This weekend I drove out to Northampton to The Venture Out Project (TVOP) Headquarters. I got to visit Perry and spend some time with Travis who was recently hired on full time as the Office Manager for TVOP! He has been in town for a couple weeks getting set up in his new job which he will ultimately be working remotely from Portland, Oregon while flying back east on occasion to lead trips and what not. Travis and I walked around NoHo and got to catch up on life and talk about the Long Trail and then we went back to Perry’s and I did a Tarot reading about TVOP.
On Saturday we got up early and drove out to the Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary in Natick where I had the privilege of joining The Venture Out Project Team to lead a hike with OUT Metro West who hosts WAGLY which is a group for LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) and allied high school youth in the MetroWest Area of Boston. They are part of the “AGLY Network”. This was pretty exciting for me as I have been an Adult Support Volunteer at BAGLY since 2010 which is the Boston-Based LGBTQ Youth programming so having the opportunity to combine hiking outside with hanging out with Queer Youth was pretty awesome! We had a small group of young people and a couple Adult Supports get up early on a Saturday morning to meet us in the parking lot. We exchanged names and pronouns, handed out snacks and then hit the trail. Its hard to put into words what it felt like to simply hold some space outside in nature for queer youth to just walk and talk and feel safe and connect. Originally we were suppose to be snowshoeing but all the snow had melted so the weather was much like a crisp November day and it was lovely to be walking in the woods. After a two hour hike we ate lunch together and then played some games and that was that and then I drove home. Feeling so much optimism, hope, connection and deep gratitude.