The Virginia Recreation and Park Society is a private, non-profit professional organization, founded in 1953 and incorporated in 1956. Its purpose is to unite all professionals, students, and interested lay persons engaged in the field of recreation, parks and other leisure services in the Commonwealth of Virginia, into one body. The members work together to promote and improve the profession in all its diversity. VRPS is affiliated with the National Recreation and Park Association.
Provide and encourage continuous training opportunities for members; Improve recreation, parks, and leisure services to the public; Update members on current trends and opportunities in the profession; Disseminate information on the public through use of publications and media; Maintain current academic curriculum; Involve interested citizens in advisory, participatory, and volunteer efforts supportive of parks, recreation, and leisure services programs in the Commonwealth of Virginia; Maintain a professional register of qualified recreation and park personnel.
One of the most frequent benefits cited for belonging to VRPS is "professional interaction." Workshops, conferences, and involvement at committee and board levels provide valuable training and the opportunity to see what other people in leisure services are doing. VRPS provides publications on current trends, job opportunities, awards and scholarships. VRPS provides an on-line membership directory that will put you in touch with members throughout the state. VRPS offers professional special recognition, incentive, and credit for innovative projects and services to the society. VRPS provides discounts on workshops and conference registrations.
Membership in VRPS entitles you to an affiliation with any of the five resource groups. The resource groups are: Therapeutic Recreation, Aquatics, Cultural Diversity, Athletics, Outdoor Recreation and Seniors. Each Resource Group works toward the advocacy of the professional's area of expertise.
VRPS Membership is divided into five geographical areas. The service areas are: Central, Eastern, Northern, Southwestern and Western. Each service area sponsors meetings, workshops, special events.
In an effort to serve the variety of needs for parks and recreation, VRPS operates with assistance from committees consisting of individual members. The Standing Committees are: Hershey Track and Field and Southern Regional Representatives. The Enterprise Groups are: Annual Conference, Awards and Citations, Leadership Training Institute, Management Conference, Virginia Senior Games, and Legislative Picnic.
VRPS provides an on-line directory.
Each year VRPS members and friends gather for the Annual Conference. This educational exchange provides an opportunity for professionals to discuss trends and areas of common interest. Major speakers highlight the conference in addition to dozens of topical sessions. In addition to the educational aspects, the Conference provides the opportunity for networking and award recognition.
The Exhibit gives the delegates an opportunity to meet with various commercial vendors that provide services and/or products to the parks and recreation field.
First, become a member. Then… Interact with other persons in the profession. Visit the VRPS Headquarters and get acquainted with the staff. Volunteer to assist with special projects and serve on committees. Encourage others to join VRPS and take part in the process. Attend VRPS sponsored meetings, workshops, seminars, and the annual conference. Be willing to share your talents and expertise. Remember there is strength, power, and influence in numbers, therefore it is vital that your membership is kept current.