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Recreation and Parks

Recreation and Parks



$22.00 USD

Available As


    Gaining an understanding of the recreation and parks profession is crucial to success in the field and to effective leadership within the field.

    Recreation and Parks: The Profession is a one-of-a-kind resource that delineates the components that make this complex field a profession. Written by well-known recreation authority Betty van der Smissen, this book
    • defines the marks of the recreation and parks profession and identifies the steps involved in becoming a professional in the field;
    • profiles 62 professional organizations within the profession;
    • provides a Web site that features a time line of the development of areas and organizations of the profession and the most up-to-date Web addresses for organizations detailed in the text;
    • outlines a comparative history of 15 categories of the recreation and parks field in the United States and Canada; and
    • presents a classic-to-contemporary bibliography of resources that showcases an inclusive body of knowledge on the profession.

    Part I describes recreation and parks as a profession and provides students with steps to lay a solid foundation to become a professional. Part II grounds readers with a comparative historical overview of the recreation and parks field from the 1500s to the present day. The author divides the field into 15 categories and offers suggestions on how to use the time line.

    Part III profiles 62 professional organizations. Each profile includes the organization’s mission, goals, structure, history, publications, services, and professional credentialing information. In addition, it lists the organization’s Web sites, contact information, and other vital information that students use in completing course work, in applying for internships, and in researching various aspects of the profession. Part IV contains a bibliography of selected resources on recreation and parks, from classic to the present.

    Recreation and Parks: The Profession includes a Web site that not only provides links to other current Web sites for the organizations profiled, but it also is linked to a color-coded version of the time line. The time line is ready to download, print, and use in the classroom or office. This version of the time line provides the most effective way to obtain an overall picture of the historical comparison of the categories in the recreation and parks profession.

    Recreation and Parks: The Profession is a unique resource for students, professors, and professionals in recreation and parks. The text brings together the important aspects of the field as a profession.


    Supplemental textbook and reference for undergraduate recreation majors and for graduate students in preinternship courses and courses on introduction to recreation. Resource for recreation faculty and professionals.

    Table of Contents


    Part I. Nature of the Profession
    Marks of a Profession
    A Multifaceted Field
    Role of Professional Organizations
    Starting in the Profession

    Part II. Comparative Time Line
    Time Intervals and Dates
    How to Use the Time Line
    Time Line

    Part III. Professional Organizations
    Basic Information
    Outdoor Programming
    Commercial Recreation and Tourism
    Therapeutic Recreation, Disabilities, and Fitness
    Certifying and Accrediting Agencies and Academies

    Part IV. Selected Professional Resources
    Foundations of Leisure and Recreation
    Programming and Leadership
    Therapeutic Recreation
    Sport Management, Physical Activity, and Fitness
    Commercial Recreation and Tourism
    Evaluation and Research Methodology and Statistics
    Management and Administration
    Areas, Facilities, and Urban Park Planning
    Natural Resource–Based Recreation Management and Policy
    Outdoor and Environment-Related Programs
    Selected Professional and Research Periodicals


    About the Author

    Betty van der Smissen, ReD, JD, is professor emeritus of recreation and parks at Michigan State University and visiting professor in the Division of Leisure, Youth, and Human Services at the University of Northern Iowa. As a professional, she believes in active participation for enhancement of the profession. As an educator, she believes that students should acquire knowledge of the various professional organizations in the field. Thus, Dr. van der Smissen has maintained memberships in many organizations and has been active in the fields of recreation, camping, environmental education, and adventure and challenge for nearly 50 years. The national organizations in these and several related fields have recognized Dr. van der Smissen's professional contributions by honoring her with their highest awards for service as well as naming certain awards in recognition of her service. These include a leadership award, a research grant, and a conference scholarship. Dr. van der Smissen has been elected to membership in the principal academies of her profession. As a lawyer and a member of the American Bar Association, she has contributed her time through presentations at conferences, workshops, and other meetings and has written about legal liability and risk management. The American Bar Association has recognized her service with its Vanguard Award for lifetime contribution to nonprofit organizations.

    Dr. van der Smissen is noted for her extensive work, beginning in the early 1960s and continuing to date, in the development, implementation, and revision of the four major accreditation programs in her fields: academic curriculum, organized camping, adventure and challenge programs, and recreation and park agencies. She has served more than one term on the national accreditation body (council commission board) of each of these four programs. Dr. van der Smissen believes that through the accreditation standards, the professionalism and quality of programs and services are greatly enhanced, and thus the profession is enhanced.


    Recreation and Parks: The Profession Web Site
    Recreation and Parks: The Profession also includes a Web site that not only contains current Web addresses for the organizations profiled, but it is also linked to a color-coded version of the time line, which is ready to download, print, and use in the classroom.

    The Web site address is