Great Outdoors Month® 2018 was one of the most successful partner celebrations ever!  Americans across the country – outdoor rookies and experts alike – decided to #EscapeTheIndoors this June and enjoy outdoor recreation on America’s public lands and waters.  Government leaders at every level joined public and private partners in saluting the many educational, economic and social benefits of fun outdoors. 


At least 10,000 events in all 50 states welcomed more than 1.5 million people to our nation’s treasured outdoor places. 


Once again, the President and all 50 governors issued impressive proclamations designating June as Great Outdoors Month®!  The proclamations highlighted Great Outdoors Month®’s signature events including: 


  • American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®

  • Adventure Cycling Association’s Bike Travel Weekend

  • National Fishing and Boating Week, coordinated by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)

  • National Get Outdoors Day, coordinated by the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and the U.S. Forest Service

  • National Marina Days, coordinated by the Association of Marina Industries

  • The National Park Trust’s Kids to Parks™ Day

  • The Corps Network’s Great Outdoors Day of Service

  • National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout


To connect people with these great events, the Great Outdoors Month® Council expanded its completely redesigned  The new website, which puts the outdoor activities that consumers are looking for – such as Agents of Discovery’s exciting new D.C. Explorer Campaign – front and center, saw significant increases in visits and engagement, thanks to #EscapeTheIndoors, a unified hashtag used by participating organizations and partners on social media to boost awareness of all the activities and events during Great Outdoors Month®. 


“By creating a theme for Great Outdoors Month® that all participating organizations can unite under, we were able to deliver targeted and impactful messaging to inspire more Americans to get outside,” said Frank Peterson, RBFF President and CEO and Great Outdoors Month® Council Chair. “The result was a more streamlined experience for the consumer who we want to prepare for a successful day outdoors participating in fishing, boating, camping, biking and stewardship activities.”


Numerous proclamations also referenced the exciting new stats on outdoor recreation from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA), produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  ORSA data prove that outdoor recreation is a major force in the U.S. economy, accounting for 2% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. 


Public officials across the nation joined the celebration.  The United States Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating June 2018 as Great Outdoors Month®.  Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) introduced the resolution, which received bipartisan support from eight cosponsors.  Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke encouraged everyone to enjoy their Great Outdoors during June in a great video at  Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott attracted statewide print and TV coverage with an event which included him signing his proclamation and launching a new partnership program designed to bring first-time campers to parks aided by the state’s medical community using “park prescriptions.”


“Great Outdoors Month® wouldn’t be possible without our fantastic partners, starting with America’s governors, who were honored as ‘Champions of the Great Outdoors’ with the first-ever Great Outdoors Challenge Coin,” said Derrick Crandall, Executive Director of the Great Outdoors Month® Council and President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.  “Public and private organizations – like new Lead Sponsor Aspira™ – are essential to helping Great Outdoors Month® introduce all Americans to healthy, active fun outdoors.”


Media across the country spotlighted Great Outdoors Month®.  A broad Google search for Great Outdoors Month® has hundreds of millions of results, while a Google News search brings back 25 million results and great stories ranging from AARP using Great Outdoors Month® to urge seniors to get outdoors to a celebration of Great Outdoors Month by a Pennsylvania Head Start program. More of the month’s best stories are available at  Great Outdoors Month® was also used by businesses large and small to help connect customers with healthier, more active, outdoor lives.


Plans for 2019 are already underway, including an increased focus on partnerships, greater promotion of and #EscapeTheIndoors, more state-level engagement, proclamations and more.  Look for Great Outdoors Month® 2019 to be the biggest and best Great Outdoors Month® yet!


Thanks to the entire Great Outdoors Month® Council for making 2018 such a success!

​The amazing lure of America’s Great Outdoors – beaches and mountains, wildlife and waterfalls, sunrises and shared adventures – will attract more visitors than ever before over the next few weeks thanks to the voices of national and state leaders as well as dozens of public and private organizations hosting more than 15,000 events.  June is Great Outdoors Month®, a time for celebration, learning, building memories and service.

Invitations to #EscapeTheIndoors are being issued by the nation’s Governors, the U.S. Congress and other top national leaders through proclamations, resolutions, PSAs and events. Outreach efforts by the nation’s outdoor recreation community to help Americans explore and enjoy their unique outdoor legacy are coordinated through the Great Outdoors Month® Leadership Council and aided by national sponsors ASPIRA, AARP, NIC and the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable.

A great source of information is available through, including copies of Presidential and gubernatorial proclamations.  The site also provides links to events planned throughout the month.

Celebration of the Great Outdoors in June highlights outdoor fun – but also builds understanding of the link between outdoor recreation, better health and a stronger economy.  Studies highlight that outdoor fun can contribute mightily to reducing the costs of chronic illnesses now representing over 85% of the nation’s annual $3 trillion healthcare costs.  And outdoor fun is one of the largest and fastest growing forces in our economy at $734 billion annually in gross output – 2.2% of the nation’s GDP – and supporting 4.6 million jobs.  Nearly all RVs and boats sold in America are manufactured in America, and Americans work in recreation retail and service jobs in cities, park gateway communities and at recreation sites ranging from campgrounds to ski areas.

Great Outdoors Month® 2019 is already underway with Kids to Parks Day, with 1.1 million participants at events ranging from the Statue of Liberty to Culture Day at Nez Perce National Historical Park.  Major celebrations now on deck include National Trails Day events across the nation on June 1 – which is also the start of National Boating and Fishing Week.  Federal, state and local agencies which manage public lands and waters that total nearly one-third of the nation’s surface will host and co-host thousands of events ranging from an Urban Kids Fishing Derby on the National Mall to National Get Outdoors Day on June 8.  The outdoors has growing appeal for kids as special new efforts are launched – including the augmented reality game Agents of Discovery available at hundreds of public recreation sites, including more than 80 national forests.

Cyclists will celebrate Bike Travel Weekend from May 31 to June 2 and marinas across the nation will highlight their role as gateways to the nation’s lakes, rivers and oceans on June 8, National Marina Day.

The legacy of youth serving the nation in the Great Outdoors will be highlighted on June 14 at the Great Outdoors Day of Service, with a signature event at Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River offering a spectacular view of Washington’s National Mall.

The Great American Campout will focus on June 22, although families, friends and neighborhoods will celebrate the event all month and all summer.  A recent study of North American campers shows that more than a million households began camping during each of the last five years!


Great Outdoors Month gives people across the country the opportunity to enjoy at least five dozen outdoor recreation activities from archery to zip-lining, with new activities emerging constantly – including recent entries such as stand-up paddle boarding, wakeboarding and fat-tire snowbiking.  And there are now good ways to personalize your outdoor fun.  The power of technology now delivers options like on-line trip planning, reservations of lodges and campsites in parks, buying entrance passes and fishing licenses from your smartphone or home computer, along with gathering latest weather news.  Check out, for example, where campsite reservation information is linked to outdoor photography tips and hidden secrets – like family-friendly hiking trails and amazing beach campground getaways!

So, join us for Great Outdoors Month®2019.  #EscapeTheIndoors and share your adventures with families and friends and on social media.  And continue your adventures year-round.

About Great Outdoors Month®2019 Sponsors:

Originally founded as ReserveAmerica®, Aspira™ was born with a goal of simplifying access to North America’s great outdoors. After more than 30 years developing technologies and services that do just that, Aspira is now fueled by nearly 1,000 employees across 8 offices worldwide.  In 2016, its technologies were used to book and purchase outdoor recreation experiences more than 50 million times.

AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age.  Its members love the outdoors – as friends and families – and contribute as volunteers and mentors to continue the legacy of our parks, forests, refuges and more.

NIC Inc. is the leader in digital government services.  For 25 years, it has been driven by a commitment to be the best partners government has ever had, and to driving digital government innovation to serve the public more effectively and more efficiently.


ORR is the nation’s premier coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and now coordinates Great Outdoors Month®.  A listing of key partners for the Month is at Contact ORR for more information at 202-682-9530.


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