As aquatic professionals we owe it to ourselves and the public we serve to take part in regular professional development. In March the Association of Aquatic Professionals will be hosting their second annual conference in Austin, Texas. The first conference last year was a great event and the line up of speakers and traininers looks great again this year.
Maybe you can't afford to go to Texas to train, if so then I still encourage you to find something closer to home. Local aquatic groups are a great way to network and meet other professionals and very often these groups have educational sessions combined with their meetings. Some of these groups have small geographic regions such as Northern California's; Bay Area Public Pool Operators Associaiton or its older counterpart in Southern California the Southern Californai Public Pool Operators Association. Other groups, like the long established Texas Public Pool Council, work with regions in a larger statewide association. I have had the pleasure of experiencing these sorts of organizations and the workshops they put on in Texas, Kansas and other places.
Finally, don't forget to get involved in your state association for parks and recreation professionals. Most of these have aquatic specific sections within those groups. The great work of these organizations results in some excellent local conferences. I have personally experienced the great work of the professionals in these organizations by participating in the quality trainings they provide in Washington, Nebraska, Utah, Colorado, Michigan and more.
The bottom line is there are many reasons to continue your professional developement. In my opinion the most important is to maximize your effectiveness as a professional in order to serve your community in the best way possible.