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Meet the Park Manager: Darlene Zimble

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Trip Advisor

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At The Adventure Park, We have the best team in the industry…maybe on the planet!  Here we get to know our Park Manager for The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium, Darlene Zimble.


What I love most about working at The Adventure Park
I love seeing families doing something together that takes them out of their comfort zone. We get to see siblings helping each other and climbers really proud of themselves for overcoming their fears.


My Background:
I have many years of management experience. I began my journey with The Adventure Park in 2016 as Park Manager at our The Adventure Park at Heritage Museum on Cape Cod. I did not have industry experience at that time, but I have always loved the outdoors; hiking, going to the beach, boating, and camping. I thought that working for The Adventure Park would be a great way to combine my management experience with my love of the outdoors and boy, was I right! I have been The Park Manager at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium since the 2018 season. I feel really lucky to be part of such a wonderful team! We have a staff that is incredibly talented and really love coming to work every day! I realize after many years in the business world, what a gift that truly is!


My Favorite Course: My favorite course is Riptide.  It is a Blue course that is really challenging for me. I feel really proud of myself every time I climb.  I try to instill that feeling in our customers!


How I connect to our mission of promoting active enjoyment in the outdoors: In the day and age we are in, it is really difficult to get anyone, especially kids, away from their phones and computers. The fact that families can spend four hours together outside, pushing themselves physically, and mentally and laughing (without missing their phones!!) is huge! I love the fact that The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is open all year round! Seeing families climb with hats and warm jackets on while still laughing and working together is amazing!


What I do when I am not at the Park: You might find me hiking First Landing State Park with my dog, Lucy, at the library (I am a serious book worm!), at the beach, or doing a spin class with my daughter, Lindsay.


A Favorite Moment: One of my favorite moments involved a 12-year-old girl last summer that was part of a large family outing.  She and her mother were screaming at each other in the harnessing area and she was not listening to what the Monitor was telling the group.  I it appeared that she was on the Autism Spectrum and that they had a very difficult relationship. I pulled the girl aside and told her it was extremely important that she pay attention, listen, and behave appropriately. I was not sure how this person was going to be able to participate in climbing.  I was involved in helping other people but the next thing I know this young lady had the biggest smile on her face, hugged me, and told me she finished a Green and Blue Course, and was going to do Black Storm.  What a profound effect The Adventure Park had on this family!