So, what are you doing this summer? If you answer is anything but, “I’m going to the NSA conference”, than you better change your plans! I am doing the same thing I do every summer, I’m going to the National Stuttering Association Conference. This year it’s at the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel in St. Petersburg Florida on from July 4th to July 8th. I can’t wait. This is the one thing that I look forward to all year. So why do I look forward to this every year? The NSA conference is the main reason why I have become so accepting of my stuttering. I remember going to the conference all alone and being so scared. I remember my friend, John, who I didn’t know yet, coming up to me and introducing himself. From that day forward I was hooked. I found myself talking more at this conference than I have every talked in my life. Just think about it, 800+ people who stutter all in the same hotel! There is so much to look forward too! Workshops, special guest speakers, a live auction, and a banquet where we can eat a great meal and dance the night away. In my opinion, the best thing about the conference is meeting so many other people who stutter! I have connected with people from all over the world through the NSA conference. I have tons of friends whom I keep in touch with throughout the year and I cant wait to see them this year. We always have such a great time.
Have you ever experienced going out to dinner with a whole group of people who stutter? In addition to the great conversations you will have, it’s funny watching the expression on the waiter/waitresses face when every single one of us ordering food is stuttering. Something that you MUST experience! Who can pass up the experience of staying in a 5 star resort like the Vinoy in St. Petersburg. Im sure the pool and hot tub will be packed! Plus were right by the beach! I can’t wait to go and hit the beach with all of my NSA friends.
I might even go on an excursion this year. Some of the trips this year include Adventure Island, Salvador Dali museum, a Tampa Bay Rays vs. Yankees baseball game and a dolphin cruise. Sounds like a great way to spend time will all of your new friends who stutter!
Truly, my favorite part of the conference is connecting with so many people who stutter. Some of the best times at the conferences for me are sitting around and just talking to my friends. I love catching up with friends and hearing about where their lives have taken them over the past year. I also like talking to the first-timers. If anyone reading this blog is first timer coming the conference, please COME FIND ME! I would love to show you around, introduce you to everyone and make you feel right at home. Being a first timer can be a little overwhelming. Everyone around you is talking about stuttering, and you may be the type of person who have never actually talked about it with anyone. For the first time in your life, you are with a group of people who actually “get it”. This is the perfect opportunity to open up! If you are a little reluctant to open up, don’t worry, someone will most definitely come up to you and say “Hi, I am _____ and I stutter. What’s your name”. You can proudly introduce yourself and say, “I stutter too!”
Have you been to the NSA conference? Tell me about your experiences.