News Items - Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education
AORE Encourages Out of the Box Thinking When it Comes to Your Professional Development
As AORE members navigate the continuing effects of COVID-19, some may find that in looking at budgets for 2020, organizations have decided that professional development is the easiest cut to make.  This leaves many folks with very little, if any, funds to grow professionally this year.  This makes it fairly easy to say, “My employer isn’t going to cover these expenses this year so I can’t renew or participate.” We’d counter this thinking with - this is perhaps the most critical time for you to invest in your own professional development.  
A vibrant community where everyone can connect to the outdoors is essential.  In order to that, we need you. We need you to continue to empower others through outdoor recreation and education. This is why we encourage you to renew your membership and attend the virtual conference. This conference will not only provide relevant outdoor industry education in 2020, it will also provide access to relevant information to assist you in navigating outdoor recreation during COVID-19.
How is AORE leading through the crisis and uncertainty?
AORE introduced Association Chats, that allow for leadership and members to come together to discuss with curated industry leaders current events, challenges and address member questions.
AORE has intentionally designed pricing so that all members will receive the same conference rate - this allows for a lower entry point on membership to still access the Virtual Conference at a significant discount (versus non-members).
AORE curated a COVID-19 resource page with current information from industry leaders and associations to help members navigate their individual program needs to change and adapt.  
AORE’s virtual conference is structured in a way to allow for schedule flexibility and post-event access to recordings of sessions.
AORE has hosting free for members COVID-19 specific webinars with industry experts.  Topics include: Managing Risk of Coronavirus and Outdoor Programming and Employee Protection Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic - Medical and Legal Considerations. Additional webinars are on the horizon.
AORE has broadened access. Our virtual event does not require the best internet access for attendees to participate; dial-in numbers are available for those attendees interested in a lower-bandwidth or less technical experience.
AORE launched a members DEI resource page to support members and member programs to leverage their positions, programs, and roles to foster inclusivity both where and for who they serve.  
With virtual social opportunities, AORE can provide a wider range of options for attendees, from entertainment to quiet conversation and everything in between.
AORE hosts executive leadership weekly forums with other industry leaders to collaborate with other non-profits on virtual programming and events, pandemic best practices, and supporting board of directors.
Conference Extended Package Available: Access to all session recordings and resources would be available for the week of the conference through June 1, 2021, with permission to use recordings directly from our platform in classrooms and businesses (not for commercial use or for profit). This package permits ONE (1) live login during the conference. Recorded pieces can be shared with an individual's school, organization or company post-event.
Why Should I Pay Out of My Own Pocket?
Often, when looking to answer this question, members focus on the cost - rather than on the return on investment in themselves.  This return may come in the form of a job opportunity, a connection made, or an expanding knowledge base which could advance your career. Consider the community you gain that helps bolster your professional network, the various educational opportunities that help you improve your own program or the additional resources that help you be a better leader.
How do I move forward from here?
Just because your employer is no longer paying for your AORE membership or registration does not mean you can’t participate.  Understanding this may be an unexpected change for your professional development and the potential impact on your personal budget we’ve provided a few of our ideas below for your consideration. 
Payment Plan - We can assist with setting up monthly payments to pay for your membership over several months. 
Register to attend our virtual conference by July 15th for our earliest (and least expensive) conference attendee rate
Temporarily Move Membership Tiers - Maybe it makes sense to move to a more affordable tier for 2020 and then reassess and move back up next year. This keeps you in the loop and allows you to stay connected to the association and the industry.
Payment Plan - We can assist with setting up monthly payments to pay for your conference registration over several months. 
Justification Letter - Consider this tool to help you advocate your AORE membership to your organization, and how it is essential for you to stay connected to the outdoor industry.
Fundraising - We’ve pulled together some information to help make your fundraising experience both fun and effective. There may be more funding, resources, and ways to save out there than you think and we want to share some of them. 
Scholarships - AORE’s conference scholarships are designed to invest in inclusion and equity through a needs based scholarship. This scholarship is open to emerging professionals, students and professionals. Please note that only AORE members are eligible to apply. Deadline to apply is July 1, 2020.
Despite best efforts, we recognize that some individuals are not able to renew their membership and/or attend our virtual conference. We hope they know that AORE will be here when you are able to re-engage with the association.  

Categories: Conference News, Membership, Professional Development
Published: 06/16/20