Virginia Recreation & Park Society 's Annual Conference provides access to a field of leaders and financial decision makers throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  
2016 VRPS Annual Conference
Trending Education Sessions
The 2016 VRPS Annual Conference is almost two weeks away!  You do not want to miss this great opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills from Parks and Recreation professionals from around the country.

For those who have registered for the Conference, volunteers are still needed for education session room hosts.  Sign-up to volunteer as a room host here.

Here are three education sessions featuring popular topics in the Parks and Recreation field! CEU information is included in each description.
Transgender Issues in Recreation and Parks 
Gender identity issues are an emerging and significant area throughout the U.S., including in the legal and practical administration of parks and recreation departments. The purposes of this workshop is to educate participants on the vocabulary and issues raised by gender identity, and to facilitate a discussion as to how departments might resolve those issues.

Speaker: Dr. Benjamin H. Carr, Jr., Associate Professor, Graduate Director, James Madison University
Date: November 6, 2016
Session Time: 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. 
Location: Shenandoah Room
CEU: .1
The Current Landscape of Marijuana in 2016
Marijuana has now been legalized in 4 states and the District of Columbia.  It is of utmost importance that other states have the most up today information and data around the impact of this substance.  This presentation will explain a brief history of marijuana in legalized states as well as the most up today current impact on communities in these states and how that will impact Virginia. 
 
Speaker: Nancy Hans, Executive Director, Prevention Council of Roanoke County
Date: November 7, 2016
Time: 8:30 - 9:45 a.m. 
Location: Crystal Ballroom E
CEU: .1
Trends in Parks and Recreation...What's Hot and What's Not 
A challenge for any Parks and Recreation Professional is to stay on top of the latest trends in programming.  Once members of the community get word of a program or activity that they think is interesting, they will often look to your agency to see whether or not is is provided.

Speaker: Art Thatcher, CRPR, MPA. Project Manager, GreenPlay LLC
Date: November 7, 2016
Time: 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. 
Location: Shenandoah Room
CEU: .1
Education Sessions
Getting the Dirt on Soil 
This program will detail all the basics of soil science that a sports field manager needs to know for both growing healthy turf AND managing the best skin area possible.  Dr. Goatley will detail the basic sciences of soil physical and chemical properties in managing your soil and Mr. Rodgers shares his knowledge in constructed soils and soil modification, in addition to skin area management based on his years of experience as a Certified Sports Field Manager, managing and consulting on the turf, soil and dirt across a broad spectrum of sports fields from park & rec to major league baseball.

Speaker: Dr. Michael Goatley, Jr., Professor and Extnesion Turfgrass Specialist at Virginia Tech; Jimmy Rodgers, CSFM, Lucstone Specialty Products
Date: November 6, 2016
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
Location: Crystal Ballroom C
CEU: .2
No Props Group Games for Leaders: Making Fun Out of Nothing at All
Fun team-building should be an intentional goal every time your group gets together.  Group games can be simply recreational in order to fill time, OR games can re-create your group.  Adults can find new ways to solve problems, and children and youth can develop trust and leadership.  This workshop will instantly add several excellent and easy "no-props" and "low-props" games to your bag of tricks for working with groups of any and all ages.  Instruction and printed directions will be provided, plus we'll play each game together, so come ready to move, smile and laugh.

Speaker: Barry LeNoir, Director of Camp Bethel
Date: November 6, 2016
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 
Location: Shenandoah
Keynote Address: Building a Culture of Customer Service Excellence
In many agencies, customer service is often 'good enough for government'. Discover secrets to build your Disney-like brand by building a culture of customer service excellence. Learn from case studies that show best practices and the evolution of building an award-winning brand that customers and the community want to associate with.

Speaker: Neelay Bhatt, Vice President, PROS Consulting INC.
Date: November 6, 2016
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Location: Crystal Ballroom
CEU: .1
Master Planning for (Accreditation) Success
This session will focus on how to undertake a Planning process that serves as a realistic road map for the future while also establishing a foundation for agency accreditation. The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accredits park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service. Currently less than 200 of the several thousand agencies nationally are CAPRA accredited - making it a prestigious accolade to enhance the agency's credibility and justify additional funding and resource allocation. 

Speaker: Lakita S. Watson, CPRP, Director of Suffolk Parks and Recreation; Neelay Bhatt, Vice President, PROS Consulting INC.
Date: November 7, 2016
Time: 8:30 - 9:45 p.m. 
Location: Buck Mountain
CEU: .1
Delivering YOUR TED Talk: How to Speak So People Listen
Learn how to 'tell your story' and deliver impactful messages through the personal experiences and techniques of an international presenter, TEDx Speaker and Speaker Coach.

Speaker: Neelay Bhatt, Vice President, PROS Consulting INC.
Date: November 7, 2016
Time: 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. 
Location: Crystal Ballroom E
CEU: .1
Unplugging Our Participants: A Contemporary Programming Challenge
The digital age and evolving technology that infiltrates our lives influences the leisure experience in many ways. As recreation programmers, we face unique challenges as our participants' reliance on technology can conflict with our programming agendas. With nature deficit disorder on the rise, fear of missing out fueling anxiety disorders, and where staying connected 24/7 is the norm, do we have a duty to "unplug" our participants in order to maximize the leisure experience? How are parks and recreation professionals managing the challenges of the digital age? This session will explore the risks and benefits of addressing our participants' dependence on technology while participating in our programs.  

Speaker: Mark Wagstaff, Ed.D., Professor of Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Radford University
Date: November 8, 2016
Time: 10:00 - 11:15 a.m. 
Location: Crystal Ballroom B
CEU: .1
APP IT!
Want to connect to your participants right on their smartphones? We'll help you decide if a custom app will help you stay in touch and grow business. We'll examine creating an app on your own through hosted services like como, or weigh the pros and cons of hiring a tech company to create one for you. 

Speaker: Scott Ramsburg, Business and Information Manager, Roanoke County PR&T; Maureen Wilson, Marketing Specialist, Roanoke County PR&T
Date: November 8, 2016
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. 
Location: Crystal Ballroom D
CEU: .1