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

Every year, there’s a moment that fills me with pride and a sense of accomplishment—paying my annual dues for recertification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS).

It might sound mundane to some, but for me, it’s a reaffirmation of my dedication to a profession I love.

I started this journey in 2002 when I graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. I took the certification exam in 2003, which was the earliest I could take it.  I earned my certification as a CTRS, embarking on a career that has been both challenging and profoundly rewarding.

Since 2018, I have also held a specialization in behavioral health through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). This specialization has allowed me to focus on a critical aspect of therapeutic recreation, addressing and supporting mental health through activities designed to improve overall well-being.

Paying my annual dues is more than a financial transaction. It symbolizes years of hard work, continuous learning, and a commitment to providing the best care possible. It’s a nod to every client I’ve worked with, each one teaching me something new and expanding my understanding of human resilience and the transformative power of recreation.

Staying certified requires dedication—continuing education, professional development, and keeping up with evolving best practices. It’s a commitment to myself, my profession, and, most importantly, to my clients who trust me to guide their therapeutic experiences.

I’m proud of my certifications because they represent my unwavering dedication to the field of therapeutic recreation. They are a testament to my ongoing commitment to learning, growing, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of those I serve.

As I look back on my journey since 2003, I feel immense gratitude. Gratitude for the education I received durung undergraduate school at Marshall University, and graduate school at Indiana University, for the colleagues and mentors who have supported me, and for the clients who have entrusted me with their care. Each year, when I pay my dues, I’m not just maintaining a credential—I’m celebrating a career that continues to evolve, challenge, and inspire me.

Here’s to many more years of making a difference, one therapeutic activity at a time.