Preliminary Fieldwork Experiences

ATRA Conference

In September 2019, I was chosen to attend the ATRA conference in Reno, Nevada with two professors and three fellow students. ATRA stands for American Therapeutic Recreation Association. While at the conference I attended many different seminars from various Recreation Therapists across the county. The sessions were very informative as well as interactive. I will forever be grateful for this wonderful opportunity and all the people I was able to meet.

Healthy Innovations

The Therapeutic Recreation program at Longwood University has created a program called Healthy Innovations. This program works with various children with disabilities from different schools in the surrounding area. Students in the Therapeutic Recreation program work together to assess, plan, and implement activities for the children and young adults. After implementing these activities, the students work alongside professors to evaluate the progress of the children. I find this program to be very beneficial for both us Longwood students as well as the school systems and their students. I have worked under other Longwood students in Healthy Innovations for two semesters now and have found the program to be a very good hands-on opportunity.

Parks and Recreation

The Therapeutic Recreation program at Longwood requires students to complete a total of twenty volunteer hours in a Parks and Recreation setting. I completed my hours at Roanoke Parks and Recreation under the supervision of Kristen Spencer. I worked both with their ACE camp for children with disabilities as well as their adult program for adults with disabilities. I found my experience here delightful. I learned a lot from all of the staff and enjoyed all of the clients. While working with ACE camp, the children were preparing for their annual talent show scheduled for the following week. Even after completing my hours, I returned to observe their talent show.

Mental Health

The Therapeutic Recreation program at Longwood requires students to complete a total of ten volunteer hours in a Mental Health setting. I completed my hours at Catawba Hospital under the supervision of Summer Matics. Originally, I did not think that I would enjoy this experience. However, I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. I assisted the staff with their daily programs. I also observed an assessment made by one of the CTRS’ for a newly admitted patient. I learned a lot and found a new interest in the mental health field during my experience here.