No Wonder You Were Afraid to Ask #14 Kate Vancouver – Soon to be Appalachian Trail Blazer

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I met Katelyn Vancouver a couple of years ago when I was volunteering on Long Island after Super Storm Sandy with the non-profit organization All Hands. Kate and her family decided to take a family trip and volunteer doing disaster recovery. I remember Kate’s mother, Laurie, telling me that Kate was the reason the family decided to do a volunteer trip that year instead of a traditional trip. I really enjoyed talking and getting to know all of Kate’s family. From the first day of assignments, I was paired with her and her brother, Ben. I was almost 40 at the time and it was great to work with such bright young people, who not only worked their butts off but also provided me with insight into the current state of teenagers. From conversations with Kate, the one thing that stuck out was that she is a very driven person.

Currently, Katelyn lives in Athens, Ohio and is an Outdoor Leader/Educator. She said, I was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey and moved to Athens when I was barely a toddler because my father was offered a professorship at Ohio University.

A view from Wesser Bald fire tower, a popular vista point near Bryson City, North Carolina and along the Appalachian Trail.
One of the towers on the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Mountaintop Zipline Tour

I really wanted to interview her because she is in the beginning stages of a fundraiser to hike the Appalachian Trail and support the women’s group SheJumps. She told me, “SheJumps, is an organization that partners with women across the country to introduce women and girls to the outdoors in a safe and healthy manner. This organization is helping me in my pursuit to hike the Appalachian Trail and raise money for their organization to help more women get outside.”

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Please consider helping Kate help herself, and others, by donating here! You can also read much more about Kate on her Website.

Hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire this winter and loving life.
Hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire this winter and loving life.

Kate said, “ I’m passionate about working to get women and girls outside to build their confidence and self-efficacy, to reshape the way women are thought of in society.” I also know Kate is passionate about photography so I asked her to include some of her work.

Michael Blair gets a closer look at the scallops in Boar Hole Cave under Lewisburg, WV to decipher water patterns of the past.
Michael Blair gets a closer look at the scallops in Boar Hole Cave under Lewisburg, WV to decipher water patterns of the past.

When asked what people should know about her, Kate added, “People should know that I am a very caring person and that I am always looking to the future. Everything that I do and most of what I have done is working toward a present and future that will improve the lives of the people around me through benefitting their inter and intra-personal skills, physical health, or all of the above.”

She ended the interview by adding this story which she says sums up her life, “I was leaving the library a few weeks ago, and turned to hold the door open for the person behind me and ended up hitting the door with my face, pushing my glasses askew.”

Once again, please consider donating to Kate’s cause. I love that we are living in a time where young women are pushing the boundaries of equality gender equalization. I know because of young women like Kate, that we will see a definite leveling of the playing field for genders within our lifetime. Keep up the great work, Kate.

Now enjoy her answers to a few of the extra questions.

What is your favorite Inspirational quote
“…[F]or the greatest good, for the greatest number, for the longest time.” –Gifford Pinchot

Do you prefer to vacation with the locals or all-inclusive resort?
Vacation with the locals! Embrace the immersive cultural experience.

What was your favorite meal growing up?
A roasted chicken with sweet corn and delicious homemade bread.

What is your passion?
Helping people to be lastingly happy

Musician Maris Truex carries her tired dog, River,
Musician Maris Truex carries her tired dog, River,

Three songs on your funeral playlist?
Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart,
I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) by The Proclaimers,
Where Is My Mind by the Pixies

What would be your secret power or super talent?
Understanding

What is your biggest turn on?
Drive

Brian Raftry prepares for a fluffy landing on a rapid on the Cheoah River in North Carolina
Brian Raftry prepares for a fluffy landing on a rapid on the Cheoah River in North Carolina

What is your biggest turn-off?
People chewing with their mouth open

Do you recycle?
Heck yeah! I love single stream!

Do you kill all bugs?
No! I avoid killing bugs as much as possible

Do you love your job? Why?
Yes. Working in a field in which I am able to expose an unlikely person or group of people to an awesome outdoor experience is incomparable to any other job I might be able to have.

Do you enjoy hugs?
Yes! Hugs are immensely important to my daily happiness levels

Blake McDaniel locks eyes with the camera  after a successful climb during the annual Rocktoberfest
Blake McDaniel locks eyes with the camera after a successful climb during the annual Rocktoberfest

5 Comments

  1. Great article! I worked with Kate here in NC 2 years ago. However, a quick correction: the photo of the firetower is incorrect, the picture depicts one of the towers on the Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Mountaintop Zipline Tour, not Wesser Bald.

  2. Thanks for this wonderful article about Kate! She is my awesome great niece, and we’ve always been so pleasantly surprised by each of her new adventures and her dedication to making the world a better place, especially for women. Just a note of clarification, Kate lives in Athens, Ohio, not Georgia. Thank you for allowing everyone to celebrate Kate in this way!

  3. Had the pleasure of knowing Kate while volunteering for All Hands, rebuilding houses after Superstorm Sandy back in2014 and I only have good words for her and her wonderful family. I pray that she will always have this joy and desire to make a difference in whatever way she can to make this world a better place to be— Such an inspirational soul! Truly blessed to have meet such wonderful family! ❤❤❤

A penny for your thoughts.