Power of Association

The Power of Association

In our last blog we talked about the benefits of facilitated recreation. Now let’s talk about if there was an association for the outdoor facilitators. 

Professional Associations 

A professional association is an organized group of individuals who work within a particular industry, field, or profession. These associations are formed to serve the common interests of their members and to promote the growth, development, and advancement of the profession or industry they represent. Professional associations play a crucial role in connecting professionals, providing resources, offering educational opportunities, and advocating for the interests of their members.

An association for outdoor recreation facilitators and educators would be a vital part of the outdoor industry. Having a group dedicated to helping facilitators to grow, advance, and connect with like-minded individuals. 

Professional associations primarily focus on serving individuals by providing access to information and sharing a body of knowledge. This differs from trade associations, which represent and serve industries and businesses. Trade associations engage in lobbying efforts and advocacy campaigns to influence public policy, regulations, and legislations impacting their industry. 

As the outdoor recreation industry continues to grow, many facilitators and educators are facing challenges. This is where the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) comes in to help. Dedicated to serving the needs of the outdoor recreation professionals and educators from academia to private sector programs, AORE strives to provide our members with framework and support to interact with public land managers and influence decisions impacting their roles. 


Benefits of Joining a Professional Association

As mentioned, associations help connect professionals, provide resources, offer education, and help advocate on different levels.  Typically built as a membership organization, associations need their members as much as their members need them. The community built within an association is the main benefit, but grows from there.

Grow Your Network and Community 

The community is the most beneficial part of an association. You will be able to connect with others you may not otherwise. Within the community you’ll find seasoned professionals who are ready to help and can provide mentorship at all stages of your career. Of course, you’ll get what you give, so be sure you are connecting and sharing with others as well! 


Share Information + Resources

If you are looking for best practices or standard operating procedures, using your community with various expertise is a great way to grow. While competition is real, we will all benefit from helping each other advance with our careers and businesses. If you have limited resources and capacity, associations are there to help!


Expand Your Knowledge 

Many associations provide professional development opportunities, both in-person and online. This helps the industry as a whole grow, so don’t be left behind! Attend all the workshops, conferences, and educational programs you can to stay up-to-date on industry trends and learn new skills.


Amplify Your Value, Impact, and Visibility

Your community is rooted in the same values and mission. Together your voices are stronger, helping you to amplify your message. Use your community to advocate for the interests of members to government agencies, businesses, and the public. This can be helpful for influencing public policy and protecting your interests as a professional. 

If you are active within your association, you’ll also increase your own visibility. This establishes you as an expert in your field, which can help make yourself more marketable to potential and future employers. And we can’t forget credibility! We all want to know we can trust someone or an organization. If you (or your organization) is a member of a credible association and active, this will only help in future growth. 


Elevate Your Career 

Along with professional development and increased visibility, professional associations can help with resume reviews, job interviews, and finding the next step in your career. Be sure to utilize job boards and networking opportunities within the association to advance your career. Be on the lookout for volunteer opportunities and leadership positions to show your interest and commitment to the industry.


Save Your Money

Of course we all want to save money! Associations often have ways to save on professional development, additional memberships, related services, and equipment. Take advantage of everything your association has to offer to truly get the most out of your money and membership. 

Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education 

The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) is the leading organization in the United States dedicated to serving the needs of outdoor recreation professionals and educators from academia to private sector programs. Built to empower leaders and connect people through the great outdoors, AORE is a great association to join for career development and networking if you help connect people to the outdoors.  

The vibrant AORE community is built to help everyone connect to the outdoors. AORE members benefit from our networking opportunities in our member forum, virtual events, and annual conference. We aim to help our members connect to better themselves and the organizations they work with. 
We are in the business of advancing the outdoor professional, so we can help you with leadership roles, skill development, and resume building. Being a member of AORE will automatically help you be seen as a credible profession, committed to being the best outdoor facilitator and/or educator you can be. 

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to join an association is a personal one. However, if you're looking for ways to take your outdoor facilitator career to the next level by learning new skills and connecting with like minded professionals, AORE is a great place to start.