Hello from Chicago! As I type this, I can see the University of Chicago & Chicago Tribune buildings against the city skyline…I could definitely get used to this view!
I’m so thankful to be here, attending the 29th Annual Child Life Conference on Professional Issues. Earlier this morning, I had a chance to spend time with several child life colleagues from Children’s-MN, then attended a “half-day intensive” session called “Supporting The Healing Community Through Interactive, Closed-Circuit Television.” (Amy Peterson, director of Children’s Star Studio programming, was also in attendance at this session!) The presenters were from Skylight TV, the interactive TV channel at Children’s Memorial Hospital here in Chicago. Their presentation was filled with video clips of their various patient shows, including visits from celebrity guests like Mr. Rogers, the Harlem Globetrotters, and Yo-Yo Ma. One of the neatest parts of their talk (for me, at least!) was hearing how volunteers are being plugged into supporting these programs!
In the evening, the Child Life Council held a “First-Time Attendees/New Members” gathering. Since this is my first time at the conference, I signed up for this event…and I’m so glad that I did, since I ran into past volunteer/intern Laura Blayney! (It was great to see her!) I also attended a “Professional Networking Roundtable” later in the evening, and thoroughly enjoyed chatting with other professionals from Alabama to Missouri about their role(s) in supervising child life volunteers. To top off the night, my wonderful co-presenter, Betsy Brand, and I rehearsed our presentation for Sunday morning. It will be an honor to speak in front of other child life specialists/volunteer supervisors later this weekend.
Tomorrow marks the “official start” of the conference, with the Opening Keynote Session scheduled for 8:30 am! I’ll be back with a “Day 2″ update tomorrow night!