Want to build up the time spent with members into something more valuable? You may want to take things to the great outdoors.
Creating that cherished connections with your association’s members can have limitless benefits. It can help you engage with them on a more personal level, finding out what drives them and what you can provide to help them grow. It also helps you retain more members further down the road by creating that relationship with them early on. It can even attract more members- after all, who doesn’t want to be apart of a strong community?
But speaking about creating that connection is only the start of the journey. So, how can taking members into nature and spending real quality time with them help move things into a better, stronger bond?
We’d like to take a look at an association that does a lot of outdoor work- specifically because they’re an outdoor recreation association. The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals is recently held their 2019 National Outdoor Recreation Conference for members and interested audiences alike. And in style, they’re taking their event attendees outdoors to have some fun and create some great bonding moments simultaneously.
Your association doesn’t have to be nature-centered to connect with members in nature. Let’s take a look at some great ways and examples you can head outdoors with your members and become closer to them in the process.
1. Outdoor recreation centers
With a society full of outdoor recreation professionals, we can look to the National Outdoor Recreation Conference for some great tips on where your association can look for awesome nature experiences.
And one of these experiences can come from an outdoor recreation center. These types of centers- places where you can explore and learn about the nature surrounding you- are located in all parts of the world, not just in the middle of the forest. They allow for groups to come in and enjoy the surrounding flora and fauna outdoors.
With an outdoor recreation center trip, you can invite members to an activity with your staff that allows you all to go and explore your surrounding area or an area of your choice. Think about taking a nature walk with them, something that promotes health and wellbeing while also giving you a chance to connect on a deeper level.
Research your local outdoor recreation centers to see how you can get outdoors, support your community, and connect with members.
2. Rock climbing courses
Want something a little more intense? Consider finding a place to take on the more extreme sports with your members.
While a nature walk can be pleasant and calming, your members may want something that’s going to get them up and out challenging themselves. This is also a great way to problem solve and team build with your members as well- after all, rock climbing is all about solving a puzzle to get to the top of things and achieve!
For this event that the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals is trying to put together, they’ve also included outdoor rock climbing. This should show your association that no type of activity should be out of play when designing fun events for members.
If you can’t find an outdoor space to rock climb, you can bring the fun inside. Many towns and cities have indoor rock climbing facilities that will host group events, so do your research to find what works for you!
3. Afternoon picnics
Want to bring members together in a way that feels close to an event? Consider hiring catering and holding an afternoon picnic to allow everyone to mingle and network in a great nature space.
While intense or rigorous outdoor activity is great for some associations, your membership may want something a bit laid back and easy going. They may also want a space where they can really relax and connect with other members, growing and enhancing their connections in the process.
If you want to hold something that allows for more laid back communication, an outdoor event like a picnic could be more of your association’s speed. You can hire a local catering company and find a park in your area to invite members to.
Or, if you want a bigger networking opportunity, you can find a location outside of your community and go for a larger scale outdoor event. Depending on your budget, your options are wide!
Getting back into nature isn’t just good for “getting back to your roots”, it can also help you get closer to your members in the process. Try to take some more time outdoors with members this Summer and see how you can benefit!