Looking Back While Moving PA Forward

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Posted by Administrator at 02/25/2022

by Jason Lang, East Goshen Township

For anyone that has read my Dig It! blogs over the years, I typically pull on heart strings…but not today! As I sit here on 2/22/22 typing away, we are just 35 days away from the 75th Anniversary PRPS Conference & Expo and it's starting to get exciting! In just one month, 400+ park and recreation professionals will converge on Kalahari Resorts and I don't know about you, but I'm ready to party! Fellow Conference Co-Chair Kristy Owens and I have an amazing team that deserves a ton of credit! So here they are!

Education Committee: Kristin Zeigler, Derek Dureka, Cindy Dunlap, Dave Hutner, Chris Biswick, Marissa Sprowles

Expo Hall Committee: Andy Oles, Mike Richino, Katie Kollar, Doug Knauss, Joanna Sharapan

Socials: Becky Richards, Jason Cerkan

Local Arrangements: Dan Sharapan

Registration: Emily Croke

Publicity: Kelsey Najdek

Room Host: Paul Kopera

App Master: Trevor Pearson

And of course, the amazing PRPS staff is the driving force behind the experience, led by Director of Training and IT Niki Tourscher!

But, we still need help to pull this all off, and I'm talking to you! Yes, you reading this right now! We still need a few folks to volunteer at the Registration Desk (1-2 hours) and as Room Hosts, very simply introducing speakers and making sure the crowd doesn't get too rowdy!

Now, many of you might be asking yourself if you really need to attend the conference or not...and the answer is yes! Double yes! And here's why!

It's been three years since we all got together way, way back in March 2019 at the conference in Penn State. I miss my friends from Pittsburgh! I miss the witty banter at the Awards Banquet between Barry Bessler and Dave Hutner about who's better, the Eagles or Steelers (it's a tie - they both stink!). March 2019 feels like forever ago, and you know what, you deserve this conference. We all do! The pandemic has hit PA communities hard, but park and recreation professionals have been true leaders in the face of crisis. Creative and driven folks that have thrust parks and programming forward as a panacea for moving us successfully through COVID. So you deserve to have these four days. Four days to applaud yourself for your hard work. Four days to commiserate with fellow folks who "get it." Four days to steal genius programming ideas from someone else. Four days to meet with expo hall vendors about exciting post-pandemic projects. And four days, if you are like me, away from your own crazy kids!

So as you can see, I didn't mention anything about CEU's, our terrific lineup of speakers, or socials. All of that will be AMAZING. At the end of the day, its the PRPS membership, coming together from all corners of PA that makes the conference special. Be a part of it!

You can find all the Conference & Expo details and registration on the website at https://www.prpsconferenceandexpo.org/.

Hope to see you there!