2024 Peer Convention


Rock Hill, South Carolina

April 26–29, 2024


Three service dog handlers and two people chat outside a store.
Make new friends at our peer convention!

Our 2024 peer convention will be among the friendly faces of Rock Hill, South Carolina! Rock Hill is just over the Carolina border from the Charlotte, NC Airport, which is surprisingly one of the busiest in the world (cheaper flights—but book early!). The convention will take place April 26–29.

We’ll return to the lovely lodging of the Hilton Garden Inn for our convention, within walking distance of a breadth of eateries (some with outdoor seating), a shopping center, and a large park

We want everyone to be able to relax from the pressures of the world at PSDP events. PSDP and our volunteers’ commitment to welcoming our LGBTQ+ community members includes a “bathroom buddies” option and assurances of support from the hotel. Only folks who want to be part of a safe, hate-free space should attend.

We will have precautions against airborne diseases, which may include at least providing/encouraging KN95 masks and having room ventilation with doors-open, inside-outside air crossflow in a large room with a small group (policies subject to change). Anyone who is feeling unwell should expect to isolate/visit urgent care. The same goes for your dog.

To avoid spreading canine sickness, for at least five days prior to the convention please avoid boarding places, dog parks, or non-emergency vet visits with your dog. If this will be a problem, please contact us.

The convention will take place over four days. Plan to arrive by Friday, April 26th for the welcome meeting that night (mandatory). Typical convention activities end Sunday, April 28th, but those who can should join us for a group outing to the Discovery Place Science museum in Charlotte, NC on Monday the 29th.

Registration

Discounted (25% off) registration closes December 31st, 2023. Standard registration closes on March 26, 2024. Details are on the 2024 Convention Registration page.

Standard convention scholarship applications are due January 1, 2024. A streamlined tourism day application is available through March 26, 2024.

Info packet

Our draft 2024 info packet has much of what you want to know about the peer convention, plus the policies you need to know about if you’re considering joining us. It’s subject to change.

We have a strong incentive to eat outside when eating together, so we can stay safer from airborne diseases.  A list of nearby restaurants and their outdoor seating availability is linked in this sentence.

A corgi service dog lies on the floor next to its handler's legs.
There’s plenty of time to relax at our peer convention!

What’s it like? Are there pictures?

PSDP conventions are times for prospective and current psychiatric service dog handlers to network through workshops, training, support, and a lot of fun! The 2023 peer convention pictures are linked in this sentence.

For more of a taste of what they’re like, enjoy the quotations below and find more pictures on the pages of previous peer conventions.


Sponsors

We’re accepting convention sponsors through March 26th for 2024 and we’d love to have you partner with us. If you have a donation of goods or services, volunteers like Deanna Thompson—our Goodie Bag Guru—await you with a warm heart and a smiling face.

Bronze sponsors:

Logo: Breez Stitches and Crafts CalmWave Productions logo: all within a circle, purple script name rounded on top of beach wave picture with white wave lines edited into the sand. Logo: Happy Place Embroidery Paws on the Plains logo, a gray outlined olive circle with a stylized line drawing of a black poodle face looking at the viewer. UPS logo, which is a brown shield with a gold or bronze border and the letters "ups" in lowercase in the same color.


A group of service dog teams walks along a city sidewalk together.
Exploring a city with your new service dog friends is a great adventure!

Our 2023 peer convention was rated 5 / 5 overall by convention-goers! Our previous attendees had the following to pass along to those considering joining us at future conventions:

I’ve found my family of choice at the conventions! Everyone is so kind and caring and supportive.

It was truly an amazing experience to spend time with other service dog teams. I’ve learned so much and felt very supported by everyone. Thank you PSDP for all you do and for hosting this wonderful convention!

The convention is a wonderful and unique opportunity to spend time with other service dog users. Feeling like you have a community when you’re disabled is really powerful!

These people are my kind of people. I feel safe among people I did not know a few hours before. Everyone is so accepting of me and my imperfect dog.

Attend. You won’t regret it!