How does your favorite cookie rank?

canstockphoto5325747 As a personal disclosure: I love cookies. It is my weakness. In fact, my nieces and nephews call me, “Uncle Cookie.” I don’t feel bad because I know Superman has “kryptonite.” Well, Super doesn’t go and seek kryptonite.


One of my friends from Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success showed a picture of her workout (keeping her physical health). Her t-shirt reads: “abs are great, but have you tried doughnuts? (Laugh aloud). Extra fun because she is lifting weights while wearing this shirt!


I got the bright idea to do a cookies statistics project! Last week, I asked recreation therapists (and people who are members of my rec therapy group) to share their favorite cookie.


I’ve manged to take four statistics classes throughout my college career. Two during undergraduate school. I had taken one as a prerequisite for nursing. I had taken another one as a graduate student in Recreation Therapy at Indiana University and another one as a graduate student in Mental Health Counseling at Lindsey Wilson College.  My knowledge and skills in statistics is about as good as my two years of Spanish. I can say “me gusta” for “I like” and No me gusta,” for “I don’t like.” I image that could be very beneficial.


Am I smart? Here is a true funny story. My mother babysit kids after school for many years. One little girl was into gymnastics and cheering. She was doing all kinds of stunts. My mother complimented her, calling her a “tough cookie.” I was attention seeking and was like, “what about me? I’m a smart cookie, right?” laugh aloud. My brother quickly replied, “more like a stale cookie.” laugh aloud. Good times. My father says, “I like average. We’ve got a lot of average in this family.”


Me: I can admit that I’m not the brightest M&M cookie in the box. I have determination, persistence. I have grit like a tough cookie. but all in all, I’m just an average plain cookie.


My girlfriend in high school had taken the ACT (a popular college entrance exam) on the same date. She jokingly said, “I made twice your score, plus two” when we got our results back. I was like, okay, 15 times 2 is 30 and then plus two more, 32. She had one of the highest scores. She got a full scholarship to Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia). Me: I had to take 12 hours of courses that didn’t count towards my degree to prove I can handle college (since my ACT score wasn’t high enough. I took: English 98, English 99, English 100, and Math 100. These 12 credit hours didn’t count towards my degree. I found them to be fun.  I still completed my undergraduate degree in four years (by taking summer classes each year too.


Check out where your favorite cookie ranks in our rec therapy group.


  • N = 51 cookies were posted!
  • Mode: 10 people said “chocolate chip cookies” were their favorite! (Including me)
  • Range:  (One “1” single cookie which varied from butter cookies to Walker shortbread cookies) to the “10” (chocolate chip cookies).
  • Average: The average of all the cookies turned out to be 3.77. The cookies at 3.7 percent are somewhere around: (5% – Various Girl Scout cookies, 3% No bake cookies, and 3% Biscotti).

How does your favorite cookie rank?

Here is the breakdown:

  • 19% (Chocolate chip cookies)
  • 9% (Peanut butter cookies)
  • 7% (Oreo – including those who favor double stuffed)
  • 7% (Oatmeal – including those who like it with raises or chocolate chips)5% (Sugar cookies)
  • 5% (White Macadamian Nut Cookies)
  • 5% (Various Girl Scout cookies)
  • 3% No bake cookies
  • 3% Biscotti (That surprised me a bit)
The final 37% of people had a “single” cookie that only had one vote, including:
  • butter cookies
  • double chocolate chunk
  • Ghirardelli
  • Giger snaps
  • magic bars
  • Monster cookies
  • Russian tea cookies
  • scotcheroos
  • snickerdoodle
  • Walker shortbread

Zero (0%) of people selected M&M cookies. How did I forget that?

 Well – that is the way the cookie crumbles.
And here are some more fun quotes to cheer you up:
“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” (laugh aloud)
Cookies make the world a better place.
Cookies make everything better
Life is short – eat the cookie.
I’m about one cookie away from being happy.
Keep calm and eat a cookie.
Don’t become a stale cookie. Be a smart cookie.  Continue your education.
Continue your success. Continue your career.
Take a self-study CEU course from Danny Pettry’s (Rec Therapy CEUs)
These courses are convenient and helpful to use
cookies copy

ATRA Webinar Series – CEUs you can use

Hello there –

Disclaimer: I am a Lifetime Member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). I am not an elected member of the ATRA board. I am not a paid spokesperson for ATRA. I am just a member of the association passing along information.

Here is the email:

We are excited to announce the
2017 ATRA Webinar Series
is open for registration.
With six different series available, and 19 new innovative webinars, there’s bound to be something perfect for you.
We’ve got great topics and fantastic speakers for you to choose from. And the best part is they are all CEU-approved (make sure to check on CEU registration when you sign-up).
You will walk away from each webinar with tangible learning outcomes that can help you at your workplace.
Can’t pick just one? Be sure to sign up for the entire series at a cost savings to you.
If you can’t listen live, make sure you order the replay version (after each webinar takes place, we will add the replay purchase information in the ATRA Bookstore).
For more information on each series and registration information click the series title below.
Questions? Contact ATRA at or call 703.234.4140


11130 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 350
Reston, VA 20191



Important Message for RTs

canstockphoto15913215 Rec Therapy CEUs can help you to develop your potential as a Rec Therapist

Here are some facts to know:

  • 1/3 of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
  • 42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
  • 80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
  • 70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
  • 57% of new books are not read to completion.

Statistics from (2003) study by the Jenkins Group


Danny’s important message for RTs: don’t be part of those statistics. Rec Therapy CEUs encourages recreational therapists to read more books. It’s a powerful thing to do.

Register for a self-study CEU course today to get your CEU credit for reading interesting books that will hop you to grow both as a person and a professional.

Go to this link to see what courses we have for you: – amazing reviews gets outstand reviews by our students. Read what they have to say below. And…  If you’re ready to invest in your own your potential as a recreational therapist then simply head over to my site for online training programs here:


  • It has very useful information that is applicable to TR programming. The self-study course is straight forward and convenient.
  • Reading the book “Made to Stick”. Information I can use
  • Reading and owning the books. Good future reference materials
  • ease of getting the information
  • Self paced and easily accessed. Great book
  • I found it to be very clear and perfect for me.
  • The book was great and applied it to my life. I felt it really helped with my work as well and applied it on the job.
  • enjoyed that I got to do it from my own home, when I was available. I feel like I am so busy with work sometimes that it is difficult to get CEU’s outside of my work. This was refreshing.
  • I can apply this information to my group and individual sessions when discussing stress management
  • I liked how simple it was. All I had to do was watch a video, take notes, and then take a quiz on the video’s content
  • No suggestions for improvement.
  • I can take the course quiz as many times as I want, No deadline for course completion. It’s perfect. No changes necessary.
  • Clear objectives and guidelines
  • It’s awesome
  • Affordable, informative, and concise.
  • It’s perfect. no changes necessary
  • no time limit.
    able to re-take the quiz as much as needed.
  • nothing needs improvement. it’s perfect. no changes necessary.
  • Convenience
  • good refresher
  • Being able to complete this on my own time, in my own home
  • No improvement needed
  • easy access and appropriate
  • Done from my home
  • Short, sweet, and to the point
  • I can do it on my own time and take the quiz over if necessary
  • Could complete from my own home.
  • I can go at my own pace, can reflect on what I read and discuss with others before required to take exam to get their opinions and expertise.
  • I have been taking courses from Danny Pettry for a number of years now. I always like the ease of studying at my own time and taking the test at my leisure.

 If you’re ready to invest in your own your potential as a recreational therapist then simply head over to my site for online training programs here:

NCTRC – recertification and specialty certifications


Pictured above: Susan Kaufer and Robin McNeal

I [Danny Pettry] had the great privilege of attending the Recertification and Specialty Certification Overview at the 2016 ATRA conference in Chicago with Robin McNeal, CTRS and Susan Kaufer, CTRS.

Robin and Susan work for NCTRC! I’ve had the privilege to attend several training sessions they’ve provided at ATRA conferences and other state/ local conferences of the years with both of them.

I informed both of them that I appreciate all the work they do for our certification. I also informed them that I do not envy their task/ job of reviewing all of those documents (applications) and reviewing/ audit of CEUs. Important job. Somebody has to do it. I let them know I’d rather be a practitioner in the field.

They shared the mission of NCTRC: To protect the consumer of therapeutic recreation services by promoting the provision of quality therapeutic recreation services by NCTRC certificants.

NCTRC is overseen by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

The Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) is considered the benchmark for professional services. The CTRS is known as the qualified provider of recreational therapy.

NCTRC does a lot to advocate for the credential. We, CTRS can also advocate and promote our credential. People can contact NCTRC to request brochures.


A while back, NCTRC completed a job analysis survey among certificants. It was used to identify two areas: job task/ experience and knowledge areas for the CTRS to be competent.

One option for renewing certification consists of: working at least 480 hours in the field within 5-years and having at least 50 hours of continuing education that are relevant to the therapeutic recreation knowledge areas.


Do it early! There is good news: people can submit their recertifcate application up to one-year early to get the process completed. Of course, the CTRS renewal cycle will still be at the same time. I think this is wonderful. That way – if a Continuing Education course doesn’t count towards recertification, you can earn more credits that do because you’ve submitted early/ before the deadline.


Responsibility: Your continuing education units(CEUs) is your responsibility. You must keep track of these and don’t lose them. I [Danny Pettry] keep mine in a fire proof safe along with CEUs for other professional certificates and state professional licenses.


NOTE: activity/ skills based sessions do not count for CEUs. In example – if you take a yoga class it won’t count. Of course, a person can take these courses to learn new skills, but should be aware that they won’t count for CEUs.


Ways to earn CEUs that were discussed during this session:

  • Publication – write a book or journal article and you’ll earn CEUs
  • Guest lecture for your local college or university and you’ll earn CEUS
  • Supervise an internship (up to 2 interns allowed) and they can’t be during the same time. You can get 5 hours per intern.
  • Academic course credit. One 3-hour-semester course counts for 45 out of 50 CEUs! That is a great way. Those working on their master’s degree will have an abundance of CEUs.

Another way:

  • They didn’t directly talk about online/ home study courses ( during this part of this session. Staff at NCTRC have in talked about my program (which I’ve attended, in example: ATRA 2013 Pitts, PA). However, I do think it is best that they don’t name any praticular programs. In example: if they talk about Indiana Univrsity for a master’s dgree in the field or taking a graduate course for CEU credit then other colleges and universities may want them to do the same and that really isn’t the role of NCTRC to advocate or promote any program like that.
  • My self-study online courses are currently pre-approved by NCTRC for CEUs. Go here:

Getting the 480 hours of experience in five years

  • Those working full time should easily have this.
  • Those who are not working full-time as a Rec Therapist can still earn 480 hours for various roles and responsibilities, including:
    1. Supervisor role (manager of RT)
    2. Administrator (at hospital) who is no longer working in RT
    3. Educator (who is teaching RT)
    4. Consultant (who is providing services in RT)
    5. Volunteer (which I just think is wonderful
    6. Professional services (serving as a member of the ATRA board or your state/ local chapter affiliate of ATRA)

Robin McNeal, CTRS and Susan Kaufer, CTRS (the two presenters of this training) are not working in direct service as a recreational therapist. However, they can still earn their 480 hours work from various ways.

I wanted to mention during this session that U.S. Congressman G. T. Thompson isn’t working as recreational therapist practitioner, but he still maintains his 480-hours of work in the field, which I’m very grateful for. He has done a lot with legislation related to our field.

The speakers did not directly say this, but I got a gut impression that they will move to requiring a CTRS to earn so many CEUs in each knowledge area. But I’m not 100% of that yet.


This is fairly new!

They speakers had suggested in the future that a license in the profession will be the benchmark in the field and then those professional practitioners can advance by earning specialty certifications.  They said that currently 54 people have a specialty certification!

Based on my knowledge, nurses can specialize in various areas (like behavioral health). Counselors can specialist (like substance abuse, career counseling, family marriage counseling, etc).

There are currently five specialty certifications offered by NCTRC.  These included:

  1. Behavioral health: they said over 50% of those with specialty certification have this one.
  2. Geriatrics: 2nd place
  3. Physical medicine/ rehabilitation: 3rd place
  4. Community/ inclusion: only two people have this.
  5. Developmental Disabilities: 0 people have this specialty certification.

There are two paths towards earning this.

  • One path consists of a master’s degree with (9) credit hours in the specialty area.
  • One path consists of earning (75) CEUs that are all focused in the specialty area and having at least 3 professional certificates that are greater than 6-hours.

I really hope to see more people get these.

NOTE: I, [Danny Pettry] am working on creating three professional certificate courses in behavioral health designed specifically for those people who are seeking the behavioral health specialty certification by NCTRC.  I’m working to get those same three professional certificate trainings approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). They will probably be released at my site ( in 2017.


Disclaimer: Contact NCTRC with your questions and comments. Danny Pettry (author of this blog) has been a CTRS since 2003, however, he does not work for NCTRC and he is not elected to the board of directors. Go here:

TR Symposium for the Southwest

Here is a real neat conference! It is at the Hospital for Children in Dallas, Texas!

I wish I could attend it.

The 35th anniversary celebration of the Therapeutic Recreation Symposium for the Southwest is only a little over two months away and we want to celebrate and learn with YOU!
We would love to see you at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas TX, on November 10-12, 2016, for education, camaraderie, and fun! We have a quality program planned and attendees can earn up to 1.75 (17.5 contact hours) CEUs. (ATRA CEUs are pending approval). Please take a look at our website, for the preliminary conference program, conference registration and lodging information. Early bird registration will close on October 10th, so please make sure to register now for the best rates!
TRSSW dedicates proceeds from the conference to aspiring scholars in therapeutic recreation at colleges and universities in the Southwest region. Applications for this year’s scholarship can be found at

Resources Available on the Internet

Submitted by: Debbie Hommel

There are countless resources available on the internet.  It is common practice for the recreation therapist and activity professional to have a collection of favorites.  Danny asked me to share a few of mine.

Adaptive Equipment: We are lucky to be able to find almost anything we need to meet the needs of clients with a quick google search as there are many sites offering adaptive equipment.  Some specialize in addressing low vision or hearing loss such as the National Federation of the Blind ( or Hearing Loss Association of America ( These sites offer resources at a local level as well as various devices to increase independence.  There are many sites which have a variety of adaptive equipment but the one I have found to offer the largest variety is Independent Living Aids (  They offer a number of items which contribute to greater independence and an improved quality of life.  You can check out additional resources here:

Dementia:  My work is primarily with geriatrics so I am constantly seeking additional resources on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care.  I have found the ADEAR Center ( which is affiliated with the National Institute of Aging, offers many helpful resources which can be used in training.  Along with the ADEAR Center, the Alzheimer’s Association ( web site has abundant information which can be used in training and education as well.  Many of the publications on both sites can be printed out and shared with staff and families.  There are some excellent videos which can be used in in-services and some of the publications are available in Spanish.

Online Education: The growth in non-traditional education has been immense in recent years.  There are many opportunities for education through webinars, on line seminars, and independent study.  Before purchasing this type of education, it is good practice to review the validity and reliability of the education source.  One should also check with their certifying body to determine the type of on line education they will accept.  Many colleges offer professional continuing education along with their accredited college courses.  The University of Tasmania in Australia ( offers an excellent free 30 hour continuing education program on understanding dementia. Danny Pettry, ( the sender of this newsletter, offers a wide variety of this type of training directed to the recreation therapist.  My site also offers courses which are relevant to the recreation therapist. You can check them out here:

Programming:  The most popular new place to secure programming resources, along with anything else, seems to be Pinterest (  It is the new “go-to” site to find specific activity ideas and specific interventions for particular needs.  A search of therapeutic recreation pulls up programs, devices, quotations and much more.  More specific searches can pull up even more resources.  One can then save the pins to a personal page or follow particular pages of interest. You are invited to follow my page (DebbieHommel).  The TR Directory ( has a nice collection of programming interventions, organized in categories.

My site also has a variety of sites saved focusing on horticulture therapy, themes, aromatherapy, reminiscing and more.