Supervisors' Management School

Supervisors' Management School is the premiere resource for parks and recreation professionals who want to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to lead their staff effectively. The courses cover various topics, including leadership principles and team management, as well as the most up-to-date techniques and information on leading, staffing, organizing, directing, and managing employees. With the tools and insights gained from this program, professionals will be able to oversee the day-to-day operation of their staff as they deliver programs and services to their community. Whether new to a supervisory role or looking to refresh your skills, the Supervisors' Management School is a great way to improve your abilities and achieve organizational goals.

Registration, Fees, and Dates

Registration is open for SMS, taking place November 5-10, 2023. Click here to register! Don't forget to check out the scholarship information below.

All Inclusive Package
Member Rate

  • Lakeside Wing Rooms: $2,184.39 per person single occupancy and $1,850.39 per person double occupancy
  • West Wing Room: $2,103.75 per person single occupancy and $1,809.99 per person double occupancy
  • Byrd Wing Rooms: $2,046.19 per person single occupancy and $1,781.23 per person double occupancy

Non-Members add an additional $50 per person to the package price.
Package Includes:  Member Tuition, 4 nights lodging, 4 buffet breakfast, 3 buffet lunch, Sunday buffet dinner, Monday buffet dinner, Tuesday "Fun Night" hors d'oeuvres, Wednesday banquet/plated dinner, 5 beverage tickets and continuous beverage breaks .  Includes all taxes and applicable fees.

Scholarship applications are open!
Supervisors' Management School (SMS) Scholarship Application is now open for interested applicants who want to take their career in parks and recreation to the next level. The SMS program is designed for professionals at different levels of their careers and from agencies serving communities of all sizes. We appreciate the diversity our students represent, making our program even more valuable. If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, please submit all the necessary information, including an uploaded letter from your supervisor, before the deadline. It is important to note that the scholarship funding only covers registration costs for Year 1 Students, while the applicant is responsible for travel and lodging costs. Take advantage of this opportunity to enhance your career and apply for the SMS Scholarship today!

Click here to apply for a scholarship to attend SMS!

Save the date!

November 3-8, 2024
November 2-7, 2025

All dates are subject to change.

For more information on registration, contact Oglebay at


The Supervisors' Management School is hosted annually at the Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, West Virginia in partnership with the National Training Center at Oglebay.


Supervisors' Management School is a partnership between the National Recreation & Park Association, the National Training Center at Oglebay, and North Carolina State University. 

Who should attend?

This two-year program is well-suited for any park and recreation professional responsible for the supervision of employees.

Key Subjects Covered

Learning Objectives

  • Recruiting and Hiring Strategies
  • Staff Training & Development
  • Building Teams and Creating a Team Culture
  • Coaching and Motivating Employees
  • Identify and Apply Your Personal Leadership Style
  • Managing Change and Stress
  • Embracing Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
  • Understanding Group Behavior
  • Developing and Applying Performance Measures
  • Improving Communication Skills
  • Recognizing Values and Aligning Ethics
  • Identifying Supervisory Strengths and Weaknesses
Year One Session TopicsYear Two Session Topics
Creating a Motivating Work EnvironmentManaging Yourself, Leading Others
Performance Management Establishing Accountability and Ownership
Organizational CultureLeading Through Uncertainty
Where Does the Time Go?Understanding Group Dynamics
Buddy to BossEthical Management
Selecting & Keeping the Right EmployeeBias and Differences in the Workplace
Effective Communication SkillsTrends:  Change or Be Changed
Building TrustManaging Up

What do graduates say?

The SMS program for me was an invaluable asset. The knowledge I gained has helped me grow leaps and bounds in the past two years alone and has helped me to develop skills that will continue to help me grow through my career. Not only was the course work helpful, but I was also able to build my network and gain some friendships that I will have for a lifetime. In my opinion, the SMS program is a must have for every new and seasoned supervisor. Our main goal as supervisors is to be effective in how we lead. To do so, we must first educate ourselves so we can then educate others. There is no better way than the SMS program.” --Wyatt Richardson, Crew Chief I, Park Development Division at City of Durham, NC

No matter how long you have been in management, you will take away good information from the classes and your classmates.” --Frank Hackett, Parks Foreman at City of Ft.Lauderdale, FL

After attending the second year of SMS, I came back to work with a different perspective of my role as supervisor. I see how my leadership has changed and it has improved the dynamics of my crew. Not only that, my relationship with my boss is smoother because I understand the importance of my position and how to communicate my needs appropriately. I felt SMS provided new ideas for strengthening my leadership skill and tactics for managing people and time. Thank you!” --Patricia Greenberg, Environmental Resource Supervisor at Reston Association (Reston, VA)