Benefits of Facilitated Recreation

Benefits of Facilitated Recreation

What exactly is facilitated recreation? Facilitated recreation refers to the process of organizing and leading recreational activities in a structured and engaging manner to ensure participants have a positive and enjoyable experience. 

The term "facilitated" implies that there is a skilled individual or facilitator guiding the recreational activities. These individuals may work for a recreation center, park district, or other organization that offers outdoor programs. Facilitators may also work independently, leading their own tours or workshops.

Participant-facing outdoor facilitators must have a strong understanding of the activities they lead, as well as the skills and knowledge necessary to keep participants safe. They must also be able to communicate effectively with participants of all ages and abilities.

Having a skilled facilitator is a great way to help others enjoy the great outdoors. 


What are the benefits of facilitated recreation? 

Facilitated recreation offers a wide range of benefits for participants of all ages and backgrounds, from skill development to stress relief. Here are some of the ways a facilitated recreation program can elevate the experience for the groups they lead:
Facilitators create an environment that encourages active participation, learning, and social interaction among the participants. The overall goal for facilitators should always be to enhance the overall enjoyment for all, regardless of age, ability level, or background. 

What is the future of facilitated recreation?

According to the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), the outdoor recreation’s visibility has grown across the United States. The industry is now valued at nearly $1 trillion annual by the U.S. Department of Commerce due to the amount of Americans enjoying the outdoors. Behind this impact is the 4.5 million outdoor workers, including the facilitators. 

With the unprecedented growth of the outdoor recreation industry and the increased use on our public lands, many are looking into what the future of outdoor recreation will look like in America. While we don’t have all the answers yet, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) is working to empower the outdoor workforce to be relevant and connected. 

As the industry continues to move forward facing challenges head on, we are seeing the questions arise such as: 
Additionally, the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable produced a comprehensive  whitepaper that identifies a Roadmap for a 21st Century Outdoor Workforce.  These questions and more are further discussed and ideas to move forward are presented.

Recognizing the importance of the questions above, AORE has partnered with industry leaders to build the Future of Facilitated Recreation Series at our upcoming Outdoor Professional Conference. Attendees are encouraged to join one or all sessions of the series with perspectives from leaders. Attendees will be invited to ask questions and share their input on the future of facilitated recreation.  

Interested in attending the Outdoor Professional Conference? We are going to be in Baltimore, Maryland October 31 - November 4. We encourage you to sign up and bring your team. If we can learn together we can grow together. Learn more about the event with our Attendee Prospectus.

We also have this handy PDF with the benefits of facilitated recreation to share with your networks, administrators, and more.