PRPS Scholarships: A Way to Boost Your Career

The Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society (PRPS) offers a variety of scholarships for students and professionals in the Park and Recreation field. Applying for one of these scholarships can provide you with the opportunity to attend our annual Conference & Expo on March 17-20, 2020 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort for FREE!

At the Conference & Expo, you will have the opportunity to engage and network with professionals, gain new ideas and learn best practices from experts in the field, stay on top of industry trends, and learn about innovative products and services to take your career to the next step.

Recent student scholarship recipient, Abbie Miller, shares her experience as a Conference & Expo attendee: “The Annual PRPS conference and expo is a great way to network and learn new experiences about the field. Being a student means that I am always learning and attending this conference truly has helped provide me with new information on different avenues that I can take my career options with in the future. This was my second year going to this conference and I hope I can make it for a third next year!”

PRPS offers four student scholarships, which cover the cost of registration, meals, and lodging to attend the Conference & Expo.   The Crawford Scholarship also includes a $500 scholarship award.

Andy Memorial Scholarship – Temple University undergraduate in the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management

Crawford Memorial Scholarship – Full-time student in the Recreation & Parks major

Jones Memorial Scholarship – Full-time student in the Recreation & Parks major

Williamson Memorial Scholarship – Full-time Penn State University undergraduate in the Recreation, Park & Tourism Management major attending the University Park campus

PRPS offers three scholarships for professionals in the field, who are interested in furthering their careers through conference attendance and other professional development opportunities.

The PRPS Professional Scholarships are:

Milliren Professional Scholarship – Recreation & park professional who has worked three years or less in the field.  Scholarship provides $500 toward the cost of attending the PRPS Annual Conference & Expo

Snyder Community Service Award – Recreation & park agency that provides recreation services to persons with disabilities on an ongoing basis.  Scholarship provides registration, meals and lodging for one agency representative to attend the PRPS Annual Conference & Expo

PRPS Career Advancement Scholarship – PRPS member wishing to attend Professional Trainings & Conference or obtain Professional Certification.  Maximum award of $500 toward continuing education registration fees.

In addition to our Conference and Expo scholarships, we also offer two scholarships, which provide registration and lodging to attend the Therapeutic Recreation Institute.

The Therapeutic Recreation Scholarships are:

Moyer Memorial Scholarship – Current PRPS Therapeutic Recreation Branch member holding CPRP, CPRE, or CTRS certification

TRI Scholarship – Current PRPS member

The online form is now available for the Student Scholarships. Apply today! For more details on the scholarships visit www.prps.org/scholarships.

Ways to stay informed with PRPS

PRPS strives to keep our members up to date with the latest parks and recreation news and trends through a variety of communication outlets.  Here are several ways we keep you informed:

  1. The SCOOP – This weekly email newsletter includes the latest news, new members, upcoming education & training announcements, member requests for peer collaboration, Dig It! blog posts, legislative alerts, member news and more. If you want to include something, the deadline is each Monday. You can view past SCOOPs on prps.org under Resources/Publications, and then select Archives. It is a members-only page, so you will need to login to gain access.
  2. Pennsylvania Recreation & Parks – Our semiannual magazine provides articles on playgrounds, aquatics, trails, leadership, unique program ideas, professional development, and current trends. Issues are sent each spring and fall. Our magazine archive can be found at prps.org under Resources/Publications.
  3. Membership Directory and Buyers Guide – This is our largest publication, and features individual and agency members contact information, the buyer’s guide vendor listing, and other professional references. It is printed each spring, and provides advertisers unique and on-going exposure.
  4. Districts and Branch News – The Resource Branch Newsletter is developed by the Park Resource Branch and includes articles from the Resource Operations Workshop and more.  The Aquatics News offers new resources and alerts of certification changes/requirements. Each District sends out news regarding their regional educational workshops and socials.
  5. Website – PRPS.org is updated frequently to reflect current news, resources, professional development opportunities, partnerships, and job center. Be sure to login when you visit, so you can access all of our members-only content, resources, and online directory.
  6. Social Media – Engage with PRPS on the following social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. Facebook is used the most to add events; share related articles, member news and other news. If you are interested in taking over one of our social media accounts for a week, let us know.
  7. Mobile App – Download our popular Conference & Expo app to view the conference schedule or search for exhibitors, speakers, socials, maps, sponsors, and attendees.
  8. Direct Mail – Workshop brochures, publications, postcards, Conference & Expo Guides.
  9. Annual Report – This report highlights the many accomplishments of PRPS, its volunteers and supporters.
  10. Dig It! Blog – Our blog covers a variety of topics including Advocacy, Funding, Leadership, Maintenance, Operations, Personnel, Wellness, Programming, Volunteer, Communication, Internship and Trails. If you would like to be a guest blogger, let me know at eschnellbaugh@prps.org.
  11. Digital Email – Professional development opportunities, legislative alerts, and other important notices are sent through our email distribution list.
  12. Media Kit – Produced at the beginning of the year, this guide includes all advertising and sponsorship opportunities available to vendors and supporters.

As you can see PRPS offers a variety of ways to keep in touch. You can manage your communication preferences when you login to your account at prps.org.  If you are interested in something listed that you are not receiving, or need help finding something on the website let us know.

Have an idea to share?  Please consider volunteering as a guest blogger, social media contributor, or to author a magazine article.  You can receive Professional Service Experience Points (CEU equivalent) toward your professional certification renewal by submitting articles for publication in Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks.

What information and resources would you like to see?  We are always looking for new topics for articles, blog entries, and resources to share with our members. If you have ideas to share and would like to be on the Communications & Marketing Committee, email me at eschnellbaugh@prps.org.

Engage with Social Media

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Many of us connect to some type of social media on a daily basis, either personally or professionally. The top four social media platforms are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.  Today, Facebook remains the priority platform for most Americans. I am sure you have a favorite social media outlet that you prefer over the others.

Social media is used in the workplace for many reasons: to build your organization, connect with people, inform your audience, promote events/programs, gather feedback/reactions and much more. It is fast and inexpensive marketing! You can communicate directly, or share other’s posts. I assume your Department has a Social Media Policy in place if you don’t here is an example of the PRPS Employee Social Media Policy.

When posting to your social media, do you ever think about how to get more responses to your post? Or if anyone is seeing them? I know I get excited when I see a share, like, or comment. Track your social media analytics, and this will help show what is working and not working and help you increase engagement and grow your audience. Most social media networks have built-in analytics for you to track. The basic ones to keep track of are Reach, Engagement, and Impressions. The network summaries allow you to track by day, week, or month.

Which social media platform is best for you?

Facebook– Keeps followers up to date on news, events, programs, which they can easily share with others. Facebook is a great platform for posting pictures, videos and now live videos. (Posts with images are shared more often.) In addition, Facebook is a good place to ask questions and keep your followers engaged.

Twitter – Good for distributing alerts, news, and links to blogs/websites. If you want to start a quick conversation, this is the place.

LinkedIn – The best place to connect with other professionals in your field, build a network, share articles, and collaborate.

Instagram – The place to share photos, videos and stories that display in a live newsfeed.

PRPS uses several social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+. We use these platforms to promote workshops and conferences, and share member news, articles, blogs, and current trends. Be sure to follow or like us on all these platforms.  We post 3-4 times a week on Facebook and Twitter, and share articles and news on LinkedIn and photos on Instagram.

If you have anything to share on our Facebook page, please feel free to post, or send via email to Emily Schnellbaugh, Communications Manager, eschnellbaugh@prps.org.