Staff Blog – Q&A with our Outdoor Programme Leader, Dan!

Today, we’re catching up with one of our amazing Outdoor Programme Leaders, Dan Jones!

Dan, tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always been an outdoorsy person?

Yes to some degree. I did a lot of walking with my family growing up and we went on camping holidays every year but as I got older it kind of took a back seat for me. After university and time spent travelling and working in different countries, I re-discovered the joys of the outdoors and I haven’t looked back since.

You’ve been with VS since October 2023 – what do you like most about your role?

Working with such a variety of young people is a real privilege. Each person brings their own unique experience and outlook on life to VS and to then see these individuals mix and form strong group identities is so powerful.

Venture Scotland believes that nature and the outdoors are key to maintaining and improving health and wellbeing – what do the outdoors mean to you?

I feel most ‘myself’ when I’m out walking and spending the night camping somewhere remote. There is something about the simplicity of being in the outdoors which helps me to reset and to put things in perspective.

What’s your have a favourite VS memory?

I have only been with VS a relatively short time but there’s already a few memories that come to mind! I’d have to say that somewhat selfishly I was overjoyed by managing to convert some young people on residential to the joys of Marmite! This is an ongoing challenge I have given myself, but unfortunately there are quite a few staff members who don’t share my enthusiasm for Marmite!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting the programme?

Remember that everyone else starting the programme alongside you is in the same boat! It’s natural to feel a mixture of emotions – whether it be excitement, apprehension or anxiety, just be as open as you can to the experience and you will gain a lot from it.

If you could only take part in one more activity session with VS, what activity would it be and why?

I do love the variety of activities that we do, but for me the thrill of exploring little nooks and crannies whilst weaselling is hard to beat.

What’s your favourite joke?

What do you get if you cross Marmite with a T-Rex?