“Play Unplugged! Just What the Doctor Ordered” (Largo, FL)

Oh my goodness.  I won, under the category of Playwork Writer.

The shock of it sent me into a brief blackout that was probably apparent to anyone in the audience.  I walked up and said some words, but am not sure entirely sure what they were – the other nominees were Bob Hughes, Marc Armitage, Richard Trew, and the fine editor of Ip-Dip himself – so it certainly hadn’t occurred to me to prepare anything!  I do remember stopping talking and people starting to clap, and a very clear voice in my head that said firmly “get off the stage now, before something goes horribly wrong” and then the feeling of all my limbs bouncing like a puppets’  on long rubber strings as I negotiated the stairs down.

I got back to my table and my table buddies said “nice job, award winner!  It’s your round, so go get ’em in.  Man, I love this field.

I also want to send a shout-out to the people of Meynell Games, and of course Meynell himself, for organizing an extraordinary Conference.

Another reason I love this field and profession is that it has taken me directly from the marvelous Eastbourne Playwork Conference to Largo, Florida.  Most of Team Pop-Up Adventure Play is here delivering training around Saturday’s event in Central Park, called Play Unplugged!  Just What the Doctor Ordered.

I really urge you to take a look at the commercial for this, because the focus on health benefits associated with play was a very deliberate choice by the organizers.  As a rallying cry, it worked.  In a city of 75,000 people, an estimated 15,000 turned out for an event that was explicitly centered on child-directed play.

The day after was spent at the beach and now I’m busily cramming my belongings into a suitcase before heading to the airport.


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