On May 15, 1954 at a conference for outdoor teachers at Camp Hi-Hill, a dozen or so visionary and dedicated men discussed the financial challenges of starting a professional organization for outdoor educators. Realizing it would take a lot of money; each man reached into his wallet and placed a dollar bill on an old stump. This action was the start of the Association for Outdoor Education (AOE), later known as AEOE in 1971.

From the beginning to present, AEOE has been and all-volunteer run organization. Thanks to dedicated members like you, AEOE is still going strong and became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2006! At the bottom of this page you can find more detailed information on AEOE and outdoor education history.

Brief History of AEOE

  • May 15, 1954 – National Association for Outdoor Education founded (AOE) at Camp Hi Hill conference.
  • May 15, 1955 – bylaws and constitution presented to members. Southern Section established later this year.
  • 1955 - Southern section established.
  • 1957 – Northern section established.
  • 1968 – Washington Section formed (closed ’81).
  • 1971 – after first Earth Day, ‘Environmental’ added to name (AEOE).
  • 1972 – Alaska Section formed (closed 1975).
  • 1981 – California, not ‘National’, AEOE.
  • 1999 – Became state affiliate to NAAEE.
  • 2006 – obtained 501(c)(3) tax exempt status.

The AEOE Historian is Jymn Meier. He can be contacted at jymn@aeoe.org.