Text -- 304-412-4065 Danny@DannyPettry.com

Recreational therapists often ask (What’s In It For Me) to join the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA)?

I think we need a better question.

Of course, joining ATRA does has benefits for joining. These include, but are not limited to: opportunities for continuing education, networking, and career opportunities. Membership sounds nice on a resume.  There are plenty of other benefits too.

The typical (for profit) type of business is: people pay the business to get something from it.

ATRA is a non-profit organization. ATRA isn’t a “get benefits” from it type of business.

You might be asking…. What kind of business is ATRA?

Here is a better question to ask:

John F. Kennedy put it this way in his 1961 inauguration address,  “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”

President Harding shared a similar approach in his 1916 speech stating: “In the great fulfillment, we must have a citizenship less concerned about what the government can do for it, and more anxious about what it can do for the nation.”

Kennedy and Harding both argue against (getting something out of or from the nation) and argued for (doing something (contributing to the nation).

I believe this is the approach ATRA should take too.

Let’s not ask what can ATRA do for us?

Let’s ask:

What can you do for the profession? What can you do for ATRA?

The easiest thing to do is to pay  ATRA membership dues.

Your ATRA dollars will be used to help advocate to make sure people with needs can have access to recreational therapy when it can help benefit them.

Once your a member, volunteer your time to serve on a committee or project. Run for an elected position!

JFK said: “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

A stronger, bigger, better association would be able to do so much more for the people who we provide services for, the profession, and yes, you as an individual recreational therapist.

Click Here to Learn More About Joining ATRA


Danny W. Pettry II is a Lifetime Member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).

Pettry has previously assisted wit the Peg Connolly Scholarship selection committee for several years and on the Recreational Therapy Month committee. Pettry currently serves on the Public Policy committee.

Pettry  previously served as the ATRA representative from the West Virginia Therapeutic Recreation Association (WVTRA chapter).

Awards: Pettry has won the 2004 Peg Connolly Scholarship Award and the 2005 Recreational Therapy Advocate of the Year Award.

Disclaimers: Pettry is NOT an elected ATRA board member. Pettry is not a hired spokesperson for ATRA. Pettry is a good-standing member of the association who encourages others to join the association.

The views expressed in this blog are those of Danny Pettry and Rec Therapy Today and are not statements made on behalf of ATRA.


Click Here to Learn More About Joining ATRA


Secret Contest —

Make one comment on how you do or could promote and advocate for recreational therapy on this post (below) before midnight Sept. 30th for a chance to win a one-year ATRA Membership. Students are encouraged to participate too. Danny Pettry will use a random number generator to select one entry number and will pay for that person’s membership.