Summer has officially arrived! For parks and recreation professionals, this is often our busiest time of the year. With warm temperatures and traditional school on summer vacation, recreation facilities and parks are often jam packed. This blog is all about summer and will give you some important things to consider.
The change of season brings new challenges and opportunities. One challenge can be keeping our communities safe while participating in activities outdoors in the heat. The summer temperatures in North Carolina can be brutal - sometimes reaching over 100 degrees. According to the American Red Cross, “In recent years, excessive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, including floods.” Because of this, it is important to be aware of general heat wave safety tips. It is good practice to inform outdoor summer staff about heat safety and to always be well informed on the weather conditions. A link to the American Red Cross’ Heat Wave Safety Tips can be found here.
Summer also brings the increase of water activities. In May, the wellness blog covered water safety, and some important rules to consider. Click this link to read the complete blog post.
With camp programs starting to pick up steam in many of our departments, now is a great opportunity to start to implement health practices to our youth. Healthy Out of School Time (HOST) Standards does a great job of covering healthy eating and physical activity best practices. According to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, “studies show that youth that eat healthier and move more get better grades, attend school more, and have improved self-esteem, social-relationships, and leadership skills.” I think that HOST standards are extremely beneficial and adoption should be strongly considered for our recreation and park programs. For more on HOST Standards and how your department can adopt them, check out this wellness blog post from March.
As with any season, creative health programming ideas can also be explored in the summer. The warmer temperatures and longer days bring opportunities to expand on your programming. One idea for a cool summer program is to hold an outdoor sunset yoga class. Pick a scenic area and hold yoga classes in the evening outside. This creates for beautiful views of the sunset - and cooler evening temperatures. Think of other programs that could easily be moved outdoors for fun ways to get people active and to refresh old programs.
I hope that this wellness blog has given you some things to think about as the summer kicks into full speed! If your department does any cool summertime wellness programming, I’d love to know about it! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,