Recreation is more than being physically active

Sherry Whittle recently completed the Recreation North Training Program. Sherry, the Former Acting Director of Recreation for the Village of Carmacks, earned a Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership in December 2019. Sherry shared a bit about herself.

My name is Sherry Whittle and I served as the Acting Recreation Director for the Village of Carmacks – a role I thoroughly embraced and enjoyed!!! I was blessed with a great team and we embraced a team approach going through the Recreation North Training Program together.

When I was in the North, the Recreation North Training Program came at such an opportune time for me as I stepped into my role of Acting Recreation Director for the Village of Carmacks.  I have benefited so much from the insights gained, been refreshed in the review and teaching of various practices previously learned throughout my career and I have gleaned so many awesome ideas from the collective collaboration shared on the conference calls. Our Trainer Caroline was super informed and her style of teaching was very welcoming and she always made herself available for any extra guidance and help.  So much of what I have learned in the training I find myself continuing to embrace in my current role with a newfound appreciation for all of what recreation entails.

During one of the learning events, I discovered the “renewed definition of recreation” and this was an ‘aha moment’ for me.   My definition of community recreation was definitely broadened from mainly an “active physical sport mentality” to one that encompasses even the stillness of being refreshed by sitting in nature by a river – as that too is recreation whereby an activity was engaged in that resulted in individual wellbeing being enhanced. It is my ongoing pursuit to develop programming that aims at providing meaningful and inclusive opportunities where participants are empowered to be the best version of themselves they can be, while making positive contributions in community. Again, when an individual has been afforded the chance to improve upon themselves, community wellbeing is that much more improved as community is made more healthy, inclusive, and welcoming. All this helps to ensure community wellbeing can flourish and stand the test of time. And like valued team members to programming, promoting individual wellbeing in community recreation is another win-win!!!

To anyone considering if this training program is something you should take part in, my advice would be to jump in and do it!  Recreation North is current, inspiring, and a great resource for connecting with awesome people across the North.  The training gave wonderful opportunities for growth as leaders and afforded amazing flexibility with the online teaching/learning assignments. 

I think to be a great leader you will always need to set goals for yourself and I want to always be in a state of improving not only for myself but for the people who depend on me as their leader/mentor.  Recreation North is a great avenue to take to keep you informed and on track for meeting these goals.

As Recreation leaders we need to stay innovative and stay “in the know” by what works best for those we are privileged to serve.  Creativity and not being afraid to try something new is key!  In the words of the famous Canadian ice hockey player, Wayne Gretsky, we need to “skate to where the puck (i.e., challenge) is going to be, not where it has been.”  Thanks Recreation North for being innovative, inspiring, influential, and instilling wonderful insights and information through this invaluable training program. 

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