Cheesehead Origins: Josh and Jenna’s Journey Around the World Leads Them to Green Bay

Josh Schultz and Jenna Towle have been all over the world, but always stayed grounded with the Packers.

Welcome to Cheesehead Origins, an offseason series geared toward showcasing Packer fans with interesting fandom origin stories! CheeseheadTV is devoted to Packer fans worldwide, and we want to hear (and share) your stories. 

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This last week I put out the bat signal on Twitter to find people who are not Packers content creators who had interesting stories to tell.

I had a lot of responses from people with some really fun stories, but there was one that stuck out right away: the story of a husband and wife whose relationship has always had the Packers to tie them together, long before they were married. 

Josh Schultz and Jenna Towle grew up more than 3,000 miles away from each other: Josh in Anchorage, Alaska and Jenna in Greensboro, NC. But growing up, while they may not ever have had the opportunity to know each other, they did have one thing in common: they were die-hard Packer fans.

“I spent my Sundays watching the games with my dad, who grew up as a Packer fan,” Jenna said. “I was always planning for my career as the next Packers field goal kicker.”

Jenna did not, unfortunately, make it as an NFL kicker, but always kept the Packers as a consistent part of her life.

Josh, meanwhile, grew up loving the small-town, community-owned nature of the Packers, and it really connected with him.

“I loved the fact that the Packers were publicly owned,” said Josh. “Forever Packers in Green Bay! Oh, and Brett Favre was something you didn’t miss on Sundays. Sterling Sharpe was my first favorite Packer player, though."

When summer 2007 rolled around, Jenna had just graduated from college and was looking to try something completely new. She traveled to Denali National Park in Alaska to work for the summer and have a completely different experience. 

Josh was in his seventh year bartending at the Salmon Bake, located just outside the entrance to the park, known as Glitter Gulch. This is a spot featuring a variety of hotels, restaurants and employee housing. Josh worked 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., and Jenna worked days at a hotel front desk and often too the Salmon Bake shuttle after work 11 miles north to enjoy some music, food, billiards and ping pong.

This is where the two ultimately met, and as they say, the rest is history.

After that summer, both were invited by a mutual friend to move down to Key West, Florida and spend the winter working and enjoying the warmth. They accepted.

“That winter we started seeing each other and enjoying each other’s company,” said Josh. “It was then we found out we both loved the Packers. We would frequent Jack Flats every Sunday to watch the Packers play and watch Aaron Rodgers go 6-10 in his first year starting. These are great memories!”

The following Spring, Josh decided he would return to Denali for the summer, and Jenna went to work at Mackinac Island in Michigan.

“We kept in touch and decided to meet up during our days off in Las Vegas in July,” said Jenna. “We spent three wonderful days together and knew then that we wanted to be more serious.”

It definitely got serious. Josh flew out to Michigan, and from there the two went to Thailand and Vietnam for two months, doing their best to keep up with the Packers while there (though catching a game at 11 PM in southeast Asia can be hard). 

When the two returned to the U.S., they decided they’d settle in Portland, Oregon, where they stayed for four months, struggling to find work. Ultimately they decided to return to Denali, but they had to live in a small wall tent with no amenities, and decided that life simply wasn’t for them. 

Instead, they moved to Tahoe, California, chasing life among the ski slopes. It was here that Josh proposed to Jenna over Christmas 2012. 

“We went back and forth about where we should have our wedding, since our families lived on opposite U.S. coasts,” Josh said. “Jenna’s dad knew how much we loved our Packers and suggested we might have our wedding at Lambeau Field. This might have seemed odd or even blasphemous to some, but it sounded like the perfect location to us.”

The two were booking their wedding before the NFL schedule was released, which was a bit of a nerve-racking experience. It turned out the Packers had a bye the weekend of September 28, 2013, which worked out well logistically, even if it meant the two had to wait an extra week to watch their team for the first time as a married couple.

Their wedding happened and it was beautiful; they were even able to have their reception in a room overlooking the field. The week after, they went to the Lions vs. Packers game as newlyweds. 

Not long after getting married, Josh and Jenna moved once again to Pittsboro, North Carolina, where Jenna got a position as an Assistant Manager of a hotel, and where they couple had their first two children. Several years later, life took them to Jackson, Mississippi where Jenna was able to secure a position managing her own hotel. The couple had their third child, and life was good.

But after a few years in Mississippi, Josh and Jenna started daydreaming where they’d like to be permanently and set down roots to raise their family. Jenna started looking for jobs outside the southern half of the United States so the two could find a place where they both felt comfortable.

By chance, a certain hotel chain called Jenna and offered her the opportunity to manage a hotel located just 1.8 miles away from Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

“It just so happened to be the same hotel we stayed at when we got married at Lambeau nine years prior,” said Jenna. “So the obvious answer was ‘absolutely.’ It was the perfect fit.”

So the family of five packed up their lives (and dog, Reggie White) once again and moved up to Green Bay.

“It’s the best thing we have done,” said Josh. “We love the sense of community and how involved the Packers are in everything.”

While the two haven’t been able to get to a game in person yet since moving, they are both excited to introduce their children to the “energy and uniqueness that is Lambeau FIeld.”

“The thing that sticks out to us is that whether we were just visiting for a game, for our wedding or moving here with our family, it always felt that everyone here embraced us and welcomed us to their community,” said Josh. “Couldn’t ask for anything more!”

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Many thanks toJosh for reaching out to me on Twitter, and to him and Jenna for sharing their great story! What a crazy life they’ve had of moving around, only to settle in the shadow of Lambeau Field. Thank you both for your contributions for this article!

Next week: a Packers Twitter fave who has spent much of her life in enemy territory (Chicago). 

 

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Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Comments (2)

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JerseyAl's picture

June 02, 2022 at 06:54 am

This would make a good Hallmark Channel movie!

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Hematite's picture

June 02, 2022 at 08:24 am

A story of true love.😍

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