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Your January 2024 Issue of Rec Therapy Today

Dear Innovative Rec Therapist –

Thanks for being part of our Rec Therapy Today family.

As we step into the beginning of 2024, let’s embrace the spirit of renewal and possibility in our practice as recreational therapists.

This month’s newsletter aims to ignite inspiration, offering insights and ideas to invigorate your therapeutic approaches and infuse your sessions with creativity and purpose. 

Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

Danny Pettry.

P.S. Giveaway is at the bottom of this newsletter so you’ll have to scroll to bottom and view all parts of the newsletter. 


📢 Call for Speakers: Winter 2024 Teleconference Announcement

We’re thrilled to invite passionate and knowledgeable speakers to join our upcoming Winter 2024 Teleconference! Set to go live on Saturday, February 24th, 2024, this teleconference promises to be an enriching event for recreational therapists and enthusiasts alike.

Key Details:

  • Date: Saturday, February 24th, 2024
  • Format: Live teleconference sessions
  • CEUs Available: Recreational therapists can earn CEUs for attending sessions
  • Open to Public: This webinar will be FREE to the public
  • Limited Seating: Seats are limited, available on a first-come, first-served basis

Speakers Wanted:

We’re actively seeking dynamic speakers to present at this event. If you have expertise, insights, or research to share within the realm of recreational therapy, we want to hear from you! As a token of appreciation for your contribution, we’re offering speaker honorariums:

  • BA/BS Degree: $100 honorarium
  • MA/MS Degree: $200 honorarium
  • PhD Degree: $300 honorarium

This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise, engage with a passionate audience, and contribute to the advancement of recreational therapy.

Interested in presenting? Submit your proposals by January 15th. Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Innovative approaches in recreational therapy
  • Best practices in therapeutic interventions
  • Research findings impacting the field
  • Personal experiences and case studies

Don’t miss this chance to be a part of a vibrant community dedicated to enhancing the field of recreational therapy. Help us make this teleconference an enlightening and impactful event for all attendees.

For speaker inquiries and proposal submissions, please contact Danny Pettry.

Let’s come together to inspire, learn, and grow within the realm of recreational therapy!

Inspiration for the Month

Finding inspiration often means exploring new avenues, seeking fresh perspectives, and celebrating the small victories that ripple into significant progress. In this month of new beginnings, let’s draw inspiration from the resilience and determination of those we assist. Let’s harness the power of play, art, music, and nature to create transformative experiences. Remember, our work isn’t just about activities; it’s about fostering joy, empowerment, and healing. Let’s approach each interaction with enthusiasm, knowing that our dedication has the potential to spark incredible transformations in the lives of those we serve. Together, let’s craft moments that inspire hope, joy, and growth.

Humor of the Month

Infographics for the Month

Important Holidays this Month

In January 2024, here’s a list of holidays observed in various parts of the world:

  1. New Year’s Day – January 1, 2024 (celebrated globally)
  2. Epiphany – January 6, 2024 (observed in various Christian denominations)
  3. Orthodox Christmas Day – January 7, 2024 (observed in Orthodox Christian communities)
  4. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 15, 2024 (observed in the United States)
  5. Australia Day – January 26, 2024 (observed in Australia)

Three (3) Activity Ideas for the Month

Activity Idea # 1:

New Year Focus Activity: “Vision Board for 2024”

Supplies Needed:

  • Poster board or large paper
  • Magazines, newspapers, printed images
  • Scissors, glue, markers


  1. Reflect on personal and professional aspirations for the year ahead.
  2. Browse through magazines and select images or words that represent these goals.
  3. Cut out and arrange these images and words on the poster board to create a visual representation of your aspirations.
  4. Display the vision board in a visible place to stay motivated throughout the year.


  • Goal-Planning: Encourages setting clear goals for the upcoming year.
  • Intellectual/Social: Sparks creativity and can be done collaboratively in group settings.
  • Inspirational/Spiritual: Fosters a sense of purpose and direction.

Activity Idea # 2:

Martin Luther King Jr. Focus Activity:

“I Have a Dream Collage”

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper or cardboard
  • Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
  • Printouts or images related to Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches or civil rights movement


  1. Discuss Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and the concept of dreams and aspirations.
  2. Encourage participants to draw or write their dreams for a better world on the paper or cardboard.
  3. Incorporate images related to equality, justice, and peace.
  4. Share and discuss these dreams as a group.


  • Social/Intellectual: Promotes discussions on equality, justice, and societal change.
  • Inspirational/Spiritual: Encourages reflection on personal and collective dreams for a better future.
  • Emotional: Fosters empathy and understanding of the importance of social justice.

Activity # 3:

Combined Activity: “New Year, New Acts of Kindness”

Supplies Needed:

  • Notecards or paper
  • Writing materials (pens, markers)
  • A container or jar


  1. Reflect on ways to make a positive impact inspired by Martin Luther King Jr.’s principles.
  2. Write down acts of kindness or social justice actions on separate notecards.
  3. Place these cards in the container or jar.
  4. Throughout the year, randomly select and commit to performing these acts.


  • Social/Emotional: Fosters empathy and a sense of community.
  • Inspirational/Spiritual: Encourages a commitment to social justice and compassion.
  • Physical/Emotional: Acts of kindness can positively impact mental and emotional well-being.

Book of the Month

Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” is a productivity book by Brian Tracy, first published in 2001. The book revolves around the idea of tackling your most important tasks—the “frogs”—early in the day to increase productivity and effectiveness.

Tracy emphasizes the importance of identifying and prioritizing tasks based on their significance and impact. The concept of “eating the frog” refers to tackling the most challenging or important task first, thereby clearing the way for smoother productivity throughout the day. The book offers practical strategies, actionable tips, and time management techniques to overcome procrastination and enhance productivity.

For recreational therapists, “Eat That Frog” can be immensely beneficial:

  • Time Management: It provides valuable insights into managing time effectively, allowing therapists to structure sessions more efficiently.
  • Prioritization: Helps in identifying and prioritizing activities that contribute most to clients’ well-being, ensuring therapists focus on impactful interventions.
  • Overcoming Procrastination: Offers techniques to overcome procrastination, enabling therapists to initiate and complete therapeutic activities promptly.
  • Enhancing Productivity: Encourages a proactive approach to work, leading to increased productivity and the ability to accomplish more meaningful tasks during sessions.

Game of the Month

About this game:

  • Roll. Reflect. Repeat.
  • Roll the dice to set your daily intention.
  • Five dice to represent abundance, love. creativity, strength, and vitality.
  • Wonderful gift!
  • Convenient storage box.

Rec Therapist of the Month: Andrew Walker

In the January 2024 edition, we celebrate Andrew Walker, a seasoned Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) whose dedication spans over 27 years in the field. Andrew’s journey started at Grambling State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation and became a CTRS in 2015. Throughout his career, Andrew has been recognized for his exemplary service, notably in 2016 and 2021, marking his commitment and impact.

Hailing from Shreveport, Louisiana, Andrew’s passion for therapeutic recreation was sparked by the pursuit of creative ways to optimize leisure time. He has tirelessly served the community, primarily focusing on individuals with developmental challenges. Safety remains a top priority in his informative sessions, where he imparts crucial knowledge while offering a diverse range of lifetime games and sports, enriching the lives of those he works with.

As an active member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), Andrew emphasizes advocacy and the utilization of media materials to showcase the profound contributions of therapeutic recreation to quality of life. His deepest fulfillment comes from witnessing individuals explore their leisure potential, allowing their true colors to shine through participation in various activities.

Andrew’s advice echoes a sentiment of dedication and advocacy. He emphasizes the importance of academic preparation and attaining the CTRS credential, referring to it as “paying the big price.” He passionately advocates for the field, stressing that each individual has a role in highlighting the vibrant spectrum of therapeutic recreation, much like the colors of a rainbow.

Ultimately, Andrew encourages all to remember that the destiny of the profession lies in their hands. His dedication, passion, and advocacy serve as an inspiring beacon for both seasoned professionals and aspiring individuals in the field of therapeutic recreation.

TED Talk for the Month

Announcement: Rec Therapy Today’s Partnership with NLTRA

We are thrilled to share exciting news! Rec Therapy Today is delighted to announce a brand-new partnership with the esteemed Newfoundland and Labrador Therapeutic Recreation Association (NLTRA). This collaboration brings forth a unique opportunity for members of NLTRA that promises mutual benefits and invaluable support.

As part of this partnership, members of NLTRA will enjoy exclusive discounts on Rec Therapy Today Continuing Education Units (CEUs). This collaboration aims to enhance professional development opportunities for NLTRA members by providing access to high-quality, specialized educational resources offered by Rec Therapy Today.

About NLTRA:

The Newfoundland and Labrador Therapeutic Recreation Association (NLTRA) is a dynamic organization committed to promoting and advancing the field of therapeutic recreation in the Newfoundland and Labrador region. NLTRA is dedicated to supporting and empowering recreation therapists, fostering professional growth, and advocating for the importance of recreational therapy in enhancing the lives of individuals within the community.

This partnership signifies a shared commitment to advancing the field of recreational therapy and supporting the professional growth of its members. We look forward to this collaboration and the opportunities it brings to elevate the standard of care and expertise within the therapeutic recreation community.

Stay tuned for more details on how NLTRA members can access their exclusive discounts on Rec Therapy Today CEUs. Together, let’s continue to enrich our practices and make a positive impact through the power of recreational therapy!

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Section

 The American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) stands as a cornerstone within the realm of therapeutic recreation, playing a pivotal role in advancing the profession and advocating for its significance in enhancing the lives of individuals across various communities.

Founded with a vision to promote the profession of recreational therapy, ATRA has been instrumental in setting standards, fostering research, and providing resources for professionals in the field. At its core, ATRA is committed to advocating for the power of recreational therapy in improving physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being.

Through a diverse range of initiatives, ATRA serves as a unifying force for recreational therapists, educators, students, and other stakeholders. This association offers professional development opportunities, including conferences, workshops, and certifications, equipping its members with the latest knowledge, best practices, and networking avenues.

ATRA’s advocacy extends beyond professional development; it’s committed to raising awareness about the transformative impact of recreational therapy. By collaborating with policymakers, healthcare providers, and allied organizations, ATRA strives to ensure that recreational therapy receives the recognition it deserves as an essential healthcare profession.

Ultimately, the American Therapeutic Recreation Association is a beacon of support, education, and advocacy, propelling the field of recreational therapy forward and empowering its members to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve.

Send an Email to Support the Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act

Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) recently introduced the bipartisan Access to Inpatient Rehabilitation Therapy Act of 2023. The bill returns authority to the physician and rehabilitation team in an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) to determine the right mix of therapies for an individual to meet the intensity of therapy requirements.

Specifically, the bill will clarify that therapy requirements at an IRF shall consist of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, and/or orthotic or prosthetic services at the time of admission, and after admission, may be modified based on the physician and rehabilitation team’s judgment to include:

  • Recreational therapy
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Other skilled services

This legislation will help increase patient access to recreational therapy where appropriate and ensure that patients have a rehabilitation plan designed to best meet their needs.

Now is the time to act! The bill has just been introduced, and we need cosponsors to build momentum. To support the bill, we ask that you email a letter to your representatives urging them to become cosponsors by using the draft template letter below.

#1.) Find your Representative here.

#2.) Get your template from ATRA here.

Danny Pettry/ Rec Therapy Today — Disclaimers regarding ATRA

Danny Pettry and Rec Therapy Today are not affiliated with ATRA.  Danny Pettry is not an elected ATRA Board Member or hired spokesperson for ATRA. Danny Pettry is a Lifetime Member of ATRA who volunteers to assist with ATRA when possible.

Rec Therapy Today 🌟 Business Spotlight: Rec2Connect

At Rec2Connect, inclusivity is at the heart of their mission. This Northeast Ohio non-profit is a beacon of support for individuals with special needs and their families. Through their innovative recreation therapy programming, Rec2Connect acts as a bridge, linking these individuals to community recreation, wellness activities, and vital lifetime leisure skills.

Their commitment to fostering connections goes beyond mere services. Rec2Connect is a dedicated ally, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their abilities, has access to the joys of recreation and the benefits of community engagement.

Visit Rec2Connect.org to explore their inspiring initiatives and witness the power of their dedication to inclusivity and empowerment. 

Do you want to be featured in our business spotlight section? Contact Danny Pettry at Rec Therapy Today. We’ll post your business for FREE here. 


Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comofrt and Convenience of Your Own Home or Office™

Danny Pettry’s Section

As we step into the promising year of 2024, I am excited to share a personal challenge I’ve set for myself: to dive into the wisdom found within the pages of 52 books. These books span across realms of inspiration, motivation, success, development, innovation, leadership, confidence, and the art of public speaking.

I believe in the transformative power of literature. Books have the incredible ability to shape our perspectives, ignite passions, and push us toward growth. Each book is a doorway to new ideas, fresh perspectives, and invaluable lessons waiting to be absorbed.

In the upcoming days, I’ll be sharing a curated list of these diverse and enriching reads, hoping to spark curiosity and extend an invitation. I warmly welcome all of you to join me on this quest for knowledge and personal development. Let’s embark on this literary journey together, exploring the vast landscapes of thought-provoking literature.

Stay tuned for the book list and let’s inspire each other to learn, grow, and evolve through the pages of these incredible works.

Warm regards, Danny

Recent Blog Posts at Rec Thearpy Today

Recent Posts

Fun Pages for All Ages

Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comofrt and Convenience of Your Own Home or Office™

November and December 2023 Winners

20 people received a copy of Danny Petty’s new book, Moments that Matter from the November giveaway. These 20 books were signed and sent out in December. 

10 people won a copy Rec Theray Today Sweater from our December 2023 gieaway. These will be sent out soon.

Giveaway for the Month

You could win a sweater in January 2024!

We’re giving away ten (10) Rec Therapy Today Hoodies/ Sweatshirts in January 2024.

Deadline to enter for a chance to win is before midnight January 15th.

The Danny P. CEU Guarantee

Final Message for the Month

As we close our January 2024 issue of Rec Therapy Today, I want to take a moment to remind each and every one of you of something crucial: You are more than enough. The work you do as recreational therapists is not just important; it’s invaluable. Every day, you’re making a significant difference in the lives of those you touch, offering healing, joy, and empowerment through your dedication and expertise.

Amidst the challenges and demands you face, remember this: You are doing great work. You are changing lives, bringing smiles, and fostering growth where it’s needed most. Your commitment to enhancing the lives of others is nothing short of extraordinary.

And when it comes to continuing your education, remember that Rec Therapy Today is here for you. Our commitment to providing resources, insights, and opportunities for learning remains steadfast. Earn your continuing education units with us, knowing that we’re here to support your professional growth every step of the way.

So, as you continue on this noble journey of helping others, always hold onto the truth: You are making an impact, you are making a difference, and you are truly appreciated.

Thank you for all that you do.


Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

Danny W. Pettry II, M.Ed., M.S., LPC, NCC, CTRS-BHS

P.S. Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comfort and Convenience of Your Own Home of Office

Join Danny Pettry and Rec Therapy Today on social media

P.S.S. Rec Therapy Today® Can Help You Earn All of Your Rec Therapy CEUs from the Comfort and Convenience of Your Own Home of Office