Four skill sets identified for outdoor program administrators
The road to becoming an effective outdoor program administrator is challenging. With responsibilities ranging from paddling a class III river in a dry top to donning a tie for a meeting with upper management, the position of outdoor program administrator is arguably one of the most complex positions in the recreation industry.
Outdoor Program Administration: Principles and Practices is the essential guide for outdoor program administrators. It provides extensive coverage of all major duties of an administrator, including program design, risk management, budgeting, marketing, staff recruitment, training, and assessment. Administrators will learn how to improve their skills and enhance their programs.
Outdoor recreation programming is a growing and diverse field that requires administrators to be ready to work in complex and multidisciplinary environments. Outdoor Program Administration: Principles and Practices will help both seasoned and new administrators—as well as students and emerging professionals—flourish in various settings, including university, military, government, commercial, and nonprofit organizations.
You’ll learn the best contemporary administrative strategies and practices from veteran professionals from the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE). The AORE authors provide extensive coverage of all aspects of administrative duties and responsibilities from a diverse organizational setting.
Outdoor Program Administration: Principles and Practices guides you in developing and sustaining programs in outdoor recreation settings across public, private, and nonprofit sectors. You will reap the benefits of the experience shared by the AORE authors, who also provide questions and critical thinking exercises that will enhance the materials and deepen your understanding.
This reference explores all the issues pertinent to being a successful outdoor program administrator. The book has four sections: Outdoor Program Foundations, Program Design and Implementation, Staffing Considerations, and Facilities and Programs. Topics you’ll delve into include
designing and developing programs;
risk management and legal considerations;
budgeting and financial operations;
marketing and land access (permits);
staff recruitment, supervision, training, and assessment; and
management of indoor climbing walls and challenge courses.
Outdoor Program Administration: Principles and Practices presents material that will help you improve your administrative skills and enhance the programs you oversee. As such, it’s an essential book for your professional library.
Part I. Outdoor Program Foundations
Chapter 1. The Outdoor Program Administrator Geoff Harrison, MS, and Mat Erpelding, MA
Outdoor Program Administration Defined
Outdoor Program Administrator Defined
Skill Sets for Outdoor Program Administrators
Chapter 2. History of Outdoor Recreation in the United States: An Outdoor Program Administrator’s Perspective Steven P. Guthrie, PhD, Bryan J. Cavins, EdD, and Jerome Gabriel, MEd
The Beginnings of Environmentalism and Outdoor Recreation: 1825 to 1880
The Beginnings of a Profession: 1880 to 1920
National Environmental Consciousness and Outdoor Recreation Evolves: 1920s to 1960s
Adventure Programming Emerges: 1960s to 1990
Outdoor Adventure Programming Today (1990 to Present)
Chapter 3. Dimensions of Outdoor Recreation Programs Todd Bauch, MEd, and Steve Hutton, MA
Three Service Sectors of Outdoor Recreation Programs
Common Programmatic Types
Common Facilities or Resources of Outdoor Programs
Outdoor Program Administrative Structures and Models
Chapter 4. The Future of Outdoor Program Administration Laurlyn K. Harmon, PhD, and Susan L. Johnson, MS
Evolving Participant Characteristics
Professionalization of the Field: Standards, Certifications, Accreditation
Youth and the Outdoors
Technology and the Outdoors
Collaborations and Partnerships
Part II. Program Design and Implementation
Chapter 5. Administrative Risk Management Mat Erpelding, MA, and Geoff Harrison, MS
Terms and Definitions of Risk Management
Creating a Comprehensive Risk-Management Plan
Chapter 6. Designing and Developing Outdoor Recreation and Education Programs Todd Miner, EdD, and Heidi Erpelding-Welch, MS
Dealing With Change: Evolve to Survive and Thrive
Chapter 7. Legal Considerations in Outdoor Recreation Brent Wilson, JD, and Tracey Knutson, JD
Legal Definition (Elements) of Negligence
Negligence and Related Theories of Liability
Defenses Against Negligence
Role of Insurance in Legal Liability Matters
Chapter 8. Budgeting and Financial Operations of Outdoor Programs Tim J. Moore, MS, and Geoff Harrison, MS
Forecasting Expenses and Revenue
Chapter 9. Marketing Outdoor Programs Geoff Harrison, MS, and John McIntosh, PhD
Identifying the Market
Developing a Marketing Plan
Chapter 10. Access and Permitting for Use of Public Lands Rachel M. Peters, MA
Outdoor Programs on Public Lands
Management Agencies and Regulations
Chapter 11. Environmental Stewardship Whitney Ward, PhD, and Will Hobbs, PhD
History of Environmental Stewardship in the United States
Major Impacts of Recreation Today
Applied Environmental Stewardship
Integration of Environmental Stewardship and Recreation
Chapter 12. Developing Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines for Outdoor Programs Mat Erpelding, MA, Curt Howell, MA, and Brien Sheedy, MA
Characteristics of Quality Policy, Procedure, and Guideline Documents
Considerations Specific to Developing Policies and Procedures
Developing Administrative Policies and Procedures
Developing Field Policies and Procedures
Part III. Staffing Considerations
Chapter 13. Staff Recruitment and Supervision Jeff Turner, PhD, and Leigh Jackson-Magennis, MEd
Human Resource Planning
Chapter 14. Staff Training Bruce Saxman, MA, and Tom Stuessy, PhD
Mechanisms for Training Assessment and Evaluation of Staff
Staff-Training Designs: Integrated Training Model
Chapter 15. Staff Assessment Jenny Kafsky, PhD, and Mark Wagstaff, EdD
The Basics and Purpose of Staff Assessment
An Effective Environment for Assessment
An Effective Assessment System
Part IV. Facilities and Programs
Chapter 16. Rental Operations Rob Jones, MS
Rental Center Operations
Chapter 17. Indoor Climbing Walls John Bicknell, MA, and Guy deBrun, MS
History of Artificial Climbing Walls
Climbing Wall Facilities and Construction
Climbing Wall Activities
Climbing Wall Management
Chapter 18. Challenge Course Management Christina Carter Thompson, MS, and Adam Bondeson, BA
Challenge Course Program Design and Outcomes
Primary Influences on Challenge Programming
Challenge Course Facilities
Designing and Choosing a Course
The Challenge Course Administrator
Organizational Support and Resources
Chapter 20. Water-Based Programming Chris Stec, BS, and Geoff Harrison, MS
Incident Prevention and Incident Response: Needs Assessment
Water-Based Programming: Flat Water
Water-Based Programming: Moving-Water and Whitewater Venues
Water-Based Programming: Open Water
Chapter 21. Special Events Programming Brent Anslinger, BS, and Amy Anslinger, BS
Special Event Options
Risk Management for Special Events and Competitions
Assessing and Planning for Your Event
Managing the Event
Developing Timelines for Successful Events
Putting the Planning Into Motion
References and Resources
About the Editors
About the Contributors
Reference for outdoor program professionals in university, military, nonprofit, and other settings and for outdoor professional employers. Text for college and university students.
The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) provides opportunities for professionals and students in the field of outdoor recreation and education. AORE’s mission is to exchange information; promote the preservation and conservation of the natural environment; and address issues common to college, university, community, military, and other not-for-profit outdoor recreation and education programs.
Geoff Harrison, MS, has been working in the field of health and recreation for over 20 years and has been fostering student and staff development at Boise State University since 1998. Geoff serves as the associate director of education and recreation at Boise State University, where he oversees multiple programs and service areas, department partnerships, and initiatives. He also serves as an adjunct faculty for the department of kinesiology. Prior to his work at Boise State, Geoff worked in the fields of publishing, event promotion, and domestic and international adventure travel.
Geoff has served the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education as a committee chair, board member, conference host, and interim national director. In 2010, Geoff was the recipient of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education’s Jim Rennie Leadership Award.
Mat Erpelding, MA, has been working in the field of physical education and outdoor leadership for over 15 years. Currently, he teaches at the College of Western Idaho in the physical education department and at Boise State University in the leadership studies minor. Additionally, Mat guides mountain climbers and teaches courses for the American Alpine Institute and teaches wilderness medicine courses for the Wilderness Medicine Training Center. Before making the transition to outdoor education, Mat worked as a developmental therapist and in the mental health industry.
Mat is a past president of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education and served on committees and the board of directors and as a conference host. In 2006, Mat was the recipient of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education’s Jim Rennie Leadership Award, and in 2010 he received the Instructor of the Year Award from the Wilderness Education Association.
Mat and Geoff co-own Experiential Adventures LLC. They provide training and consulting services to organizations that foster leadership development, help organizations manage change, develop positive organizational cultures that promote success, and build professionalism in outdoor programs through trainings and certifications.