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MRPA regional workshop to take place at UMPI

The University of Maine at Presque Isle will welcome parks and recreation officials from across Maine and from Canada when the Northern Maine Community Recreation Association hosts the Maine Recreation and Parks Association’s Regional Workshop from Oct. 21 to 22.

The MRPA’s fall workshop is held at a different site in Maine each year. This year, more than 90 participants are expected to visit Aroostook County for the two-day workshop, which will take place at UMPI and the Nordic Heritage Center and include sessions on developing capital improvement plans, Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, low ropes initiatives for strengthening team building, and cooperative partnerships through conservation easements. Dr. Darrell J. Burnett, a nationally recognized clinical sports psychologist and the author of several books including Positive Coaching and It’s Just a Game!, will serve as this year’s keynote speaker.

“The Northern Maine Community Recreation Association is pleased to offer this regional workshop in conjunction with the University of Maine in Presque Isle,” said Kathy Mazzuchelli, a member of the workshop planning committee. “The program content is designed to reach a wide variety of interest levels and professionals. We are particularly pleased to have Dr. Burnett join us as he offers valuable tools to anyone who works with youth in any type of setting. We are also pleased to have Wolfe Tone, State Director of the Trust for Public Land be with us. We encourage community leaders, planners and development directors to join us for Mr. Tone’s presentation.”

The event begins on Thursday, Oct. 21, with an MRPA business meeting from 1:30-3 p.m. at the Nordic Heritage Center, followed by a barbecue. From 6:30-8 p.m., Dr. Burnett will deliver a presentation for the general public entitled Parenting the Good Sport at the Presque Isle Middle School Auditorium.

On Friday, Oct. 22, activities get underway at UMPI with a breakfast from 7:30-8:30 a.m. Registration will take place from 8-8:45 a.m. Dr. Burnett will deliver the keynote address – Youth Sports Philosophy 101 – from 9-10:15 a.m.

Dr. Burnett will discuss the significant role parents play when they offer positive support to their youngsters and when they offer themselves as a model of good sportsmanship. He will delineate a specific 6-step program of Sports Parenting, and discuss his 20-item Positive Sports Parent Behavior and Attitude Checklist. Noting that positive coach support is often the top reason given by kids for their continued participation in sports, Dr. Burnett will offer specific guidelines for measuring positive coach support, using his 24-item Positive Youth Sports Coach checklist, covering five measurable aspects of being a positive youth sports coach. His animated, humorous, upbeat presentation will include anecdotes, cartoons, and handouts.

Dr. Burnett has more than 20 years of experience working with children, adolescents, families, organizations and corporations in southern California, according to his official website. He has developed numerous workshops on family life, youth coaching, corporate management and other relevant topics. He received a B.A. and M.A. in philosophy at the Catholic University of America, in Washington, D.C. He received an M.A. in psychology from Xavier University. He earned his Ph.D. in psychology at the United States International University in San Diego, California and was awarded a one-year post-doctoral fellowship in psychology at the Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCLA.

Dr. Burnett is a member of the American Psychological Association, the California Psychological Association, the National Association of Sports Psychologists, and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. He is also a member of the National Speakers Association.

Following Dr. Burnett’s keynote address, workshop sessions will be held throughout the rest of the morning and the afternoon. The MRPA Fall Workshop will end at 3:30 p.m.

For complete details on the MRPA Fall Workshop and the latest conference agenda, visit For more information, contact Kathy Mazzuchelli at the Caribou Parks and Recreation Department at 493-4224.