Every AO outing is a cooperative endeavor between participants and organizers of events. Organizers volunteer their time and skills to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience for all in attendance. Our success is dependent upon member participation and enthusiasm.

Participants and organizers alike pay their own way for activities they attend. While AO is a not-for-profit organization, every organization incurs operating costs. A nominal annual fee of eight dollars is required to keep your membership in good standing. Membership entitles you access to detailed flyers of upcoming events, a quarterly newsletter plus discounted rates for activities that are open to non-members.

AO activities include hiking, on and off-road biking, canoeing, orienteering, alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice and in-line skating, paintball, rafting, horseback riding, tubing, fishing, sea kayaking and camping -- just to name a few!

In addition to its primary purpose of bringing people together for the enjoyment of the outdoors AO casts a mindful eye on our environment. AO has organized outings to scenic areas such as Minnewaska, Storm King and other battleground sites between environmentalists and commercial interest groups, such as developers and large utility companies. These financially motivated corporations have never- ending visions of altering our natural landscapes forever. By exposing more Asians to these scenic areas, AO hopes to build awareness of and respect for our environment.
During the late 70's, a handful of impoverished college friends were seeking a way to escape the sun-baked city streets in the summer. Two of these friends had experienced camping in their younger years while in the Boy Scouts. Backpacking was proposed and fully accepted by the circle of friends. Having enjoyed such a wonderful retreat, these friends vowed to plan and attend three such trips annually. Word of these adventures soon leaked into the concentric circles of friends and acquaintances, spreading like wildfire! Others wanted to share in this experience and soon did.

As an ever-increasing number of people began attending these outings, the size of the group swelled to proportions that no one ever imagined. This new and eclectic group of individuals lent a broader perspective and desire to include a greater variety of outdoor activities in their adventures. So, events such as hiking and nordic skiing became part of the ritual.

With the overwhelming enjoyment of these outings in mind, this now populous group of friends decided to share their experiences with other Asian Americans; hence, the birth in Spring 1987 of Asian American Outdoors Organization (more commonly known as Asian Outdoors or simply AO).

Since its humble beginning, AO has expanded to include a sibling chapter in Boston MA.