Curious About Our Sessions?

Pre/Post Conference Workshops

These workshops are featured a few days before and after the conference and include trainings, certifications and social events relevant to students and professionals in the industry. There is an additional cost to attend these and may take place off site.

Plenary Sessions

A plenary session is a session of a conference in which all members of all parties attend. Plenary speakers often come from within an organization of the same industry.

This year we are excited to announce our two plenary sessions:

  • Opening Session:
    • Sasha Griffith is the Assistant Director for Adventure & TEAM Programs at James Madison University (JMU) and is the Owner and Chief Experiential Officer for Ferelith Consulting, LLC. Known for her engaging and participatory presentations, Sasha will set the stage for a great week of education and networking for AORE’s 2024 Outdoor Professional Conference!
  • Closing Session:
    • Luis Benitez is the emerging face of the outdoor industry’s political movement. He is a former international mountain guide who found his calling as an advocate. He currently serves as the Chief Impact Officer at Trust for Public Lands, a national nonprofit that is committed to making the outdoors accessible for all, for generations to come.

Research Symposium

Sessions describing new empirical and conceptual research in the area of outdoor recreation and education. These oral presentations are approximately 20 minutes plus 5-10 minutes for questions and discussion. Multiple sessions may be presented within an hour education block. 

Career Showcase Sessions

We will have education session options that will include one hour of employer presentations (each about 10 minutes to showcase their organization and open positions), followed by a one hour informal networking session where attendees can follow up with employers and ask questions about their organizations and positions available. 

Expo Workshops

These are 15-20 minute presentations taking place within the AORE Pavilion in the exhibit hall. The format of these workshops may vary from experiential (interactive) to a traditional speaker/audience format.

General Education

Featured throughout most of the conference in 60 minute time slots. In 2024 we will also have Experiential Learning Sessions, which will be 20 - 45 minute interactive sessions. In addition to submitted proposals by attendees, Team AORE is actively collaborating to curate education from industry partners as well. 

Team AORE has intentionally curated the following topic areas and sessions to ensure a well rounded and enriching education experience:

  • Leave No Trace:  Attendees of the 2024 OPC can walk away with a LNT Level 1 certification by enrolling in the two-day pre conference workshop.  In addition, all current certified LNT Level 1 holders can receive their Gold Standard Youth Program certificate by participating in two one-hour general education sessions.  Finally, LNT leadership will be hosting a session on Leave No Trace's Gold Standard Program. 

  • Future of Facilitated Recreation (FFR): These sessions will explore challenges, opportunities, conversations and connections that are at the forefront of the profession of facilitated recreation. Some of this year’s FFR sessions include public land policy and permitting, the Center for Veterans Employment in the Outdoors, and the National Park Trust’s Ambassador Program.

  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: These sessions are designed to provide attendees with a wider recognition of exclusionary practices within outdoor recreation and education and to help them gain better understanding of how they can actively work to make change as leaders in the industry. We have partnered with local, national, and urban based organizations such as LOOP NOLA, Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) and Outward Bound.

  • Career and Workforce Development:  To help attendees navigate their current or future outdoor career path, we have invited a plethora of organizations to share their expertise on career and/or workforce development.  These organizations include National Park Trust, the Center for Veteran Employment in the Outdoors, USA Jobs, Sierra Club, and Conservation Corps.

  • Wilderness Medicine:  Attendees can renew their Wilderness First Responder through a hybrid pre-conference workshop. They can also learn about current hot topic issues surrounding online and in person wilderness medicine training - specifically how it impacts both the employee and employer.


Our full OPC schedule will be announced soon!

Looking for Learning Credits?

Learning credits will be available to attendees [FOR FREE] thanks to a partnership with American Trails and are included in the registration fee. In order to be eligible for learning credits, presentations must run at least 15 minutes to be eligible for AICP CM, and at least 60 minutes in length to be eligible for LA CES and NRPA CEU equivalency petition, as well as CEU/PDH equivalency petition for other accepting organizations. The length of the session will determine the number of hours/credits given. 

In order for sessions to qualify for these credits and if a certificate if requested, attendees must fill out an evaluation survey for each session they attend, as well as complete and have their learning credit tracking sheet signed by the conference host or American Trails (the survey and tracking sheet will be provided to attendees at registration as well as available electronically).