Jessica White - Founder
Member: National Speleological Society, Carroll Cave Conservancy
Women's Event Coordinator JoCo KS Pheasants Forever
John Muir, the naturalist responsible for establishing national and state parks, believed that people are the happiest when they are in nature. I couldn’t agree more.
When I visit with a co-worker on Monday morning in the office, I want to show them photos and tell stories of epic adventures I’ve done either by myself or with others. Really, it’s not that complicated; I want a life filled with adventure and exploration.
I’ve gone on every kind of hunting and fishing trip imaginable with my Dad. While he liked that part of the outdoors, my Mom, on the other hand, taught me the love of camping, kayaking, canoeing, rappelling and all kinds of outdoor sports. I still enjoy trips with them, but I started Wander Woman to encourage other women to find themselves in the outdoors.
When I hit my early 30’s, I hit a maturity level that challenged me to do something more with my life. Being an outdoors adventure-seeking woman sets me apart from my peers. However, the more I focused on doing things outdoors, the harder time I had finding things with other women. Wander Woman was established to provide a platform for connecting with other women and highlight their adventures.
There is something deeply satisfying, and connecting, about sharing experiences with others. Not only do they provide great storytelling material later, they also provide new lessons about ourselves and our abilities that we did not know we possessed.
Jessica Rice - Outreach Manager
“There are some that can live without wild things, and some who cannot.” – Aldo Leopold
I cannot live without. Since I was a wee little Jess, fascination with Mother Nature consumed me. As I grew older, I was baffled to learn there were people who enjoyed life without constant thoughts of the wild world.
I have had many conservation heroes along the way that I credit for my earthly passion. However, my dad leads them all. He was the first to encourage my interests by taking my younger brother and I camping, hiking, fishing, and hunting. Every weekend was spent outdoors, as a family—my mom included. We were taught to turn over rocks “just so”, so they could be replaced in the precise position from which we lifted them. Done in a manner as to observe but not disturb the residents underneath. I can remember fishing with my dad and encountering my first large snake. I remember countless early mornings in the brisk fall air dense with the smell of crispy fallen leaves, where most deer hunts succumbed to epic naps in the woods. I will never forget using my dad’s Winchester lever action 30/30 to harvest my first deer, him in the tree stand beside me.
As I got older, I found that fewer and fewer people shared my interest in the outdoors. In college, I stumbled upon an advertisement for a Women In The Outdoors (WITO) event sponsored by a local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Everything about the event attracted me: the classes offered, ladies loving the outdoors, learning in a non-competitive environment. It was right up my alley. I registered and went to the event alone. I had an incredible experience and was instantly hooked. I realized there were more women out there like me, and I had found a supportive place to let my love for the outdoors grow. Soon, I was planning and hosting my own WITO events. I quickly realized my passion was not just being in the outdoors, but for sharing that love with other women. Inspiring others to care about the world and all the outdoor pursuits it offers.
My friends would jokingly call it a sickness now, but I am fulfilled by seeing women leave my events filled with a self-confidence they never knew before. I like to say, “I get paid in smiles!” I hope to see your smile at a Wander Woman event soon.