So, why recreation?
There are tons of careers out there that pay more, are less demanding, require less schooling, and well, are easier. But that doesn’t matter. I’ve fallen in love with the industry, the potential, and all that recreation stands for. I’m a product of county parks, pickup games, and sports programs. Hours were spent playing Capture the Flag, ultimate frisbee, and soccer. The opportunities that county and city recreation departments offer are so valuable and important to the health of their communities. There’s access to sports facilities, gathering places, and an environment that promotes activity. The community comes together in the park for games, fundraisers, and social gatherings.
It’s a varied career, with many facets and aspects like league planning, marketing, networking and connecting with people at all levels, planning and running events, budgeting, and being an advocate for healthy living. There’s satisfaction and aggravation at times. It’s one of the most important commodities available, and at the same time, one of the most under-valued. To put it simply, recreation is never boring. There will always be things to improve, grow, fight for, and share.
To me, being in recreation is being in something that promotes the greater good. It challenges people to be healthy, social, and involved. It promotes and then provides the resources for change. And it creates a sense of pride and ownership within the community.
I so excited to learn the theories and principles that modern recreation is founded on. I cannot wait to take my place among recreation professionals who inspire, help, and make the parks and activity programs what they are. I’m eager to return to “my park” with the tools needed to be the most effective and competent supervisor that I can be. And I hope that one day, I’ll do what someone did for me and spark the love for recreation in someone else.