By: Kevin Hurley, Trip Leader Specialist and Kayak Pittsburgh Supervisor

I feel very fortunate to be a part of Venture Outdoors. In truth, it would be very difficult for me to try to explain all of the reasons why in this short blog post, but I’ll certainly try and get some of the main ones listed.Kevin putting a helmet on a student

First and most personal to me has to be the actual work I get to do for Venture Outdoors. I’ve had other jobs with varied duties and responsibilities, but Venture Outdoors has always stuck with me. Of course, like any work, it has tough days and easy days, but either way they are always satisfying. I recently left an office job to return full time with Venture Outdoors because – though the office job was nice and the people were kind – the actual work never left me feeling accomplished at the end of the day.

Secondly, is the environment. This has two components because of the company itself and the outdoor, physical environment. If you ever want to watch me go insane, place me in a job where I don’t get to smell the fresh air, feel the sunshine on my face, or the rain drip off the brim of my hat. The other side, the company itself, ties in perfectly with my final reason.

The only thing better than working a satisfying job outdoors is getting to do it with outstanding people. From the Trip Leader Specialists that I work with in the winter to the attendants that I supervise at the North Park Kayak Pittsburgh location, from the other supervisors I work with to my directors and other office staff, I am constantly impressed and impacted in positive ways. The communication is always efficient and the goal is always the same: safety and fun outdoors. I have gained confidence in areas that I have never explored before and have been introduced to things I had never tried before working here. I have gone rock climbing, I have become a kayaking instructor, I have made positive impacts myself on children and adults all around the city. I have explored pitch black caves and, on my own time, have hiked through some of the most remote forests of France and have gone snowshoeing in Andorra in the middle of the Pyrenees mountains. Up until that point, the only time I’d ever tried on a pair of snowshoes was with Venture Outdoors. We truly do provide the means and the equipment to get outside.

Maybe it’s the Thanksgiving season quickly approaching, but I’m extremely thankful for my colleagues and all of the opportunities that I have been afforded in the last 2.5 years of time I have spent with Venture Outdoors. My hope is that everyone in Pittsburgh feels their positive influence as customer, volunteer, or staff member because it is truly a unique and life changing experience.