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Perry Cohen

Executive Director & Instructor

Perry Cohen realized a lifelong dream of combining his love of the outdoors, his commitment to social justice, his own trans & queer identity, and his professional life when he founded The Venture Out Project. 

Perry is an alumnus of Outward Bound where he also worked.  Perry has extensive wilderness experience, having led multi-day hiking and mountain biking trips in the southeastern US.  He is an avid backcountry skier, biker and runner and just a few summers ago rafted the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon.  Perry is a certified WFR and lifeguard.  He is the former Trip Director at Camp Aranu'tiq and has  worked for many years as a coach, teacher, trainer and camp counselor with students ranging from age 7 to 65. Read more about Perry...


TRavis clough

Trips Director & Office Manager

Travis is originally from Down East Maine and currently resides in Portland, Oregon where he explores the high peaks of the Pacific Northwest.  He loves mountains, snow, pine trees, and views that go on forever.  His favorite outdoor activities are (but not limited to) backpacking, scramble hikes, splitboarding, swimming in mountain lakes, summiting high peaks, mountain biking, etc.  His other interests are quilting, playing guitar, banjo and fiddle, long road trips, contra dancing, pot-lucks, smashing the patriarchy, and connecting to queer community.  He is certified in Wilderness First Responder & AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) - Level 1. 


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Meg Bolger

Director of Education

Meg Bolger is a social justice educator and facilitator who started their facilitator journey leading wilderness orientation trips at Hamilton College during their undergraduate years. Since then Meg has spent 8 years facilitating gender and sexuality awareness and inclusion workshops with anyone looking to make their organization and community more trans and LGBTQ+ inclusive. Meg is the co-creator of The Safe Zone Project and founder of The Social Justice Toolbox, two free online resources for social justice educational activities and curriculum and the co-author of Unlocking the Magic of Facilitation.

As the Director of Education for The Venture Out Project, Meg takes lead on all-things-training-related, communicating with folks about the different opportunities TVOP provides to learn more about creating trans-inclusive communities and co-facilitating the workshops. While Meg loves hiking, playing team sports, Vermont, and snowboarding, Meg is rarely happier than when working with a new group exploring and learning together. 


TAM WILLEY

Community Liason

Tam loves adventure and spent much of her 20s on a skateboard, traveling across the country, up and down both coasts detouring through many National Parks and mind blowing landscapes, which led to a pursuit of deep nature connection.  Tam loves to camp, hike, backpack, cross country ski, snowboard, canoe, kayak and surf.  Tam is self-employed living and working as a Handy Person in Boston, MA. Tam has extensive experience working with LGBTQ youth.  She has worked 8 seasons with The Theater Offensive's True Colors: Out Youth Theater training and activating LGBTQQA Youth Leaders to facilitate theater workshops, classes, and trainings to create, produce and tour original shows based on their personal experiences to schools, groups and social service agencies within our community.  Since 2010, Tam has volunteered as an Adult Support at BAGLY, Boston's Alliance of LGBTQ Youth.  In 2016 Tam thru-hiked Vermont's Long Trail and raised money and awareness for TVOP.  Tam holds CRP, First Aid and WFA certifications and is currently studying to become a Certified Forest Therapy Guide. Check out Tam's blog at www.cariboose.wordpress.com

 


Oliver REITZ

Instructor

Oliver is originally from Indiana, where he spent his youth climbing trees and swimming with catfish. As an adult, he spent years leading LGBT organizations and promoting LGBT education and advocacy all over Southern Indiana. At the age of 26, Oliver moved to Massachusetts where he got involved with The Venture Out Project from the start and rediscovered his love of the outdoors. He has since become passionate about hiking, backpacking, and map-reading. Oliver lives with his partner and their two dogs and is currently enrolled in school, where he is finishing his degree in Health Education and Promotion. He spends his free time hiking his favorite trails in Western Massachusetts and discovering new ones.


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Lex Jackson

Instructor

Born and raised in Vermont, Lex is a nomad of sorts who spends most of his time in New England. Lex identifies as a dog dad, a goatherd, and an avid writer of postcards. He spent three winters as an EMT on the Mount Mansfield Ski Patrol at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont. After a 2014 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, Lex fell in love with the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and moved there to work for the Appalachian Mountain Club as a member of their high-mountain hut croo, a member of their professional trail crew, and as an outdoor guide. When not recreating in the wilderness, Lex can be found snacking and butt-dialing his senators. He recently moved to Portland, ME in search of community and affirming spaces, and to pursue a passion for education as a substitute teacher for the Portland Public Schools. Lex holds a certification in Wilderness First Aid.


elliot Drake-Maurer

Instructor

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Elliot grew up in the foothills of the central Sierra Nevada Mountains in California, and has always been fascinated by the beauty and intricacies of the natural world. Elliot’s outdoor education journey began at Headwaters Outdoor School in Mt. Shasta, CA where he now teaches traditional earth living and survival skills.  Elliot received a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education from Northland College, where he furthered his interest in the intersecting fields of diversity, inclusion, and outdoor recreation. He has led trips for the college’s Outdoor Orientation Program, and worked as a kayak guide on Lake Superior. In life, as in any ecosystem, Elliot believes that a diversity of beings results in a more resilient and beautiful community. He is excited to connect people with the natural world and develop a sense of belonging. Elliot resides in southern Oregon, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. His outdoor interests include hiking, fly fishing, cross-country skiing, and natural history. He likes to cook, write, and play traditional Irish pennywhistle.

 

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Loren Evens

Instructor

Loren is a self identified ragamuffin queer who is unequivocally obsessed with being in the mountains. Born in the Northwest, he grew up backpacking with his family. He currently lives in Denver Colorado where he spends most of his time burning up the highway to find the next mountain paradise.  He will eat key lime pie till he’s blue in the face, and love making cards.  Some of his hobbies are, split boarding, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, river floating, backpacking, and losing his chapstick.  He loves to meet new people, and hear about how the outdoors enriches their lives. Loren is a Nationally Registered licensed Paramedic, and Registered Nurse who specializes in Emergency Medicine.