Monday, July 23, 2012

Name Calling

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

To quote lovestruck Juliet:

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

It's been two months since I joined VRPS, and what I've learned, among other things, is this:  if I forget a woman's name, Jennifer and Cindy are good guesses.  If those don't work, try Katey/Katherine/Catherine or Susan; there are many in the ranks.

Jennifer is the number 6 all-time name in the United States.  What is especially impressive is that, although it has fallen in the ranks in the past 3-4 years, it was NUMBER 1 for over a decade from 1970-1984.
Susan, at number 8 all-time, has also diminished in popularity within the past twenty years or so, but its endurance is what keeps it at the all-time top.

Cynthia, and derivations thereof, comes in at 28 (okay, Cindy actually is number 113, but I'm rounding up).  Coincidentally, "The Brady Bunch", with darling little golden pig-tailed Cindy Brady, aired from 1969-1974, and, those were clearly good years for "Cindy".

Katey/Katherine/Catherine are tricky in that there are individual rankings for Kathleen, Kathy, Kathryn, and so forth.  Rest assured, they are all in the top 100.

Now it's your turn.  Someone please tell me there will be name-tags at Conference.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Conference Time!

by Jim Stutts, VRPS Executive Director, Central Office

As you know, a great deal of time and effort goes into planning the VRPS Annual Conference.  The process takes approximately 12 – 18 months, and involves dozens of very talented and committed individuals.  With the next conference planning team getting organized prior to the existing planning team’s actual event, the conference planning literally never ends.  Nor should it.  Each year new and fresh ideas emerge, exciting new venues are unveiled, interesting speakers and fascinating exhibits are discovered, and lots of members take advantage of this exceptional training and networking opportunity.

Wintergreen Resort - Stoney Creek Golf Course
I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s worth repeating.  This year’s conference at Wintergreen, September 8 – 11, will be spectacular.  The planning team is in the final phase of confirming educational sessions (approximately 75), sponsors and exhibitors, really fun entertainment…can you ride a bull, climb a wall, identify stars or slide down a mountain.  All of this and great food and much, much more is awaiting you at Wintergreen.  If you have not been to a VRPS Conference in a few years, I assure you, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Now thinking ahead.  The 2013 Conference Team met last week at James City County’s newest park, Freedom Park.  First of all, the new team has vetted over 47 different theme ideas, and is very close to unveiling the 2013 Conference official conference title, theme and logo.  Scheduled for September 7 – 10, 2013 at the Williamsburg Hotel and Conference Center (formally the Williamsburg Marriott), the conference is going to be special.

"Go Ape" Treetop Adventure Course
If we are lucky, we may get a chance to visit FreedomPark!  What a neat space.  It is a 601 acre forested retreat with 30 miles of hiking trails, Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course, Revolutionary Way Battle Site, a Free Black settlement, a 17th century homestead, botanical garden and Interpretative Center.  It’s a fascinating park.  In fact, you may want to visit it before 2013!

Freedom Park Cabins
VRPS continues to benefit from scores of talented and committed members that are passionate about our profession.  They also are very generous in sharing time and expertise to make VRPS a better and relevant organization.  There is pride among us and for that we are extremely fortunate.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Whooey - and it isn't over ....

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Mother Nature has been testing the limits this summer.  In the midst of droughts, tornadoes, derechos, fires, and extreme (really extreme) temperatures, the VRPS community has pooled its creative juices to serve its public via creative, cooling endeavors, sometimes without the use of electric power.  Thanks to those posting photos!

Danville's Fun Wagon (hose me down and give me a snack), No Kids Allowed - Adult Summer Camp (say no more), and Motorless Bass Fishing Tournament (in the words of Elmer Fudd, "Shhh.  Be vewy vewy quiet.")

Blacksburg's Inflatable Fun Water Camp (more water, and lots of jumping) and Skateboard Camp (Dude).


Prince William's Red Hot Robotics and Van Gogh For It Art Camps (never underestimate a good play-on-words), Loudoun County's Cardboard Boat Regatta (Water + Cardboard = Eventual Soggy Sinking), and Fairfax County's Our Special Harbor Sprayground (playground/sprayground).

Looking forward to much, much more from the VRPS talent pool!