Cheer Story: Recreation Director Profile - Ghislaine Carter
People are an organization’s greatest asset! Effective recreation community services depends upon good leadership and our small, rural communities value the expertise and passion of municipal recreation professionals. These positions provide leadership and support to facility management, programs and operations, community collaboration and development and much more! Arcola participated in South East District's "Recreation Board Development Program" in 2019-20, which led to the development of a recreation position in 2020.
Why did the community of Arcola create and hire a Recreation Director position?
The Town of Arcola decided to hire a Recreation Director in order to reach recreational and cultural goals set forth for the community.
What is the position responsible for and how long have you been at it?
Although the Recreation Director position was filled in October of 2020 (amidst all of the COVID restrictions), there was much to do in terms of capital asset inventories, capital infrastructure, preventative maintenance plans, policy and procedure development, senior and children’s programming, as well as grant writing.
Once COVID restrictions are lifted, these duties will be extended to include promoting and marketing of Town owned facilities, implementing programming, attracting, and coordinating events, and scheduling.
What drove you to choose your career path?
I was excited to see that the Town of Arcola had made the decision to hire a Recreation Director and I applied as soon as I had seen the position advertised. I have always been passionate about sports and recreation. I believe I can make a difference in the community by implementing recreational planning and programming. The Town of Arcola boasts one of the nicest recreational facilities in the surrounding area and has so much potential. I hope to be able to maximize the use of this facility and to attract events that will ultimately enrich the lives of everyone in our small community.
What impact or benefits has the position had on the community thus far?
COVID has presented many challenges in terms of reaching our recreational goals. We are currently using this time to plan and prepare for the future. We have completed a Capital Asset Inventory for the local skating rink and are working on a Preventative Maintenance Program for the facility. Additionally, we are working on a Strategic Plan which will help us to create an overall framework for the development and delivery of recreation programs.
The pandemic has brought us many challenges and opportunities in 2020-21 - what has this meant for recreation (now and in the future) in the community?
The most challenging aspect of the pandemic, in terms of recreation, are the restrictions imposed affecting the delivery of sports and recreational programming as well as the implementation of new programs. It’s been a balance of trying to follow the public health guidelines in order to keep all members of our community safe while keeping our recreational facilities open and allowing individuals to interact with each other and continue to be active.
What’s the most enjoyable part of the job?
The most enjoyable part of being a Recreation Director would have to be the development of new programming and I look forward to being able to implement these in the community.
What kinds of things do you do beyond what most people see?
There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work such as planning, programming, and grant writing, etc. that goes along with the duties of the Recreation Director.