Monday, March 7, 2016

Conference Time

There are a bunch of interesting conferences going on in my area at this time of the year. This week I attended a  one day workshop organised by and for families dealing with Autism and other related disorders. Tuesday I am going to attend one day of the Alzheimer Societies' Dementia Care Conference. I am also hoping to attend our Provincial Girl Guide Conference at the end of April. 
About a week ago I attended my second conference with Recreation Connections of Manitoba and I had a wonderful time. I learned a lot and have come home with an assortment of information and ideas that I want to share in future blog posts!
Recreation Connection is a non-profit association that supports recreation in our province and Therapeutic Recreation is included as a branch of the organization. When I was in school we had the opportunity to attend a Fall therapeutic recreation workshop day. Last year I attended the full Spring conference for Recreation Connection for the first time.
I was very surprised by my experiences last year. I expected to benefit from the Therapeutic Recreation  related sessions but I was not so sure about all these other sessions on recreation in general and about community recreation facilities, fitness, the need for play, outdoor education, accessibility for recreation. I found myself absolutely loving it. More than that .. I felt knowledgeable. I liked the people I met, I was inspired, and I felt at home.
I had not put it together that I was interested in the Field of Recreation!  I knew I was interested in the therapy aspects but I had not thought about how much time I have spent learning about and supporting recreation in my community. Guiding ... is recreation. All the outdoor stuff we do .. is recreation. Swimming, boating, music, and all the arts I have participated in over the years... Yup recreation. I have attended so many trainings related to youth education and how organizations works and I am always reading up on different topics.  
I previously believed our University's Recreation Faculty was all about sports, fitness and kinesiology. I really have very little experience in sports so this whole field never really crossed my radar.  I have never been very fit or very athletic, in fact I was always that last person to be picked during gym class.
The fitness and sports programs really does predominate but... then there is  this other stream .. Bachelor of Recreation Management and Community Development. From their webpage:

Tomorrow's conference is on several topics dealing with dementia care which will seem very different from talking about the need for recreation and play.  I will be attending two break out sessions and  will listen to the following two keynote speakers. I am really looking forward to the day.

Increasing the Well-Being and Quality of Life of People with Dementia Using New Technologies
Dr. Klein will share her expertise on assistive technologies and emotional and social robotics.

Quality Care in Long Term Care: Is Dignity the Answer?
Ensuring that people living and working in long term care (LTC) are afforded with respect and dignity is an essential and humane concern.  with Genevieve Thompson
Quote above from the conference application.
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