STAFF BLOG – Q&A WITH OUR OUTDOOR PROGRAMME LEADER, Beth!

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

Beth. Tell us a bit about yourself. Have you always been an outdoorsy person?

Hi! I’m one of the Outdoor Programme Leader here in Edinburgh. I would say yes I’ve always been an outdoorsy person. I would go biking or walking in our local woods in Wakefield, camping holidays was always a summer highlight but there was time where this definitely took a back pedal especially whilst studying and when athletics was a huge part of my life.

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

I like that everyday is different and I get to work with a range of young people who bring their own spin and uniqueness to the group they form. I also get to share my love of the outdoors with the young people we work with by showing them what is on their doorsteps and even getting to explore new areas with them.

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

The outdoors is certainly my happy place. If I haven’t been out for a while then I tend to get itchy feet and have to go out for an adventure whether that’s locally or up a mountain somewhere. I also feel instantly more relaxed hearing, smelling and the experiences the views that nature gives to us. It gives us a rich and immersive sensory experience and I just love it!

What’s your have a favourite VS memory?

I have quite a few but I’ve narrowed it down to three.

The first on was going away to Loch Ard which happened to be my first residential with VS since starting. The area was amazing and the group I went with welcomed me in like they had known me through all their journey with VS.

Secondly, I would say attending the Leadership Awards Night and hearing their stories about how the programme has changed them and seeing the strong bond they had with each other was just special.

Lastly, I would say going canoeing on the canal with my current group as it was just a bundle of laughs, and it was nice seeing them relax on the water once they got into it. We learnt some cool things about bridges! (didn’t think I’d be typing that ever).

But I am hoping that this list will continue to grow and make it very hard to choose in the future!

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

Don’t be afraid. Fear stops us from doing so many things. Don’t be afraid to talk to people you don’t know, or to come try our programme. Everyone will be feeling the same. Anything feels a little strange the first few times you do it!

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

That’s a hard one as there’s so many good ones we do. But I think it would be coasteering, as it allows you to discover and explore natures playground as you will climb over rocks, jump into the sea and are able to look out of the sea life (if you’re lucky you could see seals and dolphins). But it also creates an environment that is always different which adds to the thrill of it all, or at least for me anyway.  

What’s your favourite joke?

What did the tent say to the sleeping bag? I’ve got you covered