The summertime academic break is essential for the health and wellness of every music educator. Hopefully you are enjoying a little TIME OFF and an emotional and intellectual break and release from thinking about your professional responsibilities and anything about school!
Europeans swear that it takes no fewer than three weeks of what we would call an extended vacation. They say we need that much time to totally unwind, de-stress, rest, and, if necessary, lick our wounds and even “heal ourselves!” Summer should allow us to focus on family, friends, and leisure activities FIRST – to re-adjust our “work/life balance.” After an appropriate interval, then we can get ready to re-charge and re-energize, to recommit emphasis on new music program goals and professional development.
If you are fortunate enough to live in Pennsylvania and be a member of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), I have a wonderful “crosswalk” solution to accomplishing this REBOOT – a combined “refresh and re-invest” makeover – to first get out of dodge for a change in scenery and then take care of your own social-emotional learning to come back to school raring to go! It’s simple! Sign-up to participate in the 2022 PMEA Summer Conference to be held in-person at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Reading, PA on July 18-19, 2022.
Here’s the link to registration and detailed schedule: https://www.pmea.net/pmea-summer-conference/.
Once again, PMEA is “crushing COVID” and returning to some level of normalcy to offer a face-to-face summer conference of many “awesome” professional development venues – everything from hands-on music reading, member “sharing” sessions, clinics on advocacy, band, choral, classroom music, community ensembles, conducting, curriculum writing, gender identity, health/wellness, mentor training, Modern Band, music technology, recruitment, strings, and so much more!
Check out this summary of wonderful workshops:
Approximately Nine (9) hours of Act 48 credit will be available.
This year’s event will include keynote speakers Suzanne Hall and Rollo Dilworth from Temple University as well as NAfME President and PA’s very-own super-star Scott Sheehan.
Feeling a little charitable, altruistic, or eleemosynary? (Great word – look it up!) On Tuesday, July 19, there will be a “Give-Back to the Community” event: PMEA’s Second Annual Day of Service at Goggle Works.
Now, what about that EXTRA FUN part? Well, you can turn your conference into a family vacation by just arriving a little early and/or leaving a little later.
First, how about attending a Minor League baseball game? PMEA acquired tickets to the Reading Fightin’ Phils vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats contest on Sunday, July 17 at 5:15 p.m. at the FirstEnergy Stadium.
Next, there are a lot of terrific family-fun things-to-do in Reading, PA and the surroundings… (Special thanks to https://uncoveringpa.com/things-to-do-in-reading-pa for this “awesome” travel resource!)
Berks County, a combination of rich farm country, industry, beautiful parks, lots of entertainment, and top-notch educational institutions, is home to one of Pennsylvania’s largest cities, Reading, as well as many small communities that offer a lot of history and natural beauty. For PMEA members going to the Summer Conference, it is the perfect opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of family-friendly attractions, recreation pursuits, touring of the landscape scenery, and other day trips. If you were to visit the area before and/or after the conference, here are at least 18 places-to-go before returning home:
- Reading Pagoda, Mount Penn https://uncoveringpa.com/reading-pagoda
- Nolde Forest, 600-acres and miles of hiking trails https://uncoveringpa.com/nolde-forest
- Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, scenic overlooks, hiking trails, bird-watching https://www.hawkmountain.org/
- Daniel Boone Homestead, birthplace of the frontiersman https://uncoveringpa.com/daniel-boone-homestead
- Goggle Works, former factory, art galleries (site of the PMEA Service Project) https://goggleworks.org/
- Covered Bridges, at least five of them close to Reading https://uncoveringpa.com/covered-bridges-berks-county-pa
- Reading Railroad Museum, railroad memorabilia https://uncoveringpa.com/reading-railroad-heritage-museum
- Neversink Mountain, miles of hiking trails (including City Overlook and Witches Hat) https://berksnature.org/trails/
- Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, WWII history, artifacts, and tours https://uncoveringpa.com/mid-atlantic-air-museum-reading
- Chatty Monks Brewing, restaurant/craft brewery https://uncoveringpa.com/chatty-monks-brewing-west-reading
- Blue Marsh Lake, swimming, fishing, boating https://www.nap.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Blue-Marsh-Lake/
- Berks County Heritage Center, museums and trails http://www.co.berks.pa.us/dept/parks/pages/heritagecenter.aspx
- Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles, antique autos https://uncoveringpa.com/boyertown-museum-of-historic-vehicles
- Crystal Cave, first “show cave” located near Kutztown https://uncoveringpa.com/exploring-crystal-cave
- Reading Public Museum, exhibits, paintings, geology, planetarium https://uncoveringpa.com/reading-public-museum
- Hopewell Furnace Historic Site, iron furnace https://uncoveringpa.com/visiting-hopewell-furnace-national-historic-site
- Golden Age Air Museum, WWI planes http://www.goldenageair.org/
- Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center, Kutztown University https://www.kutztown.edu/about-ku/administrative-offices/pennsylvania-german-cultural-heritage-center.html
Finally, if you need any additional urging, here’s our new PMEA State President Scott Cullen with his invitation for you to join us at the Summer Conference: https://fb.watch/dYrKOvAHkG/.
The deadline for hotel registration is fast approaching! The discounted block of rooms at the Reading Doubletree will close out at the end of the day on Friday, July 1.
See you in Reading, PA!
© 2022 Paul K. Fox