AORE Member Spotlight: Candace Brendler

AORE Member Highlight: Candace Brendler

Meet Candace, Program Coordinator for Outdoor Action at Princeton University. In her time as an outdoor professional she has worn many hats including guide, instructor, teacher and leader trainer.

About Candace

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC in a neighborhood with a park and a creek and some woods that I loved to play in with my twin sister and our friends. I went to summer camps where I got to try canoeing, white water rafting and rock climbing. In college I participated in an outdoor orientation program, which is where I learned how to kayak, and my instructors helped me get my first job as a whitewater raft guide. Fast forward 20 years and now I help run a university outdoor orientation program! 

A Day in the Life

On a typical day I make a spicy breakfast, then decide how I’m getting to work (bike, walk, or kayak, depending on the weather). Once at work, on a good day I get to interact with students via meetings or leading workshops and on other days I am working on my computer to sort out program logistics. After work I make dinner, work on art projects, and play board games with friends. 


Involvement with AORE

I volunteer as the host for AORE’s “So You Want to Be A…” program where I interview different folks in the outdoor recreation industry about their career path. It’s been a video series on AORE’s website that we’re turning into a podcast to try and reach a larger audience. I have also helped coordinate the Career HQ at one of the national conferences. 


Making Changes

One thing in my job that I have implemented as a result of my involvement with AORE is more inclusive programming. AORE’s Inclusive Summit and Networking sessions have been great resources, offering ideas for teaching about the history of diversity and inclusion within outdoor recreation as a whole, as well as more nuanced discussions on topics such as gender inclusive hygiene. 


AORE Memories

My two favorite memories through AORE are 1) getting to meet the office staff in real life at the national conference after many zoom calls, and 2) interviewing amazing industry professionals through the “So You Want to Be A…” program, especially at the 2023 Outdoor Professional Conference where I got to interview dozens of conference attendees in person!