Meet the talented Venture Out instructors who make these amazing trips what they are. We wouldn't what what we are without their tireless dedication to wildnerness stewardship, adventurous spirit and endless knowledge of the outdoors.
Mercy (she/her/hers) loves being outdoors in the Pacific NW. She hopes to cultivate an outdoor community putting POC and Queers front and center. She wants to be a part of the facilitating a comfortable safe spaces for POC and Queers to thrive in the outdoors in the Portland, Oregon area and beyond. As an Outdoorist she knows there is hundreds of ways one can enjoy being in nature. She loves a good outdoor immersion weekend and believes in the healing abilities that nature provides. Her mission is to promote those who have been pushed aside by today’s dominate society—supporting them in their growth, healing and love of the outdoors. WILD DIVERSITY
DANIELLE WOLTER NOLAN
Danielle (she/her/hers) grew up in the country, and being outdoors was always second nature to her. Living in this fast-paced digital age we live in today, she realized that there was a need for more people to unplug from technology and reconnect with themselves in nature. This was one of the many reasons why Kate (her wife) and Danielle founded DNK Presents. Together they have organized and guided hundreds of people on adventures in and outside of Indiana. She is blessed to share her passion for the great outdoors while helping individuals and groups build confidence and empowerment through adventure experiences. She is certified level 1 PMBIA mountain bike instructor, Leave No Trace trainer, yoga instructor, Reiki master and thai massage therapist.
Loren (he/him/his) 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.
Oliver (he/him/his)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.
My name is Kate Nolan (she/her/hers) and I am a cofounder of DNK Presents, Trek Bicycle Women’s Advocate and Leave No Trace trainer. Getting outside has always been a passion of mine and I love sharing that with others. I believe we need a connection to nature in order to live a happy, healthy and balanced lives. I grew up camping, backpacking, skiing, trail running and racing BMX and mountain bikes. I believe my bond with nature has helped me to excel in my professional career, to overcome obstacles personally and professionally and the spiritual gain has been profound.
Graham (he/him/his) lives in Brighton, MA, but dreams of gallivanting around the world with all his belongings in a backpack. He loves biking, hiking, climbing and kayaking. He is also a proud nerd; lover of rocks and science, and an aspiring potter. Graham is a teacher by day, and an multi-tasking super fiend by night. Graham also collects useless (but fun!) trivia, so if you know a cool fact, he'd love to hear it!
Born and raised in Vermont, Lex (he/him/his) 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 (he/him/his)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.