Bachelor in Recreation Leadership


Program Description

The Recreation Leadership program is founded on the principle that healthy recreation and leisure pursuits are critical to the development of the complete individual with a holistic approach to living. The recreation professional, regardless of the specific sector, is crucial in delivering high-quality recreation and leisure experiences that impact individuals in meaningful ways. Through experiential and traditional learning environments coupled with the direct application of theory and best practices, the Recreation Leadership student will develop core competencies and build on the leadership, critical thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for success in a broad range of career settings. The Recreation Leadership major prepares the student for a variety of recreation settings including local, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, recreation services, natural and historic interpretation agencies, as well as commercial enterprises

Recreation Leadership—the Serious Business of Play

Break out of the cubicle as you promote health and happiness through recreation. This hands-on major develops your leadership skills and confidence so you can create programs and events that help others experience life’s best moments.

Emphasis Areas

Recreation Management

Courses in Recreation Management may include:

  • Recreation Delivery Services
  • Program Planning and Leadership
  • Special Events Planning and Management

Outdoor Recreation Specialist

Courses in Outdoor Recreation Specialist may include:

  • Wilderness Leadership
  • Adventure Pursuits
  • Outdoor Education
Markus Spiske / Unsplash

Coursework in Recreation Leadership Major

  • World Ecotourism Destinations and Cultures
  • Foundations of Recreation and Leisure
  • Recreation Leadership Theory and Philosophy
  • Recreation Delivery Systems
  • Program Planning and Leadership
  • Risk Management, Safety, and Legal Issues in Recreation Administration
  • Recreation Facility Planning, Development, and Maintenance
  • Recreation Seminar
  • Special Events Planning and Management
  • Recreation Internship

Coursework in Outdoor Recreation Minor

  • Foundations of Recreation and Leisure
  • Wilderness Leadership
  • Facilitation of Adventure Pursuits
  • Risk Management, Safety, and Legal Issues in Recreation
  • Recreation Administration
  • Recreation Leadership Theory and Philosophy
  • Outdoor Education
  • Backpacking and Hiking
  • Rock Climbing
  • Outdoor Water Sports
  • Orienteering

Outdoor Recreation Minor

Make your office under wide-open skies as you build your recreation career in the world’s mountains, forests, rivers and oceans. This 21-credit minor is your trailhead onto the path of safe and fun outdoor adventure leadership.

Outdoor Recreation—The Adventure of a Lifetime is Also a Career

Ecotourism Minor

Imagine yourself touring the world’s wildest destinations for a living. This 21-credit minor stamps your passport as a leader of journeys that respect the earth and its diverse and beautiful cultures.

Ecotourism – Make a Difference Through Travel

Coursework in Ecotourism Minor

  • World Ecotourism Destinations and Cultures
  • Foundations of Ecotourism
  • Interpreting Culture and Nature
  • Issues in Sustainable and Ecotourism
  • Conservation Biology
  • Recreation Administration

Experiential & Hands-on Learning Opportunities

The essence of Recreation Leadership lends itself to learning through experience. While you learn the principles and skills of the field, you will discover and develop life-long recreational pursuits that ultimately become an integral part of your career. It is from this passion that leadership springs. From leading activities with youth to developing and implementing special events to crafting a business plan for a recreation or ecotourism business, leadership is a major focus of the curriculum.

You will develop and hone your leadership through the following experiences:

  • Ferrum Outdoors

You have a unique opportunity to develop and hone your outdoor leadership skills by organizing and leading adventure programs for the campus community. As a student leader, you will organize and lead winter sports, rock climbing, caving, canoeing, backpacking, and kayaking trips.

  • Campus Activities

Through your coursework, you are constantly involved with events and programs on campus and in the community. Examples include the Blue Ridge Folk Life Festival, disc golf tournaments, and Panther Productions events. Also, the Recreation Club provides a variety of leadership development opportunities.

  • Experiential Term

All students are required to participate in at least one E-term. During these intensive three-week courses, faculty guides you in the exploration of a topic through direct and dynamic interaction with the content. Recreation Leadership and Ecotourism E-term course destinations include Alaska, Costa Rica, and Peru, as well as the James River in Virginia with new destinations, developed continuously (ECT 371 and REC 372)

  • Internships

The internship is an important component of your journey toward professionalism and is frequently considered one of the most rewarding college experiences. Typically completed the summer between the junior and senior year, internships enhance student learning by putting theories and concepts into practice with hands-on experience under the direction of a professional.

Career Opportunities

  • Camp Director
  • College Outdoor Program Director
  • Community Rec Director
  • Ecotourism Provider
  • Natural Historic Resource Interpreter
  • Nature Center Director
  • Outdoor Adventure Guide
  • Outdoor Recreation Specialists
  • Park Ranger
  • Game Warden
  • Park Planner
  • Recreation Programmer
  • Ropes Course Manager
  • Travel Consultant
  • YMCA Director

Last updated Feb 2019

About the School

We are committed to academic excellence and we believe our students deserve to achieve successful outcomes before they even graduate. Our current students participate in opportunities that strengthen ... Read More

We are committed to academic excellence and we believe our students deserve to achieve successful outcomes before they even graduate. Our current students participate in opportunities that strengthen their resumes and give them real-world experience now. Our Ferrum College alumni are living proof that a Ferrum education yields the success that our students desire! Read less