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Managers Tool Kit

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March 02, 2018Manager's Academy 2018

The Manager’s Academy is a 2-day intensive course for new and emerging managers and supervisors in the outdoor recreation industry.  It will take place Tuesday April 10-Wednesday April 11. The program is located in beautiful Grand Junction, CO. We’ can’t wait to see you there!

June 16, 2017Summary of Hours of Service Regulations - Member Only

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has adopted “hours-of-service” rules that impose specific limits on the amount of time a driver can drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and how many hours a driver can work before the driver is no longer allowed to drive.  Those regulations are summarized in this memorandum.  On-duty hours include hours worked prior to driving.  Learn how work time impacts driver status.

March 30, 2017Accessibility Guidebook for Outfitters Operating on Public Lands - Member Only

The purpose of this guidebook is to provide support for outfitters/guides authorized, under a special-use permit from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, to provide recreation opportunities on public lands. By working together, the agency and the outfitter/guide can ensure equal opportunity for all people, including people with disabilities. This can be accomplished while ensuring the participant's safety and preserving the recreation experience provided by the outfitter/guide.  Outfitters/guides operating under special-use authorization from USDA Forest Service are required to comply with both the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504). The ADA applies because the outfitters/guides operate as “public accommodation,” that is they are open to the public. Section 504 applies because outfitters/guides operate under special-use permits authorized by a Federal agency—the USDA Forest Service. Implementation guidelines for Section 504, which apply to recreation special-use permit holders, are located in USDA 7 CFR 15b. By signing the special-use authorization, the outfitter/guide agrees to abide by these and all other laws, regulations, and policies of the Federal Government.

January 23, 2017AOA University Training Video Library - Members Only - Member Only

AOA University is an educational resource for tools that you can implement immediately. Our face-to-face videos deliver first-hand knowledge from experienced AOA members who use these methods and tactics to run successful outdoor adventure businesses.

 These fifteen videos were developed and facilitated by subject matter experts and thought leaders from the field, our videos are designed to model best practices, promote engagement, and encourage practical application into the various aspects of running a successful business. 

 We encourage you to watch and learn from AOA’s best-of-the-best. We also suggest that you share these training videos with your management team, reservation team, and anyone in your company who wants to learn and grow professionally.

January 09, 2017Anti-Harassment Policy and Reporting and Sample Form - Member Only

This document is a sample sexual harassment policy and reporting form.  This form can be used as part of an office or company policy manual.  Appropriate legal counsel recommending when handling sexual harassment complaints.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior and includes gender-based harassment of a person of the same sex as the harasser. This definition also includes inappropriate conduct by clients or other members of the public as well as co-workers.

August 09, 2016Emergency Response Plan Template - Member Only

Adapted from the WVPRO Emegency Reponse Plan, this template can be used by America Outdoors Association members as a guide for creating their own emergency reponse plan.  It is not meant to be a complete or customized plan but a starting point for creation of a plan that is appropriate for your location and business.

May 18, 2016White House Expands Overtime to Salaried Employees Earning Less than $47,476 Annually - Member Only

On May 17, 2016 President Obama previewed the outcome of the rule expanding overtime to previously exempt Executive, Administrative and Professional Employees  (EAP).  The Department of Labor will publish the rule today (May 18, 2016).

April 01, 2016Background Checks: What Employers Need to Know

Before conducting background checks, you must know the legal issues and constraints related to their use.  This Equal Employment Opportunity Commission documents describes your responsibilities under the law.

March 31, 2016Cash Flow Statement Spreadsheet - Member Only

A simple spreadsheet to project cash flow.  

March 31, 2016AOA Submits Comments on Proposed Sick Pay Rule for Employees of Federal Contractors - Member Only

Easy Cash Flow Spreadsheet / AOA Submits Comments on Proposed Sick Pay Rule for Employees of Federal Contractors / The Final Rule on the Expansion of Overtime to Previously Exempt Employees

March 07, 2016Gross profit model jeep tours - Member Only

Spreadsheet to calculate trip cost in determining break even point for jeep tours.

March 07, 2016Latest Gross Profit Model with New Wage Calculations - Member Only

This Spreadsheet was developed by Greg Henington, MBA, and contributed to AOA to help oufitters factor in trips costs when determining their potenital for profit.  Wage costs have been updated in this 2015 edition.  

November 09, 2015BLM Permit and Fee Handbook 2014 - Member Only

The BLM Permit and Fee Administration Handbook details how BLM permits are administered.  Revised in 2014.

July 21, 2015The new SEO rules: how to create quality and naturally SEO-friendly content

The key to a well-ranking website isn’t making nifty technical adjustments as perhaps once thought, but creating “the best possible experience for your audience with original and high quality content”.

July 20, 2015Risk Management Resources for Outfitters - Member Only

Various risk management resources 2015

July 15, 2015Van regulations Federal Register 2011 - Member Only

2011 regulation outlines the difference between regulations for 9 to 15 passenger vans for direct and indirect compensation.

January 21, 20152015 Federal Wage and Hour Guidelines for Employers - Member Only

2015 Federal Wage and Hour Guidelines for Employers prepared for America Outdoors Association.

December 04, 2014Hiring Key Employees Part 2 - Member Only

How to take the guesswork out of hiring key employees. Part 2 of a 2 part presentation by Carol Hacker at the America Outdoors Association conference in Daytona.

December 03, 2014Liability in Paddlesports Rental - Member Only

Critical issues in paddlesports rentals; both non-guided and guided.

August 01, 2014Code of Federal Regulations Commercial Motor Vehicles - Member Only

From 2011
The operation of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport between 9 and 15 passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, provided the vehicle does not otherwise meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle except for the texting provisions of §§ 391.15(e) and 392.80, and except that motor carriers operating such vehicles are required to comply with §§ 390.15, 390.19, and 390.21(a) and (b)(2) Read more...

August 01, 2014Background Checks - What Employers Need to Know

Background Checks - What Employers Need to Know 

Employers need to understand how to implement background checks as a hiring tool.  This paper provides some guidelines on the use of background checks.  States may have their own laws that will apply to the use of background checks. White paper on the implementation of background checks.

August 01, 2014The Importance of Using Background Checks - Member Only

Part of building a successful organization begins with hiring qualified employees and volunteers that fit into your culture. Good hiring decisions help position a company for success. Poor hiring decisions can jeopardize revenue, lead to inefficiency and increase your exposure to risk. Therefore, the pressure organizations face to make correct hiring decisions is increasing

June 04, 20145 Signs Your Website Needs a Makeover, by Dave Davies

Can you tell if your website needs a makeover?  Dave Davies is an SEO expert and the owner and CEO of Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc. Mr. Davies was a presenter at the 2013 America Outdoors Association meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

December 12, 2013Shannon Bell: Hiring Issues - Member Only

Shannon Bell speaker presentation from AOA conference, December 2013.  An Overview of Hiring and Retention Issues and Medical and RecreationalMarijuana Use

December 12, 201310 Signs Your Website Needs a Makeover - Member Only

Dave Davies presentation for the AOA conference, December 2013: Designing Your Website for SEO.

November 14, 2013Revenue and Expense Ratio Study Released - Member Only

The 2013 America Outdoors Association Operating Performance Report presents a detailed analysis of key operating data from the outdoors industry. Based on confidential surveys completed by 20 respondents, the
Operating Performance Report includes a compilation and analysis of sales and operations data, as well as additional profile information.  Additionally, this year’s study includes compensation and benefits information.

February 02, 2012NOLS Van Training Protocols 2012 - Member Only

Van driver training protocols from National Outdoor Leadership School.

December 22, 2011Critical Incident Response - Member Only

Critical Incident Response and Crisis Communications, presented by Tracey Knutson with Skip King, Wednesday December 7, 2011 at the America Outdoors Association Marketing and Management Conference in Reno, NV.

December 14, 2010Buying and Selling an Outdoor Recreation Business - Member Only

Patrick Tabor reviews some of the key issues for consideration when contemplating the buying or selling of an outfitting business: common pitfalls, tax/legal issues, the negotiation process, use of advisors, valuation techniques and methods. Presented at AOA 2010 in SLC.

December 31, 2009Marketing Plan Template - Member Only

This marketing plan template is designed to help companies develop marketing goals and strategies.

April 25, 2008Legal Issues in hiring and the use of background checks. - Member Only

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, imposes certain requirements on employers who perform background checks for employment purposes. The purpose of this summary is to address the potential coverage of the FCRA to member organizations and specifically discuss what the Act requires.

March 13, 2008 Emergency Action Plan - Member Only

Emergency Action Plan by Sun Country Tours in Oregon.

March 13, 2008 Witness Statement - Member Only

Template for taking statements from incident witnesses.

March 13, 2008 Incident Report Form - A - Member Only

Incident Report Form Sample

March 13, 2008 External Notification Form - Member Only

Contact list for all response agencies.

March 13, 2008 Crisis Contact Form with ICS - Member Only

Master copy of a Crisis Contacts

January 14, 2008 Risk Management Manual - Member Only

America Outdoors' Risk Management Manual, containing over 200 pages of information.

February 22, 2007 Reasons to Warn of the Effects of Cold Water Immersion - Member Only
June 01, 2005 Risk Management Planning Workbook - Member Only

Prepared by Ian Wade, Director Adventure Safety International this book is a guideline to risk management self assessment

April 23, 2004Overtime Pay Exemptions 2004 - Member Only

This fact sheet provides general information on the exemption from minimum wage and overtime pay provided by Section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act as defined by Regulations, 29 CFR Part 541.

April 01, 2002 Organizational Checklist for Managing Emergencies - Member Only

Organizational checklist for managing emergencies with flow chart for key roles.

December 06, 2001 Post Critical Incident Response - Member Only

Post Critical Incident Response presented at the America Outdoors Conference December 6th, 2001 by Dennis Kerrigan, Wilderness EMT-Paramedic, Senior Faculty Wilderness Medical Associates


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Conference Information

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AOA Conference Dec 4 - 7 Daytona Beach, FL

AOA is the national association of outfitters and guides and their suppliers. Check out our list of members.

Become an America Outdoors Member

Trip Date: September 17 - 21, 2018
Moab, UT

Join us for the 2018 George Wendt Memorial Raft Trip. Call AOA office to register. Click below to view the flyer.


Become an America Outdoors Member

Member Benefits

Save Money on Exclusive Benefits

  • Free Business Kit with membership
  • Savings on credit card processing rates
  • The AOA Shipping Discount Program
  • 5% to 15% savings on liability insurance
  • Payroll Management Services
  • Pro Plans


Legislation & Regulation

Legislation & Regulation:

  • Minimum Wage for Federal Permits
  • Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act reauthorization
  • Expansion of Overtime
  • Latest on Paddlesports Skill Standards
  • Log-in to Outfitter Member Resources for Complete Access to Need-to-Know Documents

     <<Read More>>

Risk Management

Risk Management:

  • Save 5% to 15% on Liability Insurance
  • White Paper:  Liability in Paddlesports Rental
  • Essential Risk Management Practices DVD
  • Brief on Use of Background Checks

     <<Read More>>


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