The Outdoor Recreation Adoption Model

Participation rates in many outdoor activities are changing. Demographic changes, competing hobbies and interests, and shifts in popular American culture have all contributed to the decline in participation rates of several outdoor pastimes. Currently, champions of the outdoor recreation community are focusing their efforts to strategically increase participation in hunting, angling, and the shooting sports through a national movement referred to as “R3.” R3 (recruitment, retention and reactivation) describes everything from a specific program to an organization’s entire strategic vision to engage and serve customers.

The goals of R3 efforts are simple and two-fold:

1) Create new participants in an outdoor activity
2) Increase participation rates of current outdoor participants

True R3 efforts focus on the needs of individuals and the process required to ensure their adoption of, and continued participation, in a new outdoor activity. This outdoor-specific adoption process is referred to as the Outdoor Recreation Adoption Model (ORAM), and is based on more than fifty years of research documenting why and how certain activities or ideas are adopted by people and cultures.

The ORAM illustrates, in a linear fashion, the steps an individual moves through as they learn about, try and then adopt a new activity or behavior and can be used to understand the difference between recruitment, retention and reactivation. By understanding the ORAM and the processes critical to an individual’s adoption of an activity, R3 program managers and organizations can build strategies that effectively engage individuals in outdoor recreation and increase the reach and impact of their R3 efforts. To learn more about the ORAM and R3, join the professional R3 community at

Watch this video to learn more: