Editor's Desk - October 2010
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Ramble On

By the time this issue arrives on your desk, the autumn leaves will be in full-glow mode. (Except, of course, for the maple tree in my back yard, which always seems to wait until the day before the first snow to change and then suddenly drop its now-unrakeable leaves.) Depending on where you live, you will be basking in the beauty of shortening days lit by gold and amber. Crunching along forest paths, carving pumpkins and munching on fresh apples. Or, maybe you're one of the lucky ones who lives where it's warm year-round.

Some things always seem to go with autumn. School starts again, and the pace quickens. The days grow shorter, and suddenly all that daylight we can take advantage of must be filled up. Here in Illinois, the cornfields have turned a straw-brown, and you can still just barely smell the sweet goldenrod scent on the cooling breeze.

We tend to think of spring cleaning, but there's also the autumn putting-away. Raking the leaves, bringing in those things that can't be exposed to wintry elements, stowing the shorts and T-shirts and bringing out the jackets and wool sweaters.

For many of you, autumn is a time for work, too. Some of you are draining outdoor pools and closing down splashpads, while others are just beginning their fall landscaping duties or winding down summer programs.

Of course, at the same time, you're also gearing up. The football season is in full swing. Fall festivals are kicking off. A new season of fitness classes, preschool sessions and programs of all varieties are under way.

Autumn is a busy season. And, I can never help but associate the cooling-off time with a serious commitment to learning. Maybe it's the decade-and-a-half of starting school that has programmed my mind to turn toward education at this time of year. Perhaps you share a similar leaning?

At any rate, those who tend to seek out learning opportunities in the fall are in luck, because at this time of year, education abounds.

This month alone features several opportunities to boost your knowledge and run your facility better. For those with aquatic elements, there was the World Waterpark Association's Convention and Trade Show on Oct. 6 to 10 in San Antonio, Texas. For those working for park and recreation organizations, as well as running sports facilities, YMCAs, military recreation facilities and more, the opportunity to attend the National Recreation & Park Association Congress, taking place from Oct. 25 to 29 in Minneapolis, is hard to pass up. There's the Club Industry Show on Oct. 6 to 8 in Chicago, for those whose focus is fitness, and other events for those with swimming pools, amusement parks, family entertainment centers and more.

If you can attend one of these conferences, you can absorb all the learning you can handle. Each one features a multitude of sessions that are sure to spark new ideas, or help you work through whatever new challenges have arisen at your facility in the past year. And, be sure to check out the expo hall while you're there. The professionals behind the products that serve our industry can offer advice and learning as well. If you need some guidance, check out our NRPA Preview on pages 46 to 51. Run through the list and mark off the manufacturers you'd especially like to see in person. The booth numbers are handily included here, making it simple to find who you're looking for.

And, of course, we'd also love for you to stop by and say hello to the Recreation Management team. We'll be at booth 1553 at the NRPA Show in Minneapolis.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a budget for travel in these tough times. But that doesn't mean that the educational opportunities must all dry up. Turn to your professional associations and local universities to find out if there is learning available nearby. Or, if you're tethered to your desk, you can check out the multitude of seminars, podcasts and other learning that is available online or in a simple, old-fashioned book.

As the nights grow long and the days grow cooler, I hope you'll find a moment to enjoy the season, and also to take part in all the learning opportunities that go with it.


Emily Tipping
Editorial Director


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