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Anchorage Park & Recreation Summer Program Presentation from Chris Conlon, M.Ed. Nov 7 th 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Anchorage Park & Recreation Summer Program Presentation from Chris Conlon, M.Ed. Nov 7 th 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anchorage Park & Recreation Summer Program Presentation from Chris Conlon, M.Ed. Nov 7 th 2008

2 Problem Statement Needs of residents are not being met by current summer offerings. Changing demographics, neighborhoods are some of the factors involved. Programs need to be restructured to enhance positive healthy activities for youth, develop connections and ownership with their parks and community.

3 SWOT Strength Summer is traditional time for recreation for youth. Amount of vast, natural area. Youth Employment in Parks Program. Park facilities and resources Residents value of outdoors and outdoor recreation, volunteering. Opportunities New communities not served Partnerships with other youth serving organizations and businesses to create and support programs. Existing communities of minorities Weaknesses Budget stresses Current Summer program design Stakeholders capacity for change Threats Societal obstacles to getting outside TV, Technology etc. Residents perceptions regarding risks of the out of doors. Existing programs competing for resources? Fee users v. Free users

4 Guiding Principles Recreation contributes to the development of future capacity. Childhood recreation activity is associated with adult volunteering and community work. (Jackson et. al, 2001) Lifelong recreation opportunities are started with parents introducing to child, especially outdoor recreation. ORCA Gateway activities. Connecting children/ families with nature in their own live-able neighborhood.

5 Vision Strengthen the Community Approach to Youth Involvement in APRDs Youth Summer Programs Increase capacity to meet changing community conditions. Offer more quality summer options to increase opportunities for youth and their families. Utilize Youth Development Model to improve youth engagement. Improve long term individual outcomes from youth to adulthood.

6 Summer park and recreation programs need to provide: 1. Supportive Relationships Guidance, emotional and practical role models 2. Physical & Emotional Safety 3. Youth Involvement Belonging- connection with caring adults Mastery- Opportunities for growth and success Independence- self determination, choice, leadership Generosity – understand connection to others and community 4. Respect and understanding of the natural world and the opportunities it presents.

7 Ideas for Get Outdoors

8 Mobile Adventure Program – traveling set of equipment (new games, initiative props) and two staff members who offer a progression of programs that is not available on-site.

9 Park-n-Play APRD staff at neighborhood park to provide structured programming in high density housing areas Utilize youth development programming (belonging, generosity, mastery and independence) with group initiatives, team building activities, environmental/nature awareness activities If needed, increase staff capacities in above areas Use Mobile Adventure Program for resources Adventures within the city limits

10 Summer School Partnership Program Dove tail traditional summer school programming with half day recreational offerings Partnerships with Universities to provide interns in education/recreation/outdoor education Mobile Adventure Lab Outdoor Education curriculum enhancements connected with state curriculum frameworks (e.g. orienteering skills to work on math, raft/boat building programs) as well as traditional group initiatives

11 Day Camp Day camp programming utilizes residential camp type programming without being overnight Begin and end days programming at central location with unifying group activity Travel in sub-groups throughout day to camp activities (crafts, archery, nature, outdoor education, etc.) Addition of outdoor education specialist to enhance program offering at each location

12 Day Camp Incorporate youth development into staff training, program development and delivery Adventures within the city limits. –List of 100 things to do in Community or with APRD.

13 Focus on environmental themes for all programs (whether Park-n-play, Summer Youth Camps ages 6-11 or 7-14, and preschool, Summer School Partnership Programs) Utilize a volunteer traveling naturalist (conservation officers, community members, university students)

14 Family Focused Programs Family night for culminating event for day camp Weekend guided outdoor programs Evening guided outdoor programs

15 Concurrent Parent Programs Programs provided for parents who drop children off for half day (preschool) programs (such as yoga, guided walks, gardening) Goal is to instill interest in the out-of-doors of the parents of young children to encourage them to Get Outdoors more with their children and foster stronger relationship with APRD

16 Arts in the Parks Theater Camp program outcome of a traveling presentation at Park locations and or Schools with nature themes and plays, skits. (Partner with ACT, Youth Showcase) YEP – project in public art Summer art contest at Summer camp and school, community park sites- Same medium (ie. Chalk it up)

17 Outcomes & Measurements Youth Evaluate measures of Youth Development Outcomes through end of session surveys: Belonging (Social Skills) Mastery (Skill Development) Generosity (Peer Relations Friends with others) Independence (Decision making) Program –Parent Camper Satisfaction Surveys –Increase amount of youth involved in programming –Increase parent participation Community View of youth –School Drop out rate Test Scores Attendance rate –Police Drug ETOH use –Employers

18 Timeline of Action Steps Jan to February –Evaluate existing summer programs, structures and policies through Program Improvement process Gather youth, parent, recreation staff and community members perceptions about summer camp offerings through interviews, focus groups and on-line surveys; Gather WHY feelings on perceptions and WHAT they think would be better. Assess practices, structures, polices and activities using a team approach against the mission, goals, and philosophy of APRD. Brainstorm emerging areas of improvement including: –Mission –Staff training - Activities – Camper planning -Facilities - Staffing patterns -Programming/ Scheduling CHOOSE Strategies for Action Plan –Targets for improvement –Evaluate Resources –Involve staff and youth in implementation planning process

19 Timeline Continued March/April-May –Program development Design Structures, Policies and Activities that have Outcomes at each summer setting that provide: »Learning opportunities that teach skills »Opportunities for meaningful involvement »Caring Adults and opportunities for friendships »Safe setting –Marketing & Staff Recruitment June-August Program Delivery (Safe & Happy Summer!)

20 Steps from Summer into year Round vision for the Dept Evaluation of program Improvement Process –Data collection from Members of program improvement process. –Compile & Compare actual to targets. –Make decisions based on evidence What worked what did not Adjust strategies as necessary Youth Development principles into all activities. –Open Trainings for partner/user groups. –Community focus groups on Program improvement process.

21 Programming next steps Reunion programs. Spark-Plug Events in Communities. Follow up Summer camp related programs held during rest of year. –Specific Invitations to community events that are related to similar camp programs.

22 Questions Thank you, again for the opportunity to present my thoughts today.

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