Fall Workshop


 2023 MRPA Fall Workshop

Friday, October 20th at the Lewiston Armory

Fall Workshop Title Sponsor is:

8:00 am – 8:25 am  – Check In and Networking

8:30 am – 9:30 amChoose One Session

Session 1 – What Does Leadership Look Like When You Focus on Belonging? (.1 CEU)
When leadership focuses on belonging, it involves creating an inclusive environment where every team member feels valued, respected, and empowered to contribute. Leaders actively foster diversity, encourage open communication, and support collaboration among team members. They prioritize empathy, understanding, and emotional intelligence to build strong relationships and address individual needs. In such a setting, team members are more engaged, motivated, and committed to the organization’s goals, leading to increased productivity and a positive work culture.
Presenters:  Gail Platts, Standish Parks & Recreation, Brandi Bradley, Scarborough Community Services, Lisa Thompson, Biddeford Parks & Recreation, Sabrina Best, Brunswick Parks & Recreation, Angela O’Connor, Portland Parks, Recreation, and Facilities

Session 2 “Loved to Death” Visitor Use Impact/Management (.1 CEU)
In 2022, Acadia National Park was the fifth most-visited national park in the country. As visitation continues to grow, the visitor experience is negatively impacted by pedestrian and traffic congestion. Through the adoption of a comprehensive Transportation Plan in 2019, the National Park Service is using a variety of management approaches to address the issues of high visitation, including education, site management, regulation, and rationing. This session will look at the impacts of visitation and how these approaches are being applied at Acadia to mitigate impacts.
Presenter:  John Kelly, National Park Service Acadia

Session 3 – Child Care Subsidy (.1 CEU)
Child Care Subsidy (CCSP) helps parents who are working,going to school, or in job training pay for child care. CCSP will  explain how providers can enroll with CCSP, discuss training, payment practices, and eligibility guidelines.
Presenter:  Kerri Wyman, Program Supervisor of Childcare Programs

Session 4 – Addressing Challenging Behaviors (.1 CEU)
Working with youth, it is inevitable – behaviors will happen. Most behaviors can feel manageable, and simply part of the learning process for children. But what about the times where it feels like you can’t quite seem to make headway with those interfering behaviors? And, how do we stop reinforcing unwanted behaviors?  In this session we will take a quick dive into some of those challenging and interfering behaviors, and what we can do to better support kids who are struggling. We will highlight effective approaches to stop the upward climb of escalation and analyze ways to help your teams utilize their strengths towards de-escalating, and how to provide consistency and predictability to each of your unique environments. This collaborative and interactive topic will be viewed from the perspective of a child who is struggling as well as from the staff who are responsible for the safety and care of the kids they work with.
Presenters:  Gregin Doxsee and Bobbi Hyson, Spark Training Solutions

9:35 am – 10:15 am – MRPA business meeting

10:30 am – 11:30 am – Choose One Session

Session 5Advocacy Is For All of Us (.1 CEU)
Learn how to be an advocate for all things park and recreation!  Engage others to join your advocacy and build a coalition to create a community. It’s important to advocate for your programs and facilities.
Presenter:  Allyson Perron, American Heart Association

Session 6Understanding Mental Health in the Youth Population and How You Can Support Them (.1 CEU)
This presentation will look at youth culture and typical development, mental health challenges among youth, trends in youth suicide, and supports available to youth and their families. Additionally, participants will learn about programs and support available to them as they work to support the youth they work with. Supporting youth and their families takes a village and Redington-Fairview General Hospital would like to support MERPA in finding meaningful ways to connect and support the youth they work with.
Presenter:  Brittney Dunphy, Redington-Fairview General Hospital

Session 7 Trash and Toilets – Solutions for Parks Maintenance (.1 CEU)
Park Professionals will lead this round table discussion on how different communities are dealing with the increased demand/need for trash services and public restrooms.
Presenters:  Ethan Hipple, Portland Parks, Recreation and Facilities, Todd Souza, Scarborough Community Services

Session 8 Running a Small Department Or A One Person Show, How Do You Get er Done? (.1 CEU)
Are you new to your job?  Or have you been at your job for a while, wearing so many hats?  How do you keep it all straight?  Let’s discuss ways to make your life easier.  We will share some ways we manage our departments and have an open conversation about the never-ending tasks that make up your job.  We hope you leave this session with some new tools for your “working” tool box and ignite some opportunities for networking and mentoring with other parks & recreation professionals.
Presenters:  Joe Crocker, Raymond Parks & Recreation, Cindy Hazelton, Gorham Parks & Recreation, and
Scott Segal, Poland Parks & Recreation


11:45 am – 12:45 pm – Choose One Session

Session 9 Social Issues in Parks, Homelessness/Substance Abuse (.1 CEU)
Park Professionals will lead a round table discussion on the challenges surrounding homelessness and substance abuse in parks and how communities are handling it.
Presenters:  Ethan Hipple, Portland Parks, Recreation, and Facilities, Tracy Willette, Bangor Parks & Recreation, Haylee Parsons, Park Manager Reid State Park

Session 10Exploring the Why (and How) of Parks and Recreation (.1 CEU)
In this interactive session we’ll take an in-depth look at our personal commitment to Parks and Recreation and how that benefits the communities we serve. What is our why? Why have we dedicated ourselves to a profession that can be challenging, involves long hours and often a misunderstanding of what we do (oh that must be a fun job)? How do we stay positive and motivated? How do we celebrate our successes and power on when we fail? Just as importantly, why have our communities made the commitment to Parks and Recreation? How do we make sure that our why and our community’s why (and how) align? We know our services and facilities are essential and yet, how do we convey our essentiality and why are we continually having to do so? How do we use our why to offer relevant services and create community? This session will inspire participants to channel their why  and how to perform at their highest level.
Presenter:  Donna Kuethe, Retired Recreation Director for the Town of Moultonborough, NH

Session 11 Empowering Children (.1 CEU)
Children are incredibly silly, creative, and sometimes unpredictable in the ways they choose to explore and learn about the world around them. While this inspires smiles and wonder in many professionals, this form of exploratory chaos can also feel at odds with our roles as peacekeepers and supervisors of our programs and spaces. In this session we’ll discuss how to thread the needle: maintaining intentful program organization and control while also encouraging and empowering children of all ages to take the lead and become well-rounded and independent thinkers!
Presenters:  Alex Whitney and Bobbi Hyson, Spark Training Solutions