RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reminder: Lessons Learned Available

I am impressed by how many well prepared RT books are now available. For example, I noticed that both Venture Publishing and Sagamore Publishing advertise a number of RT books.

Due to the number of RT books out, I hope my newest book, Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners, doesn't get "lost" in the mix. Lessons Learned is available for $19.95 in paperback from Sagamore Publishing and as an ebook from Sagamore Publishing and Amazon.com

By the way, some very well regarded RTs have said some nice things about my book. A couple follow:

“This is an excellent read – every recreation therapist, either starting out or a veteran, should read this wonderful book.” -Charlie Dixon, M.S., CTRS, Therapeutic Recreation Directory

“I think this is a 5-star/ must-read book for any student in a TR/RT degree program or recreational therapist. If you've not done so already -- read this book.” -Danny Pettry, M.S., CTRS

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

RTI Newsletter Out Soon

I've learned that Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) member Mandy McQueeney is working on the RTI Newsletter and it will soon be distributed eletronically to the RTI membership.

Online Courses from UNCG

From Dr. Linda L. Buettner via the ATRAnet Listserv comes this announcement:
University of North Carolina at Greensboro will have the following courses online for students and practicing recreational therapists in Fall 2011.

RPM 338 Assessment & Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation (Buettner) - 3 credits- undergraduate course
RPM 630 Advanced Roles and Responsibilities in Geriatric Recreation Therapy I (Buettner) 3 credits graduate course and continuing education
RPM 632 Evidence Based Practice in Geriatric Recreation Therapy (Buettner) 3 credits graduate course and continuing education

For more information students may contact Office of Academic Outreach Toll Free 1-877-248-3517 or the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation at 336-334-5327.
or www.uncg.edu/oao

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

June 28th, 2011, a Date to Remember

I can't go into the details now but today will go down as an important date in the history of RT.

Monday, June 27, 2011

ATRAnet is Growing

I just posted an announcement on the ATRAnet listserv to encourage coming to Indy for ATRA in September. In doing so I learned that there are now 274 on ATRAnet. This is a record high. I'm glad to see this growth.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

New RT Products Available

In the recent Therapeutic Recreation Directory Newsletter, Charlie Dixon announced he has added a number of new products to the Therapeutic Recreation Store at www.recretiontherapystore.com

Friday, June 24, 2011

Authors Sought for Protocols Book

From Bob Krider comes this message:
Bob Krider and Karen Grote are creating a 2nd edition to Behavioral Health Protocols for Recreational Therapy & are looking for contributing authors. We’re looking for RTs to contribute 1 or more program protocols targeted for children, adolescents, adults, older adults with & without dementia. Intrigued, sort of interested…will send you the program protocol format. Book proceeds will benefit the RT Foundation. Goal is to review submissions by August 30, 2011. robert.krider@stelizabeth.com or Karen.grote@stelizabeth.com

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cogley Retiring after 33 Years at Eastern Washington

One of my favorite people, Dr. John Cogley, is retiring after 33 years as Eastern Washington University. To show appreciation for John's years of dedication, a Dr. John Cogley Scholarship Fund is being established. Those who wish to contribute can make out a check to the EWU Foundation and send it to the Director of Finance, EWU Advancement, Hargreaves Hall, Cheney, WA 99004.

Position Opening in Franklin, Ohio

RECREATION THERAPIST Full Time posted 06/22/11
Atrium Medical Center
Franklin, OH Day shift
8 hours long


Provides assessment and therapeutic recreational treatments or activities for patients on the inpatient mental health unit. Goals are directed toward achieving an functional level within the patient's limitations.


B.S. degree in Therapeutic Recreation. TRS certification through the National Council of Therapeutic Recreational Certification.

Training and/or Experience
Specialized skills consistent with those required for completion of one internship in Recreational Therapy with experience in both mental health (adolescent/adult units). Prefer a minimum of one year experience in mental health.

RTI Conference November 17 & 18

The Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) have announced the dates and location of their annual conference. The 2011 RTI Conference will be held in Bloomington at the IU Health Bloomington Hospital on November 17th and 18th.

Registrations are being accepted now. Registration for RTI members is only $85.00 for the entire conference. Student registration for both days is $50.00.

The call for presentations is out -- due by September 25th for full consideration. Proposals for presentations should be submitted to Professor Marieke Van Puymbroeck at mvp@indiana.edu

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Come to the Population Center of the USA, Come to Indy

If the nation's population were divided into quadrants, with one line running north-south and the other east-west, and equal numbers of people in each part, the crosshairs of that intersection would be just outside of Petersburg, Indiana. Thus the median U.S. population center is Indiana.

You can see that Indianapolis is the most central city to the entire population of the United States. So Indy is a great choice as the location for the ATRA Annual Conference in September. Since it is so centrally located Indy should be very reachable by RTs from across the country.

For those driving, Indiana is known as the "crossroads of America" because of its central location. For those flying, the Indianapolis Airport is one of the newest and best airports in the world.

So plan to come to Indy for ATRA!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Life for CHARTA!

From Marcia D. Smith, MA, CTRS, HFS via the ATRAnet Listserv comes the following announcement. By the way, CHARTA was once one of the strongest chapters in the nation -- so I can pleased to see new life being put into it!

We are reaching out to any Maryland, DC or Northern Virginia recreational therapist that are on this list serve ……

Let’s get CHARTA re-started! CHARTA is the local chapter for Maryland, D.C and Northern Virginia. CHARTA was once a very strong & viable chapter receiving the ATRA Chapter of the year award. We want to breathe life back into CHARTA & we need your help. Being part of a local chapter provides opportunities for networking with your peers and local conferences for CEU’s.

We are contacting ATRA members within the CHARTA ‘s geographical area, previous CHATRA members, and frankly any recreational therapist that we living in the area. The first thing we want to do is have a meeting and see what interest is out there and we need YOU to make this happen!
If you are interested in attending the meeting and/or can volunteer your agency to have the meeting, please let us know. Once we get some responses back and get a sense of interest, we will set up a meeting and get things rolling. Please share this with any CTRS that you know may be interested in getting CHARTA back on its feet again!! Click on the link below if you are interested! Also forward this email on to any recreational therapists you know! Thanks


Joan, Cindy, Kathleen & Marcia


Marcia D. Smith, MA, CTRS, HFS
Clinical Coordinator/Internship Coordinator
Recreation Therapy Section
Rehabilitation Medicine Department
The National Institutes of Health
BLD 10 CRC RM 1-1469
10 Center Drive, MSC 1604
Bethesda, MD 20892-1604
Office: 301-496-8876
FAX: 301-480-0669

NCTRC Seeks Nominations for BOD

NCTRC is seeking nominations for Board of Directors positions. Contact NCTRC at
(845) 639-1439 or at nctrc@nctrc.org

Sunday, June 19, 2011

ATRA in Indy – You Have to Attend!

If you haven't been to Indianapolis for a few years, you may not recognize it. Indy has a wonderful downtown - where the ATRA Annual Conference will be held September 18 – 21, 2011. The ATRA Annual Conference will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Within walking distance of the Crown Plaza Hotel are the Circle Center Mall, world class museums, and a top zoo. Not far away are the Children's Museum (that many rate as the top children's museum in the USA) and the 500 Track (with its museum).

Indy is no longer "Naptown." The "Circle City" is a going place and a terrific choice to host the ATRA Annual Conference!

(I prepared the above for the RTI Newsletter but thought I'd also post it on the RT Blog. In coming months I plan to include a number of posts on the ATRA Annual Conference in Indianapolis because Indy is such a great conference city and I'm sure the 2011 ATRA Annual Conference is one that is not to be missed!)

RT Jobs Site

Norma J Stumbo posted this:

For those of you looking for jobs and for faculty....try typing in "Get Recreational Therapy Jobs" in the FB search bar and subscribe to that page. I don't know who runs it, but it seems to be legit and has TR jobs nation-wide.

I tried it and it seems to work. Check it out for yourself.

RT Foundation Motto Contest

From Linda Buettner, RTF Board Member via the ATRAnet Listserv:

The Recreation Therapy Foundation is looking for a great motto for it's website and informational materials in 2011-12. It could be short like "100 people @ $100 = RT research" or something really creative and new. We are running a contest now through the end of TR Week (July 15). This is a great competition for students, faculty, practitioners, and those we serve. The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com.

Send your motto to Karen.Grote@stelizabeth.com by July 15th.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

ATRAnet Numbers

I just posted on ATRAnet and learned that 267 individuals are now on the ATRAnet listserv. This is the highest number that I can recall.

RT History Quiz

On the RT Blog yesterday I discussed whether RT students had understandings of RT history. Today I thought I would provide a very brief history self-test for RT professionals so you might test your knowledge. I warn you it is tough :-) The test follows:

An “RT History Quiz”
Question: What do the following individuals have in common? Fred Humphrey, Ira Hutchinson, Gerald O’Morrow, Janet Pomeroy, and Jean Teague.

Answer: All were selected in 1991 as Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation by Palaestra magazine and are featured in Part One of the Recreation Therapy Video “Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation.”

(I’ll save the listing of those featured in Part Two of the RTV video for a later quiz!)

In case you wish to view “Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation,” you may go to https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

To view the video, just click on the title of the video and then click on the address of the video that will come up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Portraits of Pioneers Videos Also Provide History

In my earlier post today I spoke of the possible lack of knowledge of the history of our profession on the part of RT students. And I mentioned 3 RT history videos produced by the Recreation Therapy Video Project of Indiana University.

I did not mention the RTV video "Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation: Part 1 and Part 2." Part One features 5 early figures from the history of RT selected in 1991 by Palaestra Magazine. Part Two of the video features some of the more modern figures. They were selected in 2001 by Palaestra.

"Portraits" may be accessed throught the IU Library cost free video streaming at the address listed in my prior post today. I should mention that both Part One and Part Two appear and to watch Part Two you need to click on "Part 2" -- otherwise "Part 1" will play.

If you haven't seen any of the "Portraits," I'm sure you will enjoy viewing at least some of them. Please have a look for yourself.

Don't Know Much About History

Do you remember the line in a popular song that went "don't know much about history"? Well today's newspapers carried a story about high school students (seniors if I recall correctly) not knowing much U.S. history.

Reading the article brought to my mind the question, "Do RT students know much about RT history?" My guess is that they don't.

I would like to see a study done of RT students in the U.S. and Canada to determine their knowledge of RT history. Such as study would answer my question as to whether RT students know RT history and give us a good starting point to do a better job of teaching RT history if they, in fact, don't know much history.

By the way, there are 3 RT history videos available via streaming at no cost. To access them just go to the Recreation Therapy Videos at https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

TR Week 2011

In checking the ATRA website I found an announcement that TR Week 2011 is July 10 – 16. ATRA has TR Week items for sale at special prices.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mental Health Webinars

From Jean Folkerth via the ATRAnet Listserv comes this announcement:

Just a reminder that the Behavioral Health Webinar Series begins next Wednesday June 22. Go to the ATRA website to sign up!

Here is the series:

SERIES F: Behavioral Health Session F1: Understanding Psychoactive Medications: Implications for RT Practice
Date: Wednesday, June 22 Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
ATRA Academy Faculty: Stephanie Courtney, MS, CTRS

Session description: Participants will receive an overview of the major classes of psychoactive medications, including indications, dosing options, and side effects. We will discuss how the use of these medications can impact your RT programming in an inpatient setting.

Session F2: Impact of Wii on Mental Health
Date: Wednesday, July 6 Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
ATRA Academy Faculty: Debbie Pate, MS, CTRS

Session description: Most recreational therapy treatment involving the Nintendo Wii has been in physical rehabilitation; however, it is gaining a place in the mental health treatment of patients of all ages. Evidence supports Wii involvement builds social skills, improves fitness, increases attention, enhances mood and develops creativity among many other benefits. This session will give you ideas to use the Wii in your treatment sessions as well as evidence supporting “Wii Therapy” with your clients.

Session F3: Recreation Therapy and the Recovery Model Philosophy: A Perfect Pairing.
Date: Wednesday, July 20 Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
ATRA Academy Faculty: Martha (Marti) Murchison-Winterhalter, CTRS

Session description: Discover how the Recovery model, together with Therapeutic Recreation interventions, can create a culture of healing, for consumers of mental health services that help them in their recovery journey.

If you have any questions, please contact me at jfolkerth@hotmail.com. Thanks!


On the ATRA website there appears an announcement on how to get on the ATRAnet listserv. It says to get on ATRAnet just send an email to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.OKSTATE.EDU

On the message line type "SUBSCRIBE ATRANET-L"

If you aren't on ATRAnet now, you should be!

Charlie Dixon's TR Directory

Just a reminder that Charlie Dixon's TR Directory offers any number of resources for rec therapists. The address is http://www.recreationtherapy.com

Monday, June 13, 2011

Position Opening at Adolescent Treatment Center

Thanks to Norma Stumbo, here is a position opening:
Job Summary
Kemmerer Village
Assumption, IL 62510
Job Type
Full Time Employee
Job Reference Code
Contact Information N/​A n/​a
Kemmerer Village
R.​R.​ 1, BOX 12-C

Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
About the Job
Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Kemmerer Village, a Residential Treatment Center for adolescents, has an immediate opening for a Recreation Specialist in its Therapeutic Recreation Department. Responsibilities include conducting individual and group recreation activities, along with case documentation, while serving as a member of an inter-disciplinary team. Applicants must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in Therapeutic Recreation, Art or Music Therapy. Experience in a Therapeutic Horsemanship program is a plus. Applicants should submit a letter of application and resume to: KEMMERER VILLAGE Attn: Human Resources 941 N. 2500 East Road Assumption, IL 62510 Fax: 217/226-3511 E.O.E.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Position Opening & John Shank's Retirement

From Dr. Jeff Witman, CTRS via the ATRAnet Listserv:

Hi folks- thought there might be some interest in the job and gathering below:

- the job is a tenure track position at Lock Haven PA University which blends RT and fitness/wellness/nutrition-

- the gathering was last night's retirement celebration for John Shank. Impressive organization by the folks at Temple and many well wishers (plus some cool gifts for John). John's contribution to our field has been distinctive. A truly wonderful mentor and colleague who has been a source of motivation and inspiration to many including me.

Take care, Jeff
Dr. Jeff Witman, CTRS
Chair, Behavioral Sciences Department
York College of PA

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yoga Study with Marieke as Coauthor

The Indiana University Media Relations today released a story titled "Modified Yoga Practice Found to Improve Older Stroke Victims' Balance, Endurance." The story described the positive effects of a twice-weekly, 8-weeks, yoga class on balance and endurance of patients at a VA Hospital. The study was reported at a poster session at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Marieke Van Puymbroek, Professor of Recreational Therapy at Indiana University was one of the coauthors of the study.

Fixed Term Position at East Carolina

From Thom Skalko, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS via the ATRAnet Listserv:

East Carolina University has been awarded an RT fixed term position for the 2011-12 Academic Year. If you know of anyone interested, please contact me at skalkot@ecu.edu.

You will find the announcement attached. The focus for this position will be Recreational Therapy Education. ECU is looking for a qualified RT faculty who can meet NCTRC and State licensure criteria.

Please pass the work and contact me if you have any questions.

Thomas K. Skalko, Ph.D., LRT/CTRS
East Carolina University
College of Health and Human Performance
Belk 1409
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

How About Holding RT Faculty Institutes

I recall with fondness getting together with RT faculty from across the country at the "Post-Doc" Institutes held in the 1980s at Indiana University's Bradford Woods and, later, at Estes Park in West Virginia. These meetings allowed faculty to spend time together discussing issues and concerns in retreat like settings. Indiana University and the University of Maryland organized the institues with the help of federal grants.

Wouldn't it be great to renew such RT faculty institutes! There are certainly lots of topics that might be pursued -- not the least being the state of university Ph.D. programs and support for RT research.

Health Protection/Health Promotion Model Update

As a result of recent thinking about my Health Protection/Health Promotion Model, I've decided to author an article on the reformulation of my conceptual model. The revised model will better relate to those clients who have chronic illnesses or disabilities.

I presented the changes in the model that I'm considering at the recent Therapeutic Recreation Ontario Conference and they seemed to be well received. My guess is that it will be a few months before an article appears to present the revised model but I thought I'd mention that it is in the works.

Monday, June 06, 2011

TRO Conference was a Great Experience

I don't know how the Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) Conference could have been any better. First, 350 RTs from all over Ontario attended the sold-out conference. Second, the program was excellent and the sessions were professionally run (i.e., on time, good AV support, professional introductions, etc.). Third, Toronto is a wonderful city in which to hold a conference. Fourth,the Downtown Marriott - Eaten Centre is a great location to hold a conference. Fifth, the social program was super - including a cruise at night on the lake. Sixth, the food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner was well prepared and well served.

Most enjoyable of all, however, was the opportunity to interact with dedicated RTs who are enthuiastic about recreational therapy. What an outstanding group of professionals those Canadian RTs are!

Two thoughts come to my mind as I reflect on the TRO Conference. First, I hope that Canadian and US RTs should have greater interactions as I believe we can learn from them and they can learn from us.

Second, as a result of TRO, I'm very much looking forward to the ATRA Annual Conference in September. I believe ATRA in Indianapolis is building toward being a conference to remember. Indy is a wonderful conference city. I would like to think our ATRA Annual Conference will be as enjoyable as TRO Conference.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

RT in TV News Video

From Mike Sutherland, CTRS, via the ATRAnet Listserv:

Here is a link to the news feature from our adapted sports and recreation day this past Saturday. We do this once a year to get folks in the community together with those who participate in adapted sports and rec so they may discover options to leading a more active and healthy life. My coworker, Amanda Hogan, CTRS and I put this on with a $0 budget!


Newspaper Article Mentions RT

Thanks to Lisa Morgan, CTRS, for sending this along on the ATRAnet Listserv:

I would like to express my sincere thanks to the CTRS(s) that work at Children's Hospital in Atlanta. On the front page today of the Chattanooga Times Free Press (Chattanooga, Tennessee), there is a two page story on a young 8 year old who was drug on the ground quite a distance from his grandmother's trailer during our horrific tornadoes we experienced here on April 27th. This was the day that hundreds of lives were lost in Alabama, North Georgia, and Tennessee. (77 lives were lost here in the Chattanooga area).

This article mentions Recreational Therapy more than once in the article. Kudos to each of you (or if just one of you) for the fantastic work you are doing as it was highlighted in this incredible story. This poor little one lost his grandmother, great grandmother, step brother and cousin during this tragic experience.

I sincerely hope that the CTRS' from this hospital are on this listserve. If not, and if you by chance are reading this and know them, please pass on my sincere gratitude for their great work. So often times, all the other therapies are listed and highlighted in such articles. It was very clear to me though in this article, the Recreational Therapist(s) is a vital role in providing tremendous "active treatment" in this young fellow's recovery.

Many thanks!

Lisa Morgan, CTRS
Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation
Chattanooga, TN

Job Openings in New England

From Sharon Nichols via the ATRAnet Listserv comes this announcement:

Genesis Health Corporation has job opening in New England! Genesis is a progressive organization that values RTs in skilled services - short stay rehab and in dementia care. We have opportunities for program directors on specialty care units for dementia and positions for CTRS to work as Directors and Assistant Directors in specialty short stay programs. We have openings in Maine, MA, CT, and in other locations are opening up. Please contact me if you know anyone who is interested in working in NE. Sharon Nichols


Saturday, June 04, 2011

Great Time in Toronto!

I just returned this evening from Toronto where I spoke at the Therapeutic Recreation Ontario Conference. It was a great experience. When I have time in the next day or two I'll fill in the details of a wonderful time with RTs from Ontario.