AORE Association News September 2016 - Page 9

The other difference is land infrastructure. There is some, but nothing like the National or State Park System we have in the United States with great trails and access. Lots of areas are not developed and the places that are developed are developed for tourism. The middle ground of development and infrastructure that we are used to recreating in, well, there’s not much of it in China. The lack of accessibility to public lands with trails is a huge barrier when you talk about taking college programs out. You need to have the infrastructure in place to develop trips.

What was your most significant take away from your time in China?

I never thought that I would be chosen to represent the AORE and University of Minnesota in China. It was a huge honor. Reflecting on what we do as outdoor professional, typically I think in the bubble of the University of Minnesota or the AORE, but it is so much bigger than that. There are countries that want to do what we are doing. The trip to China was like peeking through a door and seeing all the opportunity there is for outdoor recreation to grow. What’s next? There is so much in China, and other countries, that the AORE can serve the outdoor recreation community globally. Jeannette and I talked a lot about this on the trip. Outdoor recreation in China is like where we were 30 years ago trying to justify why outdoor recreation matters and how we do it. Being immersed in this was really interesting. The AORE can be so much bigger that many of us have ever imagined.