Grass Roots

I had in mind, when I started writing this month, what was a witty column regarding grassroots movements, self-government and the merging of the manufacturing and information ages.

It was a somewhat controversial column, given that it touched on the geopolitical scene, this past presidential election, the foundation and history of the bicameral system and the juxtaposition of the judicial branch, along with satirical jabs at world leaders.

It would also touch on the appeal of people like Davy Crockett and Andrew Jackson. While it compared the two populist political figures, it would also contrast their divergent paths after briefly meeting (and dueling, to some degree) in the nation's Capitol.

What could have been a dry exposition more appropriate for the halls of academia would be saved by constant references to Will Ferrell, David Spade and other Saturday Night Live alumni, even stretching back to the Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Throw in a dash of Gilligan's Island trivia, some Seinfeld references, and it was quite the yarn.

Alas, this groundbreaking column was not to happen, because I had more pertinent and timely ground to break this time around, namely our own grassroots event (in both a figurative and literal sense... keep reading, please) at Parks & Rec Business and Camp Business LIVE! at Salt Fork Resort & Conference Center in Ohio, Sept. 13-14 (go to page 27 for the full scoop).

Beyond the fact that we found out what y'all wanted from a trade show, and what would be most informative and entertaining, we're actively partnering with a number of organizations that represent you and your interests.

If your organization is not yet involved in Parks & Rec Business and Camp Business LIVE!, give Rodney Auth a call at (866) 444-4216 or e-mail him at

Feel free to call me, too. Either way, everyone's invited, and all are welcome to join us in partnership this fall.

Our collective goal is to provide an interactive event focused on practical, hands-on education while also providing a networking opportunity and a place to simply have fun.

Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, it allows professionals from related areas of expertise -- camps of varying stripes and backgrounds and parks and recreation departments from all over North America -- to learn from each other. Each has its own unique perspective and experience and each brings expertise gained through that experience. It's truly a grassroots way of broadening your practical education.

We're especially thankful to the Ohio Parks & Recreation Association (OPRA) and the American Camp Association Ohio (ACA Ohio), who have agreed to provide unique educational opportunities and mixers that will run in close conjunction with our vendor-focused concept of interactive, hands-on exhibits. With seven product areas you're certain to come away with something of great value to you and your organization.

In the meantime, please check out all the specifics, beginning on page 27 and at our Web site at

Regan D. Dickinson