Sweet Sailing: The 2020 Conference at Sea in Alaska and British Columbia

This is a blog post from SLP and blogger Kelly Ott who presented on the 2017 Alaska CEU cruise. To see more about her and subscribe to her blog, check out http://www.smartersteps.com/blog/.

At SLP conventions, I remember listening to instructors complain about attending our state and national conventions. Their complaints included the lack of intermediate and advanced trainings as well as the impeding cost of the conference. I remember thinking, "I hope I never get so old and set in my ways as to believe that I can’t learn from others." Now, of course, age and wisdom has enlightened me to their complaints. Professionally, I, too, long for a stimulating way to attain professional growth that is meaningful and valuable. Conventions just weren’t cutting it!

We all know that CEUs are mandatory for licensure, so how do we make lemonade out of lemons? Well let me tell you, I found the sweetest combination of them all!

In 2017, I had the incredible opportunity to speak on the SpeechTherapypd.com cruise to Alaska. It was by far the best professional development experience that I have had in a long time. Presenting with Lara Wakefield, Darla Torkelsen, and Char Boshart was of course a major highlight of this CEU opportunity.

But an even greater highlight was having 8 days of collaborating, discussing, and debating hot topics with other professionals in our field - all aboard an immaculate ship and surrounded by stunning scenery!

Here are some other things I found unique to this experience:

  • The sessions were intermediate to advanced level with veteran SLPs in attendance.

  • The discourse during sessions was meaningful and inspiring!

  • Collaborative problem solving occurred each session and continued during social events at sea days.

  • True networking and professional partnerships were attained while in a relaxing atmosphere.

Beyond the sessions and networking, the trip itself was amazing! Many of us brought our families and enjoyed the sights during off shore excursions at the various ports throughout Alaska and Canada.

Each of us explored our own passions on excursions including biking, canoeing, hiking, sport fishing and zip-lining, and exploring the sights.

For those of us who struggle to get away and then feel guilty leaving our families, this was the perfect combination!

What’s more, for those of us with private practice, the trip was tax deductible!

What a win-win for those small businesses who struggle to obtain meaningful CEU’s at a reasonable cost.

I have to say, I was skeptical before attending this CEU cruise. I told myself that it will just be one big vacation, with minimal attendance at the sessions. I also believed that attendees would be off doing their own thing and networking would be minimal due to the “vacation” factor. None of that was reality! So now, I am unpacking and reflecting on the pleasant surprise this CEU opportunity really was. I can put my seal of approval on this method of attaining CEUs without reservation!

Benefits of this experience included:

  • Opportunity to attend intermediate and advanced level training

  • Professional discourse on hot topics in our field

  • Professional networking

  • Combination of vacation, family time, professional development

  • Scheduled when off school or during normal vacation times

  • Tax deductible

If you have previously attended a SpeechTherapyPD.com Conference at Sea and experienced other benefits, please share! The 2019 Conference at Sea through Greece, Italy, and the Adriatic Sea COMPLETELY SOLD OUT last year, and we cannot wait to hear about the experience from those of you who will attend. Are you going? Let us know!

Here are the three amazing presenters that will enlighten you during the Alaska cruise next summer:

From Left to Right:

Marisha McGrorty, MS, CCC-SLP of SLP NOW;

Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC of First Bite Podcast;

Leigh Ann Porter, MA, CCC-SLP of Speech Uncensored Podcast

Early Bird Sign up is open NOW through September 30. When you sign up early, you'll receive a FREE subscription to not only SpeechTherapyPD.com, but also to SLP Now for 6 months!


First: Visit our 2020 Conference at Sea Web Page for all of the details and registration information.

Next: Gather your family and friends, and sign up for the adventure of a lifetime!

While you're waiting for 2020 to come, check out these amazing podcasts so you can get to know the presenters before you rub elbows on the cruise. Each podcast is FREE on iTunes!

However, if you want to earn .1 ASHA CEU for every episode, join SpeechTherapyPD.com for just $89. Click HERE to view membership plans.

Happy sailing next summer!

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