors and improving the quality life of others is very gratifying. It’s a win-win situation all the way around. Not only am I helping others they are also helping me to remain active and healthy.
You too can become a Volunteer Trip Leader/Assistant with Venture Outdoors! Sign up for our Outdoor Leadership Training: One Day on Saturday, November 14.