With support from the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) and specifically the Outdoor Foundation (OF), the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) will assume ownership of the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge (ONCC) in the fall of 2018 and will work alongside OF staff to seamlessly transition assets, knowledge and resources.

The intended outcome of this partnership between OF and AORE is to continue the success of ONCC program, now led by AORE, sparking and growing outdoor communities to inspire an active outdoor lifestyle. In 2017, the program was on 93 campuses and had nearly 25,000 participants who logged more than 120,000 outdoor activities.

“We are excited to work with Outdoor Foundation on this initiative,” said Jeannette Stawski, AORE’s executive director. “We both are confident that hosting the program at AORE allows for an expansion into not only college and universities, but in the future of our municipal and military Morale, Wellness and Recreation programs. This will allow participating programs to connect with more individuals 18-24 years old and for the sponsors to connect with an ever-expanding network of first or relatively new outdoor participants.”

Together, OF and AORE recognize the power of this partnership will achieve the following:

  • Help college-aged students develop a future that includes a lifetime of outdoor experiences
  • Allow the campus outdoor participation work of the Outdoor Foundation to continue, deepen and evolve with a competent and relevant organization
  • Build new and enhanced brand awareness and support for AORE and its mission
  • Enhance AORE’s presence in the outdoor industry, elevating AORE’s advocacy work including access to public lands and diversity, equity and inclusion for facilitated programs
  • Increase reach to new members (and future workforce) in the outdoor industry via the Campus Challenge

With many outdoor programs having already launched their fall and winter programming schedules for 2018 and spring 2019, OF and AORE will use the remainder of 2018 to inform members and sponsors of the program transfer. This is to provide past and future challenge participants all the resources needed for successful engagements on their campus in 2019.

“We believe that AORE’s mission and proven track record working in the field of outdoor recreation makes them the perfect partner to lead the Campus Challenge,” said Ivan Levin, deputy director of the Outdoor Foundation. “Over the last five years, we have sparked a connection to the outdoors with thousands of college students. I am excited to see how AORE grows the program.”