Magazine article Parks & Recreation

It's All about You!

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

It's All about You!

Article excerpt

Are you a pig or chicken? The old story of involvement versus commitment is illustrated at the breakfast table of many of us: when trying to determine which is which, realize that the chicken is involved by producing the eggs, but the pig is committed by providing the bacon. Which will you be when considering whether to become involved with or committed to the American Park and Recreation Society branch of NRPA?

The survey conducted by APRS during the 2002 Annual Congress in Tampa revealed many interesting opinions and subsequent recommendations for the future of APRS. To the amazement of many who reviewed the results, 79 percent of the respondents said they hadn't been involved in APRS. Why? The most frequently cited reason was never having been asked, followed by lack of time. APRS wants you to become involved, to participate and engage in the activities of the branch! For those who are waiting to be asked, consider this your invitation!

What is APRS, and why should you become involved in the branch? It's the largest professional branch of NRPA, and serves members representing diversified park and recreation interests in federal, county, local and special district government, as well as in private and voluntary agencies. A board of directors, consisting of a president, president-elect, immediate past president and 24 directors, governs APRS. All must be certified professional members of NRPA. You can also support APRS by representing your region of the country or serving on a branch committee.

The lack-of-time concern is a valid one, but easily addressed. In the case of elected positions, the board of directors meets twice per year, one of which must be held in conjunction with NRPA's National Congress & Exposition. The other is usually held during the Legislative Forum on Parks & Recreation in Washington, D.C., in February. The Executive Committee meets at least one other time during the year, usually before Congress, and all committees may need to have conference calls to conduct business. Depending on committee assignments, there are some projects that are more involved than others are.

Costs associated with serving in an elected capacity are travel to and the registration for the annual and legislative conference. Neither NRPA nor APRS provide any financial subsidization to board members. Ideally, your organization will recognize the benefits of your involvement and support the costs. …

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