AORE Member Spotlight: Ethan Harvey

AORE Member Spotlight: Ethan Harvey

We asked AORE Member Ethan Harvey to share a little about his job, why he’s involved with AORE and how his membership has impacted his career. Keep reading to find out more!


About me, Ethan Harvey

Hello! My name is Ethan Harvey, I’m a professional member of AORE and work as the Outdoor Adventure Recreation Coordinator for the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. I graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2018 after completing my Graduate Assistantship under Andrew Martin at UNI Outdoors. That summer I was lucky enough to land the opportunity of building a brand-new outdoor program here at UW-Green Bay! In the spring of 2019 we ran our first trips, including spring break on the Appalachian Trail, and as the program enters it’s 5th year we’ve run over 50 trips and many more local programs and events. Last spring we ran our first trip west of the Mississippi River (Utah) and this semester we have 6 adventure trips and over 70 local programs to look forward to. As for myself as an outdoors-person, I love canoeing, ice climbing, caving, fly fishing, and pretty much everything else. I got involved as an outdoor professional with the goal of helping introduce college students to the outdoors. That’s what my collegiate program did for me and I wouldn’t be the same without it! Welcome, and thanks for having me!


My Involvement With AORE and How I Give Back to the Association

None of what I get to do for my work life would be possible without my past and current involvement in AORE. I went to my first conference in Minneapolis in 2016 and have been at every conference since! As a student, the National Conference was one of the things that ignited my passion for the profession, as well as a way to network and see what outdoor adventure looked like outside the sphere of my institution. The subsequent years of conference attendance, learning sessions, and networking with peers and mentors is what prepared me to face the opportunities I have today. Today my involvement in AORE is much the same, I attend and learn from the conference, network with my peers and friends, and attend online learning sessions as able to stay in tune with the ever-changing industry of Outdoor Recreation. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the Development Committee, volunteered at conferences, and am currently part of the AORE leadership team. Soon I hope to have the time to act as a mentor for the association, and I look forward to volunteering while in Baltimore for the 2023 National Conference!

My Favorite Memories and Connections from AORE

My favorite memories involving AORE invariably happened during the National Conference, or at pre-conference activities. I’ve met lifelong friends during my time as an AORE member and continue to make great friends and connections each year. One particular memory comes from the pre-conference PCIA single-pitch course associated with the 2017 National Conference in Roanoke. Being broke graduate students, my friend Nichole and I opted to camp near the course location of Great Falls, VA. As happens with this type of classes you make fast friends since you all share some common ground, and I got to chatting with an Austin Dyer. That night, who should I find at the campsite next to ours, completely by happenstance, than Austin! The three of us ended up chatting and sharing homebrew into the night, and he, myself, Nichole, and two others from the class were together the rest of the conference and for many years after. I stay in touch with Austin, climbed a mountain in Mexico with him and another Austin (that’s another story), and learned a lot about programming in the mountains from him. It would be impossible for me to detail how many things I’ve learned from the folks I’ve met at various AORE conferences, let alone from educational sessions during the conferences themselves. I truly would not be where I am as an outdoors-person and an outdoors professional without the experiences I’ve had as a direct result of my involvement in the AORE. 

How AORE has Supported me and my Career

In building the UW-Green Bay Outdoor Adventure Recreation program very few decisions were made without some kind of input or influence from the AORE. I remember spending hours on the message boards, digging through past communications and tracking down industry professionals with the same questions I, a freshly graduated GA tasked with building a new program, was now faced with. I read JOREL articles, contacted professionals and friends from past conferences, and went down the rabbit-hole of my past conference notes consistently in those first couple of years. Everything from how we market trips, to what trips we select to run, to our on campus and local programming has been touched by experiences from and knowledge gained through AORE, not to mention a lot of phone calls to friends from the National Conference, begging for advice! As a shortlist, here are somethings we’ve implemented as a direct result of AORE learnings and conversations: And much more! I encourage everyone to regularly look back at their AORE notes, check the message boards, and attend online learning sessions, they are a constant source of information and input from across our industry that we can take advantage of!


A Day in My Life: Back to School Edition

The summer vacation always seems like it will last forever, until you’re in its last week. The University of Wisconsin – Green Bay started school on September 5th, and the days always become a blur for about a week both before and after! This year we led staff training breakouts for the Outdoor Adventure Recreation program over the course of two full days leading up to the start of classes, and we sent out our Student Trip Leader training trip to the Namekagon River the weekend before classes started. Now that the semester has begun we move into our typical work days, which are anything but typical. Life in the Outdoor Adventure Center includes prepping and processing equipment rentals, running events to kayak, disc golf, bike, and climb here on campus, preparing and running advertisements for trips and programs, washing and repairing equipment, and more! Our program had the opportunity to move into the campus’ former golf course clubhouse last April, and we now oversee two storage sheds, the Shorewood Center (inside which is our Adventure Center) and portions of the 60-acre former golf course, now known as “Shorewood Park”. As I write this we have just returned from our first program trip of the semester, which was spelunking at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Iowa!