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  Your FREE July 2024 Issue of Rec Therapy Today

Dear Innovative Rec Therapist –


Welcome to the July 2024 issue of Rec Therapy Today!


This month, we’re excited to bring you the latest insights and innovations in recreational therapy. As a valued member of our community, you have access to top-notch continuing education opportunities that cater to your professional growth and development. Our online courses are designed to keep you at the forefront of the field, offering you the skills and knowledge needed to make a meaningful impact in your practice.


In addition to our comprehensive educational resources, don’t forget to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter. Each issue is packed with expert articles, industry news, and practical tips that will enhance your day-to-day work. 


Stay informed, stay inspired, and stay connected with Rec Therapy Today!


Warm regards,


Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

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



Inspiration for the Month

Humor of the Month

Infographics for the Month

Holiday this Month

Featured Article for the Month

Stay Cool and Safe: Essential Heat Protection Tips for Outdoor Summer Activities


By: Danny Pettry


Summer is finally here, and with it comes the thrill of outdoor activities. From children’s camps to senior hiking groups, everyone wants to bask in the sun. However, the summer heat can be potent and potentially dangerous without proper precautions. Here are some essential tips to ensure safety and enjoyment for all ages during outdoor summer activities.


Sunblock: Your Summer Best Friend


Sun protection is vital for everyone, regardless of age. Broad-spectrum sunblock with SPF 30 or higher should be applied at least 15 minutes before heading outside and reapplied every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating. Don’t forget areas like the ears, neck, and the tops of feet, which are often overlooked but highly susceptible to burns. For younger participants, consider using sunblock sticks or sprays for easy application.


Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate


In the summer heat, staying hydrated is crucial. Encourage participants to drink water frequently, even if they don’t feel thirsty. For children, consider making hydration fun by offering water-themed activities or flavored water options. Older adults may require reminders via scheduled breaks or mobile hydration stations. Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks, as these can contribute to dehydration. Carry lightweight, reusable water bottles that can be refilled regularly to minimize waste and ensure everyone has access to water.


Dress for Success: Proper Attire


Choosing the right attire can significantly impact comfort and safety in the heat. Lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing reflects heat and allows for better air circulation, keeping the body cool. Donning a wide-brimmed hat and UV-protective sunglasses shields the face and eyes from harmful rays. While synthetic fabrics are great for wicking sweat, cotton can also be comfortable and breathable for many activities.


Timing and Shade: Smart Scheduling


Plan strenuous activities for early mornings or late afternoons when the sun’s rays are less intense. Utilize shaded areas as much as possible for rest breaks. Portable canopies or umbrellas can provide temporary relief from the sun during extended outdoor events.


Stay Informed: Heat Alerts and First Aid


Stay aware of the local weather forecast and any heat advisories. Education on recognizing signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke is crucial. Symptoms may include heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, or confusion. Ensure that a basic first aid kit, including cold packs, is readily available and that staff are trained to respond promptly to heat-related illnesses.


By taking these preventative measures, you’ll ensure that participants of all ages can enjoy a fun and safe summer full of outdoor adventures. Stay cool, stay safe, and make the most of your summer!

Recreation Ideas


Book of the Month

For July 2025, our Recreation Therapy Today Book of the Month is a charming and reflective read titled *Finding Muchness* by New York Times best-selling author Kobi Yamada.

What is muchness, and how can you rediscover it? Muchness is the childlike abundance of hope, joy, and imagination we all possess when we are born. As we grow and take on more responsibilities and worries, this sense of wonder can diminish, overshadowed by doubts and fears.

*Finding Muchness* is a heartwarming tale that follows an adorable duckling on a quest to live a life led by the heart. Through its journey, the duckling learns to embrace bravery, deep care, and to fully savor every moment. The book is filled with timeless wisdom and inspiring messages, making it a perfect gift for celebrating birthdays, graduations, new ventures, retirements, or any life transition.

Its delightful life lessons are sure to resonate with readers of all ages.

Game of the Month

Keep your kiddos and furry friends cool and entertained this summer with our July 2024 Game of the Month—Splash Pad for Kids and Dogs! Measuring a generous 87″, this extra-large sprinkler mat offers endless fun for toddlers (ages 1-3) and kids (ages 4-8). The non-slip surface ensures safe play for both children and pets, making it the perfect addition to your backyard. Watch as your little ones and pups frolic and splash around on this vibrant blue water toy, creating unforgettable summer memories. Dive into joy with the ultimate splash mat for boys, girls, and dogs!

Rec Therapist of the Month

Jessica King, CTRS


Jessica King, MS, CTRS

Master of Science in Therapeutic Recreation, Indiana University

I am a CTRS , since 5/2023

I am an ATRA Member

I have co-presented at American Therapeutic Recreation Association’s 2022 Virtual Convention and Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association’s 2023 Virtual Symposium with Dr. Jen Piatt

I became a Recreational Therapist as a non-traditional student returning to higher education in my life’s second chapter. I had been a professional clown for 17 years, and COVID affected my business. I decided to change my life’s trajectory and return to school to pursue a future similar to my previous life. I wanted to share my lived experience with those in need of recreation to enhance their quality of life, specifically in the Veteran population.

I currently work for the Veteran’s Affairs in Gainesville, FL at the Malcom Randall VA Hospital at the Community Living Center and Short Stay Rehabilitation unit. I provide therapeutic services for Veterans recovering from hospitalizations and procedures.

The types of services I provide are always changing based on the needs of the Veterans. I participate in virtual reality for range of motion and other exercises, news and socialization, and interventions that involve reminiscing such as trivia or armchair travel. I demonstrate that neuropathways need to stay intact and grow with lifelong education and memory seeking activities. You can also find me on the shuffleboard court, or even tossing a few water balloons on hot summer days!

What excites me most about Recreation Therapy is that it can take on a new challenge daily! The world of recovery is full of moving parts. What works for one client may not transcend the whole unit, and incorporating specialized sessions make my job interesting and fulfilling every day.

As a newer Recreation Therapist myself, I would offer a new Recreation Therapist the opportunities to think outside the box and explore their passions with different populations. I have learned the most about myself from the challenges I have faced in learning new populations and client needs. Changing your focus to find your niche is imperative to provide the best educational opportunities. Challenge yourself daily! Don’t become complacent. Be as involved as you can! Learn as much as you can about the field and utilize evidence-based best practices to be the most productive. If the evidence isn’t out there, go get it and follow your passions.

I see the future of Recreation Therapy entering new horizons and changing the field of recovery and support in a truly life altering way. With activists pushing for licensure, and programs such as the Medicaid waiver becoming more prevalent, different populations can get to experience how Recreation Therapy can change lives.

To those who know me personally, it is no secret that a Recreation Therapist I look up to is Dr. Jen Piatt. She truly cares about my personal successes as a Recreation Therapist and presenting with her has been life changing. In addition, I’d like to share that every experience is a learning experience. In this journey to become who I am today I have met so many Recreational Therapists and have been exposed to different ways to approach all situations. Because this field is so accepting, it has been a pleasure knowing each and every Recreation Therapist I have encountered because they have all helped me grow in different ways. From my thorough education at IU, to an amazing internship, to my position in Community Recreation and my super clients, to my position today, I am thankful for the individuals that have shaped who I have become.

Because of RecTherapy Today, I have become exposed to different facets and faces of Recreation Therapy. The support of RecTherapy Today in our profession has helped solidify my decision to pursue this career. I have met several of the featured Recreation Therapists and am always inspired by the people involved.

Video of the Month

July 2024 Rec Therapy Video of the Month: “It’s Not About the Nail”

We are thrilled to announce that our selection for the July 2024 Recreational Therapy Video of the Month is the enlightening and humorous short film, “It’s Not About the Nail.” This video cleverly captures the essence of effective listening and the importance of empathy in communication.

Video Summary:
“It’s Not About the Nail” depicts a common situation many of us find ourselves in: a woman is expressing her discomfort and frustration, all while having a literal nail stuck in her forehead. Her partner repeatedly suggests that removing the nail would solve her problems, but she insists that he is missing the point. The video humorously and poignantly illustrates how important it is to listen and empathize with others’ feelings, rather than immediately jumping to problem-solving.

Educational Takeaways:

1. Active Listening:
Pay Full Attention: Ensure you are fully present in the conversation. Make eye contact, nod, and use verbal affirmations like “I see” or “Uh-huh”.
– Reflective Listening: Paraphrase or summarize what the other person is saying to show that you understand. For example, “It sounds like you’re feeling really stressed about this situation.”

2. Empathy Over Solutions:
– Validate Feelings: Acknowledge and validate the other person’s emotions. Statements like “That sounds really tough” or “I can see why you’d feel that way” can be very comforting.
– Avoid Giving Unsolicited Advice:* Sometimes people just need to be heard and aren’t looking for solutions. Refrain from offering advice unless explicitly asked.
– Create a Safe Space: Encourage openness by being non-judgmental and supportive. Allow the person to express their feelings without fear of interruption or criticism.

3. Practicing Patience:
– Resist the Urge to Fix: Especially with close relationships, the desire to fix the problem can be strong. Learn to hold back this impulse and focus on the speaker’s needs.
– Be Patient: Sometimes it takes a while for someone to articulate what they’re feeling. Give them time and space to share their thoughts fully.

We hope this video sparks thoughtful discussion and reinforces the value of empathy and effective listening in your personal and professional interactions. Happy watching!

American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) Section

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

Danny Pettry’s Section

My neighborhood community had been taking care of this outdoor cat for years. It refuses to be an indoor cat. The cat has been missing for the last week. It’s tough. 

June 2024 Winners


Twelve (12) lucky people won a coloring book and markers.

Here are the lucky winners:

  1. Howard B., Coram, NY
  2. Aubrie B., Porter, TX
  3. Lisa L., Danville, VA
  4. Arnie I., Brooklyn, NY
  5. Joan M. Channelview, TX
  6. Rachel A., Pensacola, FL
  7. Jerry H. Montreal, Canada
  8. Jennifer B., Chandler, AZ
  9. Jennifer T., Fillmore, CA
  10. Rachel C. For Novosel, AL
  11. Allison B., Circleville, OH
  12. Christina S. Alberta, Canada

We extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated.

Remember, purchasing does not increase your odds of winning our monthly giveaways.

Don’t forget to sign up for our self-study CEUs and continue enhancing your professional skills.


Scroll down for the June 2024 Giveaway!


Fun Pages for all Ages

The Danny P. CEU Guarantee


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

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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