Who We Are

The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) is the premier organization dedicated to serving the needs of recreation and education professionals in non-profit settings. Through AORE, members have a mechanism to interact with and affect decisions made by public land managers and the human powered outdoor recreation industry. AORE is committed to promoting ecologically sound stewardship of the natural environment and serves as a collective voice for its members regarding topics of regional and national concern.

Why Current and Proposed Vision & Mission?

In November 2017, AORE's Board of Directors identified a need to help the Association clarify its identity and also figure out our role within the larger outdoor recreation and education industry. There are a lot of other associations that serve similar populations and do similar work, but what makes AORE unique? What opportunities do we have? The Board felt strongly that we as an Association could benefit from having an experienced, objective, outside entity help us navigate the strategic planning process. 

In April 2018, AORE identified La Piana Consulting as a firm that could help move our strategic planning process forward.  La Piana joined the Board of Directors at their 2018 mid-year meeting to facilitate conversations around AORE's organizational identity (mission, vision, desired future impact, business model, competitive advantage), marketing trends, organizational strategy (strategic filters for decision-making, strategic questions to ask) and board development and governance. 

As a result of the conversations and La Piana's guidance at the mid-year meeting, the Board drafted an identity statement and strategic direction.  Over the next several months (June - September 2018), we tested our proposed identity statement and strategy among various stakeholder groups, including former board members, board presidents, committee chairs, committee members, general members, vendor members, and individuals within the greater outdoor industry.

For more governance information, please visit AORE's Governance Page.


The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education is the premier Association in the outdoor profession. By bringing together individuals and organizations, AORE contributes to a global community that fosters a culture of professionalism, collaboration and environmental stewardship. Through our Association, we actively engage in and impact the issues and policies that affect our membership and industry.

A vibrant community where everyone can connect to the outdoors.

For more governance information, please visit AORE's Governance Page.

Identity Statement

Guided by our Strategy of Occupying the intersection of the outdoor industry and outdoor recreation and education.
AORE Advances our mission  of Empowering leaders to connect people to the outdoors through recreation and education experiences. 
And seeks A vibrant community where everyone can connect to the outdoors.
By serving Current and aspiring outdoor recreation, education, and industry professionals and organizations
We work in The United States
Through Advocacy, Professional Development, Networking, and Career Advancement 
We are funded through Earned revenue from events and programs, membership dues, sponsorships, philanthropy, publications, and advertising

Approved by Board of Directors on February 21, 2019


Education Through developmental opportunities and experiences, we empower individuals and groups to serve themselves and their communities with programs and services that are relevant and impactful.
Inclusiveness We welcome diversity, aim to be accessible and inclusive, and work to remove barriers to participation. We strive to be an organization that is reflective of the current and expanding community.
Stewardship In all actions, we shepherd and safeguard our environment, our economy, our belongings, our name and each other. 
Professionalism We are committed to the pursuit of individual and organizational excellence. We strive to improve ourselves and are accountable as individuals so we can contribute toward benefiting the organization and the profession we serve.
Advocacy We exemplify and encourage healthy access to our natural resources for people of all abilities, backgrounds and cultural identities.
Innovation We are a catalyst for new ideas, approaches and creative programming. We accept the risks that go along with innovating and see them as opportunities for deeper learning and ultimately greater outcomes and impact.
Transparency We are open and honest with ourselves and others, work with integrity, and are always willing to share best practices, lessons learned, our knowledge and skills, as well as discuss our strengths and weaknesses.

Approved by Board of Directors on February 21, 2019


The mission of the Association is to provide opportunities for professionals and students in the field of outdoor recreation and education to exchange information, promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment, and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs.

AORE advances our mission of empowering leaders to connect people to the outdoor through recreation and education experiences.* 

*This is what we are already doing and do well, but compared to our current mission statement, our proposed update paints a more clear, streamlined picture of what AORE wants to do. This new mission statement does not change the core of who we are and what we do well---rather, it clarifies it so that we can connect with more people in deeper ways. 

Note: Officially changing AORE’s mission statement requires a majority affirmative vote from our membership.

For more governance information, please visit AORE's Governance Page.


AORE is an organization developed by and for outdoor recreation and education professionals and students. Prior to becoming an Association, AORE existed as a loosely knit group of professionals hosting conferences since 1984. Founded at the International Conference on Outdoor Recreation in 1993, AORE is a grass-roots organization dedicated to advancing the field of outdoor recreation and education. Read the full AORE History here. 

Purpose: Under AORE's Articles of Incorporation, the Association is a non-for-profit corporation organized pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Reventue Code, and is organized exclusively for charitable and educational purposes relative to outdoor recreation and outdoor education, the preservation of the natural environment, addressing issues common to not-for-profit outdoor programs, and the transaction of all lawful business for which non-for-profit corporations may be organized pursuant to the Colorado Revised Nonprofit Corporation Act.

Association Development Committee

AORE 1st Board of Directors