His Best Decision: Becoming a Certified Park and Recreation Professional

Kenya V. Bryant, CPRP | December 16, 2014
It’s funny how life works. Growing up, my aim in life was to become a great ad man. When I was thirteen years old I saw the movie “Boomerang,” in which Eddie Murphy starred as an advertising executive who had a very exciting life and I wanted to be that guy. For the next seven years I was doing everything that I had dreamed of, but throughout I always had the feeling that I needed to do more and I found that with the Richland County Recreation Commission (RCRC). Here's my story of how attaining Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) helped me and my agency unwrap potential. Read more

Confession of a Maintenance Management School Graduate

Richard V. Alder, CPRP | December 3, 2014
For Richard Alder, CPRP, from Five Rivers MetroParks in Dayton, Ohio, the opportunity to complete the Park and Recreation Maintenance Management School at Oglebay Resort was, in his words, like a shot of adrenalin to his career in the parks and recreation field. Find out why and get his inside story on why Maintenance Management School is so valuable. Read more

You Won’t Believe What Happened After I Attended Event Management School

Melanie Scoggins, CPRP | November 19, 2014
I have been in the field of parks and recreation for about 15 years (wow!), with most of my work focusing on special event management. One of my key goals was to get to the Event Management School. I was able to attend as a first year student in January 2014. While attending, I was looking for ways to increase attendance at a festival that was moving locations. You won't believe what happened to our festival after I came back from Event Management School... Read more

Innovative Sessions: A Seasoned Congress Presenter Speaks Out

Mat Duerden, Ph.D. | August 19, 2014
From attendee to seasoned presenter, Mat Duerden, Ph.D., shares his story of the experience that is NRPA Congress. Not only does he touch on his personal evolution but that of the evolution of sessions he’s been involved in from research all the way to leading a Congress Live session! Read more

Your Marketing is Missing Something

Jason Genck | August 12, 2014
Do you find yourself searching for training and resources in marketing, branding and communication, yet finding the same tiring information told in different ways? That was me in 2012. It’s easy to hear of the latest and greatest, but difficult to find out what really works. Well, Brand+Aid changed all of that. Read more

“I Knew I Wanted to Lead my own Department in the Future”

Cindi Wight, CPRE, MR | July 8, 2014
“I knew I wanted to lead my own department in the future.” These were the exact words Cindi Wight, CPRE, MR wrote in a blog post in May 2013 about her intoxicating, incredible experience at Directors School. Six months later her aspiration became a reality… Read more

Certification as Culture

Sara Baldwin | June 9, 2014
In your park and recreation department, is certification becoming the norm? For the Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA) in Fairfax County, Virginia, certification of staff through the NRPA Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) program has really taken a foothold within the agency. We checked in with the Park Authority to find out why certification is so valued and found that it has essentially become part of the culture for their staff. Read more

Sharing to Learn at Directors School

Tom O'Rourke | June 6, 2014
Each day, in everything we do, we either get better or we get worse. I often question where I should seek my next professional development experience in an attempt to better myself. I take my professional development very seriously. When I try to remember my favorite classes or schools that meant the most to me it is honestly hard to recall the intricate details of each individual session, but what I can always recall are the people that were in my classes and the instructors that made such a profound difference in shaping who I am. Read more

Why Certify Youth Sports Coaches

Ronald Strickler, Jr, CPRP | May 14, 2014
Offering organized sports, especially for youth, is a significant part of what community park and recreation departments do to help kids stay healthy, bring a community closer and make a positive impact on the quality of life for so many.  To make the programs a success, many park and recreation departments rely on volunteers and parents to help with coaching, organizing and inspiring the children involved. These programs are often a child’s first interaction with a team sport so it is important to know you have qualified and prepared coaches. The NRPA Young Professional Network (YPN) is back with their latest vlog (video blog) with information on the importance of training and certification for youth sports coaches and even the parents in the stands. Read more

The Mentor

Kayode Lewis, CPRP | April 8, 2014
In February 2014’s edition of Parks & Recreation Magazine, Michael Bradley highlighted the value of developing a relationship with a professional mentor. Mentorship offers professionals an opportunity to listen, question and develop innovative strategies to serve their communities while advancing the profession. NRPA Young Professional and Administrator’s Network offers NRPA members the opportunity to participate in a mentoring program. My involvement in NRPA has afforded me the opportunity to be mentored by several mentors at the forefront of the field. Read more

Nomination Counts: Winning a National Award Advanced My Career

Thomas Venniro | February 28, 2014
How many people can say that they have been recognized nationally for the work that they have done? My assumption is not many. At my first National Congress in Baltimore (2008) I remember being blown away by the National Awards reception. I couldn’t help but think, wow, this is so amazing to recognize fellow park and recreational professionals on this level. The faces and reactions of those who received awards were those of extreme excitement and pride. I recall wondering, how does someone go about walking on that stage? At that point, I could only hope that someday I would be fortunate and successful enough to be honored in such a way. Did I ever expect to win a National Award? I guess not; but I would have never known or had the chance if someone did not take the time to nominate me. Read more

MWR Internships Provide Fresh Look at Career Opportunities

Jason Tryon;John Prue;Samantha Bartram | February 21, 2014
Exciting internship opportunities for young park and recreation professionals abound in the world of Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), even if you don’t have your sights set on a career serving the military. Contributors Jay Tryon and John Prue discuss the benefits of these programs in a recent NRPA Open Space vlog. Read more

And Action!

Will Lebzelter | February 11, 2014

Will Lebzelter, Communications Associate for Jeffco Open Space, details how park and recreation pros can easily start to incorporate videos into regular communications. Anybody can learn to do it!

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My Two Cents on Revenue School (and clichés)

Paul Gilbert | January 6, 2014

We have a lot of clichés in our professional lives. But they are all really different ways of saying that we are going to think about things in a fresh manner and seek to increase the performance of what we are doing. So aside from all the worn out phrases, how do we do this within the field of parks and recreation?

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Make Someday Happen

Pete Magnuson | December 30, 2013

Someday I’ll take that vacation. Someday I’ll read that book. Someday I’ll start that business. Raise your hand if you have ever started a sentence with “Someday, I’ll.” I know my hand is up—and that’s hard to do when you are typing. 

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