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  Your FREE May 2024 Issue of Rec Therapy Today

Your Online Source for Inspiration and Innovation!


Dear Innovative Rec Therapist –


Welcome to the May 2024 issue of Rec Therapy Today, your trusted source for the latest trends and insights in recreational therapy.

As a continuing education program, we are committed to providing you with valuable resources to enhance your professional development and practice in the field of recreational therapy.

In this issue, you will find a diverse range of articles, case studies, and expert interviews that will expand your knowledge, spark new ideas, and inspire innovative approaches to therapeutic recreation.

From exploring emerging technologies to showcasing best practices in client-centered care, each page is designed to support your growth as a recreational therapist.

We invite you to immerse yourself in the enriching content of this issue and engage with the vibrant community of practitioners who share your passion for improving the lives of the individuals you serve.

Thank you for being a part of the Rec Therapy Today family, where learning never stops and opportunities for growth are endless.


Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,

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

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. 

Rec Therapy Today Fans

Inspiration for the Month

Humor of the Month

Infographics for the Month

Holidays this Month

May Day – May 1st: A celebration of spring and labor movements in many countries around the world.

Cinco de Mayo – May 5th: A Mexican holiday commemorating the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, celebrated with festivities and cultural events.

Mother’s Day – May 12th (Second Sunday of May): A day to honor and celebrate mothers and motherhood, typically with gifts, cards, and special gestures of appreciation.

Memorial Day – May 27th (Last Monday of May): A day of remembrance for those who have died in military service to the United States, marked by ceremonies, parades, and the decoration of graves.

Featured Article for the Month

The Vital Importance of Continuing Education for Recreation Therapists

In the dynamic field of recreational therapy, where every day presents unique challenges and opportunities, the journey of learning never truly ends. From aiding individuals with disabilities to enhancing the well-being of aging populations, recreation therapists play a crucial role in promoting physical, emotional, and social health. However, to provide the best care possible, they must embrace the value of lifelong learning through continuing education.

Why is Continuing Education Important?

Continuing education empowers recreation therapists to stay updated with the latest advancements, techniques, and research in their field. As therapies evolve and new evidence emerges, it’s essential for professionals to adapt their practices accordingly. By engaging in ongoing education, therapists can refine their skills, deepen their knowledge, and enhance the quality of care they deliver to their clients.

Keeping Pace with Innovation

In today’s fast-paced world, innovation is constant. New technologies, treatment modalities, and therapeutic approaches emerge regularly. Through continuing education, recreation therapists can explore these innovations and integrate them into their practices, ensuring that they provide cutting-edge and effective interventions.

Enhancing Client Outcomes

Continuing education directly correlates with improved client outcomes. As therapists expand their expertise and refine their techniques, they become better equipped to address the diverse needs of their clients. Whether it’s mastering a new therapeutic activity or understanding the latest research on a specific condition, ongoing education equips therapists with the tools to optimize treatment plans and achieve positive results.

Fostering Professional Growth

Continuing education is not just about acquiring new knowledge; it’s also about personal and professional growth. By pursuing additional training and certifications, recreation therapists demonstrate their commitment to excellence and dedication to their profession. Moreover, ongoing learning fosters confidence and satisfaction in one’s work, leading to greater fulfillment and career advancement opportunities.

Adapting to Changing Demands

The healthcare landscape is constantly evolving, with shifting demographics, regulatory changes, and emerging trends shaping the way services are delivered. Through continuing education, recreation therapists can stay abreast of these changes and adapt their practices accordingly. Whether it’s learning about new reimbursement policies or understanding the impact of demographic shifts on service delivery, ongoing education equips therapists to navigate complex challenges with confidence and competence.


In conclusion, continuing education is not just a requirement for maintaining licensure; it is the cornerstone of professional growth and excellence in the field of recreational therapy. By embracing lifelong learning, therapists can stay updated, innovate their practices, and ultimately, enhance the well-being of their clients. As the saying goes, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” Let us ignite the flames of learning and continue to elevate the standard of care in recreational therapy.

To explore a wide range of online continuing education courses for recreation therapists, visit rectherapytoday.com.

Activity Ideas

Adventures in Team Building: Outdoor Activities for Kids

  1. Obstacle Course Challenge

    • Supplies Needed: Cones, ropes, hula hoops, tires, buckets, etc.
    • Instructions: Set up an obstacle course in an open area with various challenges like crawling under ropes, jumping through tires, and balancing on beams. Divide kids into teams and time them as they navigate through the course. The team with the fastest time wins.
    • Potential Benefits: Promotes teamwork, encourages problem-solving, enhances physical fitness, boosts confidence.
  2. Nature Scavenger Hunt

    • Supplies Needed: List of items to find (e.g., pinecone, feather, specific leaf), paper, pencils.
    • Instructions: Create a list of natural items for kids to find in a designated outdoor area. Divide them into teams and give each team a list and a pencil. The team that finds all the items first or finds the most items within a time limit wins.
    • Potential Benefits: Encourages teamwork, sharpens observational skills, promotes appreciation for nature, fosters communication.
  3. Three-Legged Race

    • Supplies Needed: Fabric strips or bandanas.
    • Instructions: Pair up children and have them stand side by side, with one leg tied to their partner’s leg. Mark a start and finish line and have teams race from one end to the other. The first team to cross the finish line wins.
    • Potential Benefits: Builds trust between teammates, improves coordination, enhances communication, encourages cooperation.
  4. Capture the Flag

    • Supplies Needed: Flags (cloth strips or bandanas), markers to designate boundaries.
    • Instructions: Divide kids into two teams and designate each team’s territory. Place a flag in each team’s territory. The goal is to capture the opposing team’s flag and bring it back to your territory without being tagged. If tagged, players must go to a designated “jail” area until tagged by a teammate.
    • Potential Benefits: Encourages strategic thinking, promotes teamwork, enhances cardiovascular fitness, fosters resilience.
  5. Team-Building Circle

    • Supplies Needed: None.
    • Instructions: Have kids stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, facing inward. Without letting go of hands, they must work together to untangle themselves into a circle without breaking the chain. This activity can be repeated with different formations (e.g., a star or a figure-eight).
    • Potential Benefits: Enhances problem-solving skills, promotes communication, builds trust and cooperation, encourages patience.
  6. Group Knot

    • Supplies Needed: None.
    • Instructions: Have kids stand in a circle and reach across to grab hands with two different people (not directly next to them). Without letting go, they must work together to untangle the knot they’ve created.
    • Potential Benefits: Encourages cooperation, fosters problem-solving, promotes teamwork, builds patience and perseverance.
  7. Outdoor Relay Races

    • Supplies Needed: Various props for relay activities (e.g., batons, sacks for sack races, spoons and eggs for egg-and-spoon races).
    • Instructions: Set up relay stations with different tasks (e.g., running with a baton, hopping in a sack, balancing an egg on a spoon). Divide kids into teams and have them race through the relay stations. The first team to complete all stations wins.
    • Potential Benefits: Enhances physical fitness, promotes teamwork, improves coordination and balance, fosters friendly competition.

These activities offer a range of benefits for children, including social bonding, physical fitness, and coping skills. They encourage collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and resilience while providing opportunities for outdoor fun and exploration.


Book of the Month

Navigating Change with Confidence

Title: The Impact of Identity: The Power of Knowing Who You Are
Author: Irina Nevzlin
Year Published: October 10, 2019

In a world of constant flux, where beliefs are challenged and identities tested, maintaining a strong sense of self is paramount. In “The Impact of Identity,” Irina Nevzlin offers a roadmap for embracing change without losing sight of one’s core identity.

Drawing from her own immigrant experiences and entrepreneurial journey, Nevzlin posits that in today’s globalized world, we are all immigrants in some sense, constantly adapting to new environments. Through insightful anecdotes and practical wisdom, she explores the importance of knowing who you are and where you belong amidst the chaos of modern life.

Nevzlin tackles fundamental questions:

  • Why is self-awareness crucial in navigating change?
  • What tools can help fortify our identities?
  • How can we cultivate the skills necessary to thrive in an ever-evolving world?
  • Why should we embrace the future with optimism rather than fear?

With a blend of personal reflection and universal truths, “The Impact of Identity” offers a fresh perspective on building resilience and finding fulfillment in an uncertain world. It’s a must-read for recreational therapists seeking to empower their clients to navigate life’s transitions with confidence and authenticity.

Game of the Month

  • ✅ LIGHTER-WEIGHT DICE – Our best selling Yardzee is back with a new 2.5in size weighing just 3lb! This kid-friendly (less strenuous for all ages) version features the same great dice resized for easy portability, less-tired arms, and longer throws!
  • 🤩 ALL-IN-ONE SET – Everything you need to play is included! 6 oversized wood dice, 5 double-sided scorecards for Yardzee & Farkle, collapsible bucket, and dry-erase marker. Just open the box and you are ready to roll.
  • 🎲 20+ GAMES INCLUDED – Take the fun beyond the classic Yardzee and Farkle to new fan-favs like Pig, Bowling & Ship, Captain, Crew. Never get bored with this large variety of games for all ages and skill levels. There’s something for everyone!
  • 💦 WEATHER / WATER RESISTANT – Polished and sealed to withstand the spills & splashes, indoors and out. Whether it’s for the game room, patio, camping, lake, or beach. This life size game is built to handle the wear and tear in any situation.
  • 🌳 ECO-FRIENDLY – Hand-crafted from 100% sustainably sourced New Zealand Pine. In partnership with Trees for the Future, a 501(c)(3) organization, SWOOC Games will plant a tree for every order. Let’s protect this playground we call Earth.

Rec Therapist of the Month

1. What is your name?

My name is Evelyn Mack

2. What is your degree and college?

I have a BS in Sociology with an Education minor and a MS degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Florida in 1996.

3. Are you a CTRS? If so, for how long?

I have been a CTRS since 1996

4. Are you an ATRA member?

Yes, I am an ATRA member and love the ATRA community, resources, and advocacy it brings.

5. What awards have you earned?

I have numerous performance awards, some poster presentation awards (Best Research and Best Collaborative Intervention), and a performance improvement project that received national recognition, but I’m most proud of a telehealth intervention being referred to as a Best Practice during a CARF accreditation survey.

6. Why did you become a rec therapist?

I became a Recreation Therapist after being inspired by an incredible professor. I love the impact we are able to have in making positive life changes after injury, illness, or trauma.

7. What type of setting do you currently work in?

I work in a residential transitional rehabilitation program.

8. What population do you provide services for?

I work with veterans and active duty service members who have had brain injuries.

9. What types of recreation therapy interventions do you provide?

The program that I currently work in is primarily community-based, so therapeutic outings and collaborative partnerships with community organizations are extremely important. Leisure Education is paramount to implementing programs and interventions because it helps the clients to better understand the reason for treatment and look ahead to their future quality of life. Interventions used often include card/board/table/video games, crafts such as paint pouring or leather tooling, exercise and fitness at community gyms, park outings, golf, yoga, equine therapy, grocery outings, cooking groups, community volunteering….. and so much more!

10. What do you love about your work?

Working in a residential program, my office is in the living environment of my clients, so my interactions with them are not limited to scheduled treatment sessions alone. The nature of rapport that is developed lends itself to getting to know clients really well, establishing high levels of trust, and leads to making great progress in treatment.

11. What would you recommend a new rec therapist to do?

Stay passionate about what you do, keep learning and growing!!

12. Where do you see the future of rec therapy?

I believe that the field will advance to where an advanced degree will be an entry-level requirement. I also believe that we will be using Artificial Intelligence in many novel ways, but that we will always be needed due to the social aspect of our treatment.

13. Who is a recreation therapist you admire and why?

Dr. Robert Beland is a Recreation Therapist I admire because of his teaching and influence to get me into this field of work. I also truly admire Danny Pettry’s constant presence, promotion, and advocacy for our field.

14. What other information would you like to share?

Recreation Therapists have an amazing impact on people through everyday leisure activities, impacting healthy lifestyle changes, and introducing activities that can lead to greatness in the personal and professional lives of our clients. We also need to practice what we preach, maintaining active and healthy leisure lifestyles!

15. What do you enjoy about Rec Therapy Today?

I truly enjoy the resources, education, and connection to other Recreation Therapists that comes from Rec Therapy Today.

Video of the Month

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


Dear Innovative Rec Therapist, 

I have an important update to share with you all. Recently, I applied for the position of Facility Director at our school program, a Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility (PRTF), which caters to teens with mental health needs.

Having been a part of our facility for an incredible 22 years, I saw this as an opportunity for career advancement.

However, after much reflection, I have decided to turn down the offer for an interview. Why? Because deep down, I realized that my true passion lies in direct patient care. While climbing the corporate ladder may seem appealing, my heart and soul are more aligned with being a therapist, practitioner, and clinician rather than a manager.

In communicating my decision to the administration, I emphasized that my greatest contribution to our PRTF would be to remain in my current role. I believe that by staying true to myself and following my passion for helping others, I can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we serve.

I infomred the CEO that I still consider myself to be a leader in our faiclity depsite not being a manager or in administration. 

I also provide live trainings for our direct care staff at our faiclity too, which I enjoy. 

Thanks for reading. Thanks for your support. 

And my uncolicited advice: follow your own heaRT and passion in life. 



Recent Blog Posts

Fun Pages for all Ages

April 2024 Winners

  1. Julie H., Portland, Texas
  2. Jessica S., Saint Peter, Minnesota
  3. Katy T., Morganton, North Carolina
  4. Raylene A., Los Angeles, California
  5. Amy S., Castle Hayne, North Carolina
  6. Taylor C., Jefferson Hills, Pennsylvania
  7. Hannah F., Halifix, Nova Scotia, Canada

Giveaway for the Month

Three lucky people will win this Mother’s Day self-care basket. 

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

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