Taught me why recreation is essential

Wendy Giesbrecht recently completed the Recreation North Training Program.  Wendy lives in Boissevain, MB and earned a Certificate in Northern Recreation Leadership in December 2020. Wendy was part of our Provincial Pilot Program.

My experience with recreation really began when I started studying to become a personal trainer and health and wellness practitioner. Teaching yoga and programming fitness classes for all ages and abilities, becoming a practitioner of BodyTalk and Reiki all really helped me understand program delivery and the importance of becoming involved in your community, meeting and romancing the general population. I live in, and taught in Boissevain, MB for the last 14 years or so, and travel to Killarney for my position at the Shamrock Centre in Killarney, the town I attended and graduated high school.

I have been working with the Municipality of Killarney Turtle-Mountain since late September of 2018. I began as the Recreation Manager and after 7 months was redirected to Facility Manager – what a whirlwind. I am by trade a fitness and yoga instructor, so my learning curve over the last two years has been very steep! When I was introduced to the Recreation North Provincial Pilot Program I jumped at the opportunity, and my council/CAO backed me and so my journey with Recreation North’s Training Program began. I felt, and still do, that this training program was exactly what I needed! I had a big job, a big personality, and limited experience.

Recreation North’s Training Program provided me with the tools and templates I needed to understand what programming really is, what is involved in dreaming of something and bringing it to fruition, how to plan – and how to budget! It taught me the fundamentals of recreation, why recreation is so essential, and how to develop a program that suits the needs of your community. The Training Program also introduced me to several other aspects of recreation; there are many contributing organizations that make recreation in my province and country an opportunity and drawing on them for resources and support and education is a pretty savvy idea! The material learned through the learning events was priceless. The learning is supported by Recreation North’s Trainers and the connection with fellow peer recreation providers was much appreciated. I found the calls a bit difficult to manage with my schedule, but that was a small issue I think, because the recordings were easily accessible.

What would I tell someone who might want to take this course? Take it! Take it, enjoy it, and run with it fast. This course gives you the fundamentals, our base. We can brush up on our fundamentals all the time and when you read through the required learning activity feedback from the Trainers, it’s clear they are more than capable of going beyond the fundamentals and are a wonderful resource. The workload of the course is what you make it! You can take a few minutes to do each task and then come back to the lesson later when it pertains to your work…or you can rock it by using the templates and feedback to get your homework done.