While the travel-training field is a serious one comprised of professionals who provide very important independence-fostering services to individuals – don’t get it twisted – we like to have fun, too!
No place has this lighter side been more apparent than with the Professional Development Committee’s work these past few months. As co-chair, it was exciting to announce the launch of the members-only Facebook chat group at the Annual Meeting last summer in Atlanta. This popular feature now has nearly 50 members and offers an oftentimes amusing snapshot into everything travel related: What happens when a bus driver is challenged to dance by a pint-sized passenger? How does one heat up a slice of pizza at a wintry Chicago transit stop? What creative ways did NYC subway riders get around that doggone ban about dogs and bags? When you get chance, just scroll through the entries. I double dare you not to smile.
And the fun didn’t stop with the new chat group. The Professional Development Committee also put together a series of free (to members) webinars and teleconferences. The topics included: Recruiting for Small Groups, Essentials Conversations in Travel Training, What to Cover with Trainees Prior to Training, and Travel Training Persons with Hidden Disabilities. One session, Travel Training in Extreme Weather Conditions, showed us an egg frying on the sidewalk in Phoenix – a real summer sizzler I guess. These sessions are engaging, informative, and actually a lot of fun to put together! There is something so refreshing about sharing ideas with your peers from around the country and learning from each other’s successes. We’ll definitely keep the momentum going in the following months with The Role of Travel Training with Self-Driving Vehicles (May 6), The Business of Travel Training (June 3), and a high-flying look at Airport Travel Instruction (July 1).
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about all the fun that can be had at the Annual Meeting! From a fun lunch at the Mellow Mushroom with new friends Mark and Carlos from LA Metro to laughs about past conferences with my longtime spirit friend, Kristen, you will not meet a more fun-loving, talented, and dedicated group of professionals anywhere in these United States – and that’s no joke.