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					                                                                      Leisure Research 1


Running head: NATIONWIDE FAMILY LEISURE RESEARCH




    A Methodological Sampling and Analysis of Family Recreation Programs Nationwide

                                    Peggy Philbrick

                                      Alexia Ihli

                                Kelly Gegalis-Hoffman

                                     Toni Leichty

                                   Owen Christenson

                                     Mark Widmer



                               Brigham Young University

                                         2004
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                                            Introduction

       Families often view leisure and recreational activities as a valuable way to build and

strengthen family relationships. The old adage ―the family that plays together stays together‖ is

in fact an accepted philosophy of parents and many leisure professionals (Holman & Epperson

1984; Zabriskie & McCormick 2001). Spending time with family is one of the main objectives

among American adults (Orthner, Barnett & Mancini, 1994). Time spent with the family in

pursuit of recreation and leisure is part of the ―American Dream‖ and promise of finding a happy

life. Research indicates that individuals choose to spend a majority of their leisure time with

family members (Holman & Epperson, 1984).

       Research in the field of leisure and recreation provides evidence that family functioning

is indeed correlated with family leisure and recreational activities. Participation in leisure

activities, especially outdoor recreation, is correlated with lower divorce rates (Orthner et. al.

1994). Parent-adolescent communication is improved when families participate in challenging

outdoor recreational activities (Huff, Widmer, McCoy, & Hill 2003). Challenging recreation has

successfully been used to create collective efficacy of families with at-risk adolescents. Family

collective efficacy can then be generalized to other domains of family functioning such as the

ability to resolve conflict (Wells, Widmer, & McCoy, 2004). Parent-adolescent joint-

participation in leisure activities has been strongly associated with the psychological well-being

of youth (Orthner et. al. 1994). Furthermore, shared family activities contribute to the

development of collective interest and identity, fosters adaptation to new changes, and promotes

the establishment and maintaining of boundaries and a continuing source of cohesion within the

family system (Orthner & Mancini, 1991). Shared positive experiences create a feeling of
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uniqueness within families that contributes to attachments and bonding in family relationships

(Zabriskie & McCormick, 2001).

       The research suggests that people value family recreation, and that family recreation

holds potential for a number of benefits for individuals and families. In a society where the

families continue to degenerate, some have argued that recreation professionals have a special

obligation to do more to provide services for families (Nelson, Capple, & Adkins, 1995). In the

context of the research on the benefits of family recreation and the potential societal benefits, the

need for community based family recreation programs is clear. This leads to the question of the

availability, effectiveness and prominence of family recreational programs within communities.

The purpose of this research is to investigate the availability of municipal recreation programs

designed specifically for families. A secondary purpose was to identify the challenges and

constraints faced by municipal recreation agencies in providing effective family recreation.

                                            Methodology

       A multi-stage cluster sampling method was employed to select municipal recreation

programs nationwide for inclusion in this study. The nine samples of clusters were selected by

using regions identified by the United States Census. The nine regions included Pacific,

Mountain, West North Central, West South Central, East North Central, East South Central,

Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic, and New England. Researchers randomly selected two states

from each region. The capitol city and the largest city in each state were used in the sample. If

the capitol city was the largest city in the state, the second largest city was selected as the second

city for inclusion in the study. The sample consisted of the following thirty-five cities; Los

Angeles, California; Sacramento, California; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Hartford, Connecticut;

Washington D.C.; Indianapolis, Indiana; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Indianapolis, Indiana; Louisville,
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Kentucky; Frankfurt, Kentucky; St. Paul, Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Jefferson City,

Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Trenton, New Jersey; Newark, New Jersey; Santa Fe, New

Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Charlotte, North Carolina; Raleigh, North Carolina;

Columbus, Ohio; Cleveland, Ohio; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Portland,

Oregon; Salem, Oregon; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Nashville,

Tennessee; Memphis, Tennessee; Houston, Texas; Austin, Texas; Burlington, Vermont;

Montpelier, Vermont; Casper, Wyoming; Cheyenne, Wyoming. Washington DC was randomly

selected. A second largest city was not available in this instance, thus the odd number of 35 cities

resulted.

       An Internet search was used to identify municipal recreation departments in each selected

City. A questionnaire was created to evaluate the availability and quality of family recreation

program provided by the agencies. The following questions were used: 1) What is the mission

statement of the city recreation department? 2) Does your city’s programming include families?

3) Does the recreation department have any specific goals or objectives that include families? If

so, what are the objectives? 4) What programs (in the past or present) are geared toward

families? 5) How successful are the programs in bringing families together or meeting your goals

or objectives? 6) What are the challenges to family programming?

       A team of five researchers divided up the states and cities and attempted to contact

recreation programmers. Once contact was initiated, agency officials were asked to respond to

the questionnaire. Agency officials were allowed to choose to respond via phone interviews,

emails, faxed and mailed questionnaires. In addition, researchers evaluated agency web listings

of programs to identify the availability of family programs. Researchers found dramatic

differences in the depth and quality of responses from the participating agencies.
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       Data were collected and then analyzed in four areas. First, mission statements were

compared to identify common themes. Second, goals and objectives were reviewed to determine

if family programming was included. Third, the types of family programs were identified and

summarized. Finally, data were analyzed to identify common challenges in developing and

running family programs, as described by the program administrators.


                                    Results of National Surveys

Mission Statements of United States’ City Recreation Departments

       The majority of Parks and Recreation Departments’ mission statements of the cities in

this survey addressed in general terms the criteria of improved quality of life, preservation of

parks and green spaces, equal opportunity for participation in leisure, recreation and cultural

activities and the provision of facilities and sites. Only three of the thirty-five cities mentioned
the word family in descriptions of community members. It is important to note however, that

families are implied units within the overall community. Other mentioned goals include:

       • To serve all people, minorities, special needs/embrace diversity.

       • To develop lifelong recreational interests.

       • To provide alternative activities to drugs, violence and crime.

       • To provide programs to meet community needs.

       • To strengthen neighborhood activities.

       • To provide a desirable place to raise a family.

       • To provide relief from intensity of urban life.

       • To manage facilities in order to meet educational and cultural needs.

       • To keep facilities clean, safe, functional and professionally run.



Does The City’s Programming Include Families?

       Community recreation centers and parks are seen as gathering places for the community.
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They are also seen as sites for family leisure and recreation. The majority of recreation providers

surveyed view their municipal facilities as serving families. They regard programs designed to

meet the needs of youth and adult separately as serving the family unit as a whole. Twenty-two

cities responded with a ―Yes‖ to programming that includes families, eight cities responded with

a ―No‖, leaving five cities neutral or not responding. Some cities did have leisure and recreation
programs specifically intended to encourage family participation in recreation such as, family

camps, family gardening, father/daughter dances, and family swim. Others were more general to

the community as a whole and could be avenues for family recreation such as, city festivals,

movie clubs, holiday celebrations, parades, and cultural events.

Does The Department Have Any Specific Objectives or Goals that Include Families?

       Not all participants of this survey gave specific objectives and goals that included
families. Only twelve of the thirty-five cities responded that they had goals or objectives for

families in program planning. Many municipal recreation goals focused on helping families by

providing programs for all ages of family members, or by providing after school programs to
assist working parents. Other specific objectives and goals were as follows:

       • To bring families together through providing a broad spectrum of family recreational

       activities.

       • To help urban families get out of the city and experience the benefits of outdoor

       recreation.

       • To provide affordable family recreation activities.
       • To expose families to different choices in recreation and family time.

       • To teach parents how to teach their child to play a new sport.

       • To target parents of children who are in community recreation programs and get them

       involved with their children.

       • To get families outside, going to the park or lake.

       • To construct facilities that will accommodate family involvement with sports and other
       recreational activities.
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       • To provide nominal cost opportunities for families to participate as a unit, no matter

       what kind of family they are.

       • To provide facilities and sites for family recreational and outdoor activities.

Programs

       One of the primary research questions of this project was to ask administrators of
different parks and recreation programs throughout the United States if their department had

programs geared toward families. The responses to this question varied. Many administrators

suggested that their programs allowed for family participation while others explained that their

city programs were specifically designed for families. A list of the programs in each of the cities

surveyed can be found in the appendix.


Discussion

       Many of the cities in this study experienced varying degrees of success with the different

programs implemented. They also experience varying levels of success in different

neighborhoods due to cultural and economic diversity. Some cities find less success simply

because of a lack of emphasis on family programs, while others feel that family programs are a

great way to meet the needs of the citizens. Representatives of the Parks and Recreation

department in Indianapolis, Indiana feel that their family programs are ―very popular and meet

the objectives of getting families together for exciting recreation fun in a safe and organized

setting‖, however, we did not find this to be a universal sentiment as we conducted this nation

wide survey.

       The areas in which many cities experience success are heritage or cultural activities,

holiday or other large one-time events, and smaller on-going programs. Cultural events are

generally designed to help citizens appreciate and enjoy the history and culture of their own city

or region, as well as cultures from around the world. Raleigh, North Carolina experiences great
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success with their Latin American Festival which celebrates Cinco de Mayo and offers a soccer

tournament, as well as Latin music, dance, and crafts. Other successful programs include

concerts, Shakespeare in the Park, and family dances of many genres from hip-hop to Celtic.

       Other cities experience success through holiday-based activities. Many cities provide

very successful family-oriented New Year’s Eve Celebrations. In Minneapolis Minnesota, many

steps such as a no-alcohol policy are taken to ensure a family atmosphere. The firework show

begins at 8:30 p.m. to include families with small children, and activities are available, often at

no cost, to families of all ages. With a turnout of more than five thousand people, they found it to

be one of their most successful family programs. Many cities find success in Christmas festivals,

Easter egg hunts, and family-friendly haunted houses.

       A third category of successful activities are the continuous family programs that many

cities offer on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Many cities find that their most popular family

programs are nature programs such as guided hikes, family picnics, and outdoor educational

activities. A spreading program that many cities have begun to adopt is often labeled ―Start

Smart‖. In these programs, parents guided by staff teach their child a specific sport. Some cities

have applied this concept to one sport, often soccer or baseball, while others are applying it to

everything from swimming to golf. Many cities also experience great success with family fun

night programs. These generally take place weekly, often on Friday nights, and offer a variety of

activities such as movies, sports, crafts, and dances. These events provide safe, wholesome

recreation, in an atmosphere in which families can enhance bonds and develop relationships.
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Challenges to Family Programming

        As with programming for any population, family recreation programmers encounter

numerous obstacles. This section will attempt to describe some of the difficulties facing family

recreation and some of the ways they can be negotiated.

        The most commonly reported challenge in this study was that of funding. The majority of

programs offered through municipal agencies are free of charge or require very minimal fees;

this in an effort to allow opportunities for all. Unfortunately, this policy often places a strain on

the budget of the parks and recreation department. To combat this, many cities are making

efforts for secure sponsorships through local businesses as well as through cooperation with

schools, churches, and other recreational entities such as the YMCA. Cooperation and

sponsorship has also helped many cities to compensate for a lack of adequate facilities.

        In some of the bigger cities, it is difficult to focus on strengthening the families when

they are just trying to keep kids off the streets. Especially in certain areas, the recreation

departments feel that providing diversionary activities to keep the youth out of gangs and away

from drugs meets a more critical and practical need in their community. Some of the departments

also expressed the challenge of parent participation. Many of the parents whose children

participate in their programs are too busy, or uninterested in participating in recreational

programs with their children. Some recreation departments cut family programs so as not to

exclude children without supportive families. One idea that has been discussed is to provide

programs, such as a weekly sport night, or weekend camping trips, that invite children to come

with a parent, and those whose parents are not available will be provided a mentor, or adopted

grandparent (volunteers from the community).
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         Other recreation departments found it difficult to achieve goals of strengthening families

when parents continually took on a spectator role. One recreation director said that in his city,

―parents are more apt to watch a child participate than to participate themselves‖. These

departments could benefit from programs such as ―Start Smart‖, which inform parents of their

role, and facilitate parental participation.

         Another theme that emerged as challenges were discussed was that of diversity within

and between families. It is difficult to provide family activities that are appropriate and enjoyable

for people of different ages, cultures, and family types (single parent, adoptive, etc.) One

recreation programmer said, ―One of the biggest challenges is planning for such a wide group.

It’s hard to please everyone. We try to provide events with a wide variety of activities‖. Another

respondent suggested that providing a variety of ―stations‖ creates greater appeal to a diverse

group.

         Finally, a key that some cities have found to overcoming their challenges is through

cooperation with other organizations. Many departments work very closely with schools to

facilitate publicity and access resources. Other cities work closely with churches, local

businesses, and private organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts, or YMCA.

Scheduling programs to meet the needs and time schedules of citizens of any community can be

a momentous task, but coordination with a variety of recreation agencies can allow for more

efficient, effective planning and implementation. One city team coordinates almost all

recreational activities provided throughout the city regardless of the sponsoring agency. This

allows for only one recreation booklet outlining recreation opportunities to be published, which

in turn makes it easier to disseminate information to the public and work in a coordinated effort.
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A more centralized effort may enable municipalities to more effectively meet the needs of the

community as well as reduce publicity difficulties.

                                     Analysis of Research Methodology

Strengths

        The sampling method led investigation into a wide variety of city sizes, country regions,

government organizations, and population demographics. The sample allowed for a comparison

of the needs of different cities and the methods of meeting those needs. Our sampling method

also allowed for more than one perspective from each particular state. Our overall methodology

also allowed for relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive replication.

       An additional strength of this study is found in the questioning method. The open ended

nature of the questions allowed researchers to obtain an overview of the programs, as well gain

access to the overall vision and objectives of the department. Questions further addressed the

challenges faced in family recreation and cataloged the various methods for overcoming

obstacles. Gathering information regarding mission statements, goals and objectives enhances

our understanding of the intentions behind the programs and what outcomes are expected. Much

of the other information gathered can be shared between cities and thereby provide departments

tools for use in their own family programming.

Weaknesses

        One of the main constraints of this study was the inherent dependence on the willingness

and ability of agency administrators to provide the necessary information. Some of the

individuals questioned seemed to have the time and interest to provide insightful and complete

answers. Also, due to the nature of the responsibilities of different administrators, we found

some individuals who had vast knowledge of specific programs while others were less informed
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about their agencies programs. For example, information provided by a city recreation director

would provide a good view of mission statement, goals and objectives for the department as a

whole, but often less detailed information regarding challenges and successes of operation for a

specific program or activity. Information provided by the facilitator of a specific family program,

on the other hand, would provide complimentary information. If information could only be

obtained through one person or the other, the view of family recreation in that particular city may

be incomplete or somewhat skewed.

       Another limitation of the study is based on the varied definitions of family recreation and

of family. Some contacts provided information about all programs that could be attended by

individuals and families, while some only those marketed and designed specifically for families.

Recommendations

        The information gathered in this study provided a broad base for more in-depth research.

More specific and detailed information could be obtained by reducing the number of cities

sampled and focusing on more aspects of a few cities. This in-depth information could be

gathered by interviewing not only the administrators or facilitators, but also the participants

themselves. It would be insightful to find out to what degree participants feel that programs

offered by the city fulfill their needs, and what steps could be taken to improve services.

       Other useful information could be gathered by using a snowball sampling method.

Researchers could start by gathering information about programs that are known to be

successful. After gaining an understanding of these programs, discuss with their directors other

programs that may be similarly beneficial for families. Gathering information about the most

successful existing programs can help enhance less successful programs.
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       Another important aspect to focus on for research is family programming in rural

communities. The cities in this sample were capital cities and cities with the largest populations

in the respective states. Results did show, however, that many of the smaller cities in the sample

placed a greater emphasis on family recreation than those with significantly larger populations.

Therefore, future research would likely benefit from studies focused solely on small

communities.

       Finally, an important step to understanding family recreation opportunities is to expand

the scope beyond those programs offered by municipal agencies. In existence are many privately

run organizations that compliment the family programs offered through municipal parks and

recreation departments. Many of these organizations may offer recreational opportunities

specifically geared toward families. Study of these agencies is necessary for a more complete

perspective of the availability of family recreation programs.

                                            Implications

The 5 Factors

       The five main factors that contributed to successful family programming were 1) the

natural resources and facilities available, 2) the nature of the programs, 3) the needs and nature

of the community, 4) the availability of funding and donations, 5) the training of staff as well as

participants.

       Programming for families is facilitated by the presence of natural resources. It seems that

families gravitate to nature as a family unit, and therefore capitalization on a municipalities

natural resources should promote family participation. Lakes, rivers, streams, and forests all

attracted families, and it appears that family programming in these areas stems from public
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demand. Additionally, making areas accessible and safe for bikes and strollers increases

community recreation participation.

       In areas with little or no natural resources, we found general trends in the nature of most

family programming. Consistency and timing were the main contributors to successful family

programming. Recreation administrators worked hard to ascertain the needs and constraints of

their communities. Many found that Saturdays were the best time to schedule family events, as

this ensured the highest volume of participation. Many events were advertised as alcohol free in

order to alert the public that this event was ―family friendly‖. Scheduling events consistently, as

in every Thursday, or the first Saturday of the month was found to be a successful way to help

families remember and schedule for events. In addition, scheduling events early promoted

attendance among families with young children.

       Holiday events were the most common ways that families were brought together, but

making the event a little different like the family valentines dance, or the turkey bowl seemed to

draw participation. Capitalizing on the varying ethnicities of an area in multicultural fairs or

holidays also was popular across the United States.

       Some of the programming challenges were to meet the varied needs of age and culture,

and many programs met this challenge. Some engaged in ―Start Smart‖, which allows adults and

children to participate together, with the parents or adult trained to coach. Other events, such as

the fishing derby, have the potential to transcend age, ability, and culture due to the relative ease

and accessibility of the activity. Other programs offered a wide variety of events during fairs or

other activities in order to meet the needs of the varied population. This strategy is a concern

since it promotes more individualized participation. It is however, not to be discounted and may

provide a viable first step towards full-fledged family participation.
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       Another challenge to successful family recreation programming is the availability of

funds and community donations. Funding is usually the primary concern for programmers. The

difficulty is two pronged, since it is difficult for programs to obtain adequate funding, while still

offering programs and services at a reasonable cost to the public. Making sure that a variety of

businesses are asked to fund is one way to alleviate donor burn out. Additionally, uniting with

local schools, churches, or community programs can help to mitigate costs.

       Finally, the success of family recreation programming can be measured by the benefits to

family members individually and as a unit. Staff that is trained to teach families the skills and

knowledge to continue an activity on their own promotes the ability and desire for families to

engage in future satisfying leisure activities. A family camp can teach families the necessary

skills to camp on their own and help families to become self-reliant along with providing a future

family tradition. Learning how to garden in community family gardens brings multifaceted

growth and experience that can strengthen individuals, families and communities. When staff is

knowledgeable, trained in skills, and has a working understanding of program goals and

objectives these types of benefits to family are more likely to occur.

Recommendations

       We recommend that the implementation of family recreation programs not be initiated

too speedily. Rather, we suggest that programmers take the time to assess the needs of the

community, the availability of resources, and begin programming based upon those findings and

in line with what other programs have found works as outlined in this paper. Initially, holiday or

annual family activities may be easiest to get going, as holidays offer a structure of recreation

that is already in place in the cultural psyche. Once these programs (e.g., Easter, New Years, 4 th

of July celebrations) are succeeding, then the programmer will want to begin employing monthly
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activities, then weekly. The focus of getting these initial activities up and running should be

geared towards making them fun and meeting the needs of the community.

       Once the programmer identifies what works within their community, and has family

participation, the next step is to provide staff and volunteers with an understanding of the goals

and objectives of the program, along with training in skills and leisure theory. The application of

leisure theory will strengthen the ability of the recreation activity to provide satisfying leisure to

participants.

                                             Conclusion

       In conclusion, municipal parks and recreation departments have a great capacity to

facilitate family recreation, and generally do an admirable job of meeting the needs of specific

groups. However, the group most overlooked is the family unit, the most basic unit of society. In

this study we found that a minority of parks and recreation departments are offering limited

programs that allow for families to participate in their family unit. These cities will benefit by

learning about and training staff in leisure theory. Municipalities generally offer programs for

family members to participate in individually. The majority of cities are not offering programs

for the family unit as whole. For these cities, improvement in the area of family recreation may

be found by outlining clear goals and objectives that include families.

                            Five Model Municipal Recreation Programs

                                   (Identified From Our Sample)

Nature Programs – Nashville, Tennessee

       The Nashville area is graced with a 2684 acre city park. Much of the recreation done in

the Nashville metropolitan area is facilitated by this natural resource. The parks system of

Nashville sponsors many family oriented programs through their parkway facilities. The staff
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includes naturalists who are trained to interact with young children and families in educational

outdoor experiences. The parks offer family oriented hikes and family oriented nature and garden

programs. Additionally the city park and recreation service offers special nature oriented days

that are designed to bring families together, e.g. ―bird-banding day‖ where families are involved

in an ongoing effort to band wild hummingbirds and other species. Every Saturday of the year

families are targeted and programs designed to bring families to the nature center. Efforts to

bring families in are very deliberate on the part of the parks and recreation department; they have

identified Saturday as the day families are most likely to participate in programmed activities,

and have programmed accordingly.

       The parks and recreation department also identified that families utilize paved trails.

Families with infants in strollers or with children just learning to ride bikes need paved trails, and

the Nashville greenway recognized and met this need. As a result, many families utilize the park

system, regardless of age and ability level of the children.

       Further, the parks and recreation department provides special events such as the ―Family

Picnic‖. This fair weather event is organized with families in mind. It is held outside and is

centrally located so that families can use the many nature trails available throughout the

parkway. A band plays all day while face painting activities, family hikes, puppet shows, and

crafts are organized.

Strengths

       From interviewing staff at this facility, it became clear that nature is an automatic draw

for families. This city department has made efforts to identify the needs of families, e.g. Saturday

events and paved trails, and has deliberately and successfully programmed for families in the

Nashville area.
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Weaknesses

       The recreation department provides many hiking and craft oriented activities and

conducts many learning experiences. Nashville recreation does not appear to program more

outdoor skills based activities, even though they obviously have the resources for this.

Recommendations for Improvement

       The types of programming offered enables a great many families to have enjoyable

experiences together, however the lack of skills based directed programming keeps the resources

available underutilized. Families that are interested in nature could be taught a variety of

different survival skills in this setting. The acquisition of such skills would enable families to

become more efficacious as a unit and provide a richer environment in which to experience flow.

As was the case with Layton city, this municipality may be ready to begin training staff in the

use and application of leisure theory.

Community Schools Recreation Programs – Louisville, Kentucky

       Louisville combines their recreation resources with the school district to facilitate the

―Next Step‖ program. Participants in this program are adults seeking their GED or preparing to

take the GRE who are encouraged to bring a child while they are being tutored. The adults are

tutored while an activity is conducted for the children. Participants are then brought together for

a snack and a joint activity is conducted. There are two sites where this is conducted and there

are approximately 80 people in the program.

       Louisville plans a festival of world culture once a year. This is a major community event

and the majority of participants are families wanting to learn about their heritage. There are

performing arts displays, creative writing exhibitions, photography exhibits, all of which

culminates in a heritage based talent show.
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Strengths

       Louisville has few family programs, but the two we found seemed to be quite popular in

their respective communities. The ―Next Step‖ program has more than 70 pairs of participants

each session (which was considered high participation in that area); and while there are no exact

numbers on the participation in the world cultural fair, the size of the fair has increased each

year. The programmers in Louisville seem to be making an effort to meet the needs of their

population, some of which are living in poverty.

Weaknesses

       The programs specific to families were few, and so more intentional family programming

may be beneficial in this community. Although, the ―Next Step‖ educational tutoring night is an

excellent activity it only brings two family members together, which may or may not be the

entire extent of the family.

Recommendations for Improvement

       The ―Next Step‖ educational tutoring night could possibly be improved if the recreational

activities were focused on strengthening the family bond between participants through fun

activities like those that are already planned, but additionally through participation in more

jointly challenging recreational activities. Perhaps a consultant from recreational therapy could

be employed to come in periodically throughout the program. The repercussions of increased

successful interaction with a family member for the participant studying for the GRE may

potentially increase their personal efficacy and therefore their likelihood of completing the

course and passing the test.

       The world cultural fair could be strengthened to focus on families by simply asking

participants to focus displays of artwork and traditional heritage on the traditional structure and
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function of families who live in their country of origin. Families who then come to participate

would be able to relate traditions to their function in the family unit and may see applications in

their own homes. Additionally, more family oriented activities could be fostered, such as a

family photo contest, or a family talent show. Again, this municipality needs to find additional

ways to serve the families in its community, not only as individuals but as family units before

applications of theory can be appropriately applied to activities.

Family Night/Day - Casper, Wyoming

       In Casper, Wyoming the Parks and Recreation Department provides a Family Night/Day

at the Recreation Center facility. The objective of this program is to provide an avenue for

families to recreate as a unit at a nominal cost. Families have the opportunity to participate in a

variety of recreation activities. Families may use the Recreation Center facility for $5.00 on

Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:00p.m.-8:00p.m. and Sunday from 4:00p.m.-7:00p.m.

Families may also purchase an annual Recreation Center Pass for $119 up to a family of 4 and

$20 for each additional member. A variety of activities are available to families including

volleyball, basketball, wallyball, and racquetball. Families may also use the fitness room, weight

room, and game room. The game room includes pool tables, table tennis, and fooseball, as well

as a social area with a big screen T.V. Through the Family Night/Day at the Casper Recreation

Center mom and sons are playing pool, dads and daughters are playing volleyball, and families

are spending time together recreating.

Strengths

       According to Carol McCoy, Recreation Supervisor for the Casper Recreation Center,

Family Night/Day is a successful family program. The nominal fee provides an opportunity for

families from all socioeconomic statuses to take advantage of the activities provided at the
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Recreation Center. Without this program, families would have to pay large amounts of money to

participate in activities at commercial recreation centers. The weekend and evening scheduling

also allows families that have working parents to have the opportunity to participate with the

family at the center during hours that hopefully the parents will not be working.

        The wide variety of activities allows families from all different backgrounds to

participate. It also appeals to a variety of interests within the family. Facilitators intentionally

program so that while at the facility there will be an activity that appeals to every member of the

family regardless of skill and age level. The activities are not only physically based but also

include activities such as playing pool.

Weaknesses

        Unfortunately, this diversity is also a weakness of the program. Because of the wide

variety of activities, families have further opportunities to engage in added individualized

activities such as playing basketball with their friends rather than with the family.

Recommendations for Improvement

        The Family Night/Day program may be strengthened by creating intentional activities

that are directed towards families. The Recreation Center is a large facility that allows various

activities to take place. Throughout the Family Night/Day staff may create activities in which all

families may be involved. The activities are beneficial to families because they provide

opportunities for families to interact and spend time together. The staff may provide planned

activities based on theory. These planned activities will also help in combating the problem of

the family becoming segregated while at the recreation center.

        Possible intentionally planned activities may include clinics on learning a new skill such

as wallyball or basketball. Activities may also be created in which all family members can have a
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flow experience. Family games that are organized in the gym can help in developing problem

solving skills, increase collective efficacy, optimism, and signature strengths. Teaching families

to be intentional about their time at the recreation center will increase the likelihood that the

family members will have a meaningful experience. This may be done by providing workshops

for families before they attend a Family Night /Day that will give a tour of the facility to families

and provide them information on the various planned and open activities held at the facility

before they even attend the program. These additions to the Family Night/Day program will

continue to strengthen family relationships in the Casper area and provide opportunities for

families to experience recreation.

Camp Seeley - Los Angeles, California

       Camp Seeley Family Outings program is offered through the parks and recreation

department of the city of Los Angeles, California. The purpose of Camp Seeley is to provide

opportunities for urban families to have a camp experience, to enjoy the beauty of the area, as

well as have fun meeting new friends with similar interests. Camp Seeley has been providing

family outings since 1973.

       The goals of this program include identifying the needs of participants, exposure to

outdoor recreation and creating a desire and capacity for continued family camping experiences.

Camp Seeley provides facilities such as cabins and food that provide a camping opportunity for

new or novice campers. Camping skills are taught and activities planned to enhance the

appreciation and enjoyment of nature.

       The two-day outings are open to all families, single parents, friends, singles, senior

citizen and small groups. This program is designed to include people of all ages in activities that

relate to nature and the environment. Included in the fee is one night’s lodging in a comfortable,
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heated cabin, and four family-style meals served in a rustic dining hall. Programmed activities

include such things as hikes, games, relaxing time, music, and campfire programs. Other outdoor

related activities such as night hikes with star talk and country dancing are also facilitated.

       The Camp Seeley facility includes 65 cabins, a large kitchen and dining hall, a rustic

lodge, modern restrooms and shower facilities, playing fields, a game room, and children’s area.

The fee is very reasonable; adults 13 and up are $30, youth age 7 to 12 are $25, and youth age 2

to 6 are $18. Families provide their own transportation to camp, along with bedding and any

personal items.

       Mr. Dave Griffith is the director of Camp Seeley. He has a core group of five and a

peripheral group of five assistants. Each of the staff has specific assignments such as,

registration, meals, programs, safety, etc.

Strengths

       The strengths of Camp Seeley Family Outings are many. Camp Seeley has excellent

facilities that allow a family camping experience that is comfortable and easy for novice

campers. Parents do not need to worry about meal planning and preparation. It is affordable and

accommodating to all types of family entities, such as single parents, grandparents with

grandchildren, and young families wanting to learn about camping and develop skills. Program

planning is purposeful and organized to promote enjoyment, appreciation of nature and learning

about the environment. The natural environment includes a stream with big trees that provides

opportunities for privacy and the intrigue of Indian lore. Trained staff is focused on meeting

specific needs of individuals and families by providing joint and parallel activities, along with

allowing parents to have some individual free time. Camp Seeley gives families the opportunity

to spend quality and quantity time together strengthening relationships and making new friends.
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Weaknesses

       Camp Seeley is limited in the number of families that can be accommodated each year.

Although operators try to insure that everyone has an occasion to come, it provides opportunities

for a small portion of the population it services. Additionally, Camp Seeley provides the

resources for outdoor recreation but does not fully use these resources to promote increased

family communication, adaptation, and cohesion. Therefore, Camp Seeley may be able to

strengthen its program by having a more structured training program in order that families feel

comfortable trying new activities. This facility seems to be one that would benefit from staff

training in theoretical application. Since families are interacting with staff for extended periods

of time, staff have ample opportunity to influence efficacy, attribution style and to facilitate an

environment in which flow may occur.

Recommendations for Improvement

       Overall, Camp Seeley’s programming would be strengthened by using theory in the

planning and application of programs. Staff trained in the use of self-efficacy theory or

attribution theory could enhance planned activities to strengthen individuals and family’s

efficacy and mental attitudes. For example, challenging family activities (initiative games) that

promote teamwork and collective efficacy could transfer to increased family support and

communication when the family returns home. Learned healthy explanatory styles (making

positive comments about oneself) while hiking, or learning something new can lead to increased

awareness of the affect that positive verbal support can have on family members.

Fishing Derby – Jefferson City Missouri

       The fishing derby event, held in Jefferson City, MO is co-sponsored by Capital City

Bassmasters, KRCG-TV, Wal-Mart Super center, and the Jefferson City Parks and Recreation.
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Kids up to 16 years of age are invited to test their fishing and casting skills in the Capital City

Bassmaster’s Kids Fishing Derby at Binder Lake on a Saturday morning. Trophies and other

prizes are awarded for biggest, smallest, and most fish caught in four age categories: five and

under; six to nine; ten to twelve; and thirteen to sixteen years of age. A large number of special

attendance giveaways including boats, fishing equipment and tackle, camping equipment,

sporting goods and more are also awarded on a random basis.

       Each entrant is responsible for his or her own bait and tackle and are available for

purchase at the tackle shop. All children must be accompanied during the event by a parent or

guardian, and a fishing license is not required for children or adults on this day.

       This program provides a great opportunity for parents and children to interact and work

together one-on-one. The program allows for participation of children in a variety of age groups

and skill levels. The fishing derby provides an opportunity for children and parents to develop a

shared interest that they can engage in after the event concludes. It can help participants

appreciate nature and learn a skill. This event allows families of all socioeconomic statuses to

become involved by not requiring participation fees or a fishing license.

Weaknesses

       This program is less conducive to participation of large families. Also, it may not be of

interest to families who do not have previous interest in fishing. Finally, it is not conducive to

positive interactions with staff. These limitations, however, are inherent in the design, as it is

geared toward other objectives.

Recommendations for Improvement

       This program could do more to strengthen families by taking measures to encourage

family participation in fishing outside of this one-time event. Continued family recreation
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participation could possibly be facilitated if organizers were to set up a booth where families

could apply for fishing licenses and purchase fishing equipment right there at the Derby, while

their interest level is still high. In addition to teaching fishing skills, staff members could also

teach families how to plan and locate sites for future fishing excursions. Support from this

program has the potential to help make fishing and other outdoor endeavors core activities for

families.

                                               Appendix

                      Summary of Family Recreation Programs From Sample

Los Angeles, California
     Family camping - Camp Seeley Family Outings, cabins and food provided, along with
       planned activities, such as campfire program, night hikes with conversations about stars,
       country dancing and learning of camping skills

Sacramento, California
    Celebration of Color – In February, Black History Month. Event with music, dance and
      African culture.
    Eggs-tra Special Day – Easter – Activities for families
    Halloween – Have four hours of activities on Halloween night.
    Christmas – The 12 schools in the area select families in need and in conjunction with
      Target (The Store) they provide dinner, presents, etc.
    Sweet Potato Festival – sponsored by the National Council of Negro Women – Family
      activity, over 3,000 people attended this last year. Has been ongoing for 14 years.
    West African Dance Class – For all ages, encourages fathers, wives and children to
      participate together.
    Show Biz Productions – Currently learning Hip Hop—they perform all over the
      community. Sometimes they have mothers and daughters participating together.
    Summer and After School Kids Camp- (Free) In this program the kids get a free lunch,
      after school they receive a free snack. They will occasionally have a family potluck, and
      invite parents on special field trips. They encourage parents to drop off kids and pick
      them up.
    Jazz Festival in the Park – This is a big family event sponsored by the center and the
      community council.
    Occasionally they have a family night if the multipurpose room is available. Families
      book the multipurpose room in the community center for weddings, family parties,
      receptions, and special birthdays.
    Learn while you play – Parents taught how to play with their children. This program is
      taught by a child development specialist.
    Family nights – Events such as a carnival
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City of Hartford, Connecticut
     Outdoor Movies – (G-rated for families) Heavily attended by families.
     Summer concerts – (June/Sept – free) Heavily attended by families
     Spray pools – Family facility at parks
     Swimming pool – Open swim on Sundays for families – encourages families to attend by
        having drawings for prizes.
     Summer supervised playgrounds
     Games and Sorts tournaments
     Café’ Culture – Monthly program open to everyone – ½ of these programs are geared for
        families. Have guest speakers, musical performances, and open microphone for poetry
        sharing.

Washington, D.C.
   Movies in the park – During the Summer movies are shown in the park
   Intergenerational camp – Grandparents and the children that they are raising, do a week
      long camp together during the summer.
   Head Start – child-centered curriculum of creative arts, science, social studies, and
      mathematics where parents are encouraged to participate.
   Family Dinner Theater – Enjoy dinner and a play at the Sight and Sound.
   Annual Family Boat Ride – In recognition of ―Therapeutic Recreation Month,‖ family,
      friends, and supporters come together to celebrate on the Spirit of Washington.

Fort Wayne, Indiana
    Family Fun Day – Activity at the Botanical Conservatory
    Nature Games
    After Dark Adventures
    Shape Your Life Sampler
    Jazz under the Stars
    Kids Fishing Derby
    Reindeer Feast at the Botanical Conservatory

Indianapolis, Indiana
     Parent Tot Swim Lessons – Parents will learn progressive skills to help tots feel
       comfortable and secure in the water.
     Brookside Movie Club
     Dance of the Timberdoodle – Participants learn the amazing dance of the woodcock.
     Friday Night FROGWATCH – We will learn about frogs and frog calls, and visit a pond
       to collect data for FROGWATCH USA, searching for the frogs themselves!
     Holiday Park Night Hike – Join a naturalist as we explore Holiday Park at night.
     Early Bird Migration – The cold weather is beginning to subside and birds will be
       traveling north soon. Join our park naturalist for a Saturday morning bird watching
       experience.
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      Making Maple Syrup – The park naturalist will show each of the steps necessary to make
       syrup, tell Native American and pioneer stories about the discovery of syrup, and allow
       participants to taste real maple syrup.
      Spring Wildflowers – Southeastway Park. Join us as we identify wildflowers common to
       our area and interesting facts about the different flowers.
      ―Eggs‖tra Special Day – Activities includes making crafts, singing songs, reading stories,
       and an egg hunt.
      World Oyama Karate – Japanese style karate specifically geared for self-defense.
      Egg Hunts
      Family Bingo
      Touch a Truck
      Parent/Child classes

Frankfurt, Kentucky
    There are no programs funded by the municipality that include families. There are annual
       events which are funded by local businesses.

Louisville, Kentucky
    Metro Parks joins with the schools to provide GRE programs
    Drama & Storytelling Programs
    Shakespeare programs
    Festival of World Cultures – This festival combines performing arts, creative writing,
       photography, and a talent show. It is designed to allow people to write and perform about
       their heritages.
    Next Step – In combination with the school system, the parks and recreation department
       sponsors Next Step in order to facilitate adults getting their GED. Adults come for
       tutoring, bring a child (theirs or a family member.) While the adult is tutored the child has
       an activity. After the tutoring everyone comes together for food and a joint activity.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
    Holiday events – They do a lot of city-wide seasonal and holiday events
    New Year’s Eve Celebration – This event is designed for family participation. It is non-
      alcoholic and the fireworks show begins at 8:30 to cater to the needs of small children.
      There are a variety of activities that cater to the needs of all age groups.
    Family Fun Time – Balls and games available at the park.
    Family oriented nature and educational activities – Animals along the river, apple
      cidering, the cuddly carp, Fall Story Hour, Fur and Feathers, Kit’s Club: Preschool
      Family Program, Ol’ Furry Tail, Old Time Harvest, River Explorers, Summer Story
      Hour, Urban Wildlife Program, Wildlife Wander, Nature Adventures with Your 5 Senses,
      Camouflage: A Scavenger Hunt for Kids, Binoculars and Field Guides for Kids, Learn
      How to Use the Tools of the Experts, & Quaking Bog Trot.

St. Paul, Minneapolis
     Family Ice Fishing Contest
     Lantern Lighting Festival – A celebration of Japanese culture
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      Como Park Zoo and Conservatory – Activities include penguins to polar bears, MM MM
       Chocolate, Home spa, Medicine Cabinet, Should I stay or Should I Go?, Creepy
       Crawlies, Home Construction, Ready Set Garden!, Carapace Caper, Birds of a Feather, &
       African Plant Safari.
      City activities – family-oriented outdoor concerts, picnics, theatre, etc.

Jefferson City, Missouri
     Smart Start Baseball/Soccer/Basketball/Golf – Parents are taught skills and then work
        one-on-one with child (ages 3-6); designed to introduce sports in non-competitive
        environments and provide opportunities for parents and children to spend time together.
     Fishing Derby – Parent participation is required; very interactive.
     Lewis and Clark Historical Events – A new task force has been formed to plan these;
        Designed to provide family activity opportunities, and teach residents about town history.
     Living Windows – Downtown Christmas Festival with performances, carriage rides,
        caroling, and other festivities; goal is to help families enjoy the season.
     Multicultural Festival – Heritage booths, cultural food, activities for all ages. Designed to
        help families learn about their heritage.
     Shakespeare in the Park
     Moonlight Bike-ride
     Circus

St. Louis, Missouri
      Easter Egg Hunt and Christmas Party – Put on by individual recreation centers.
      Black History – Some events for Black History include celebrations that involve all
        families.
      Basketball league – Basketball league play is designed to invite family involvement,
        food for kids, etc.

Newark, New Jersey
   No intentional family programming was found

Trenton, New Jersey
    Black History Month – February
    St. Patrick’s Day Parade – March
    African-American Heritage Day Parade – May
    Portuguese Day Parade and Festival – June
    Newark Festival of People – June
    Puerto Rican Statewide Parade Festival – July
    Gospel Festival - August
    Africa-Newark festival – August
    Brazilian Independence Day Festival – September
    Columbus Day Parade – October
    United Nations Day – October
    Sarah Vaughan Jazz Festival at Newark – November
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Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Twenty-Five Cent Family Swim Nights – Fridays, indoor pools are 25 cent admission.
    Free Friday Flicks – Showing family movies in city parks
    Drop in Volleyball – Volleyball program set up for family to participate.
    Swimming lessons – Family members are encouraged to stay and watch children
      participate.
    Swim Team/Water Polo – Discounts are provided to additional family members.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
    No intentional family programming was found

Charlotte, North Carolina
    Family hikes
    Nature programs
    Tell stories
    Family trips
    Environmental education
    Easter egg hunt – families come out to search for eggs in the water.
    Indoor water park
    Horseback riding

Raleigh, North Carolina
    Senior to Senior Dance – Senior citizens and seniors in high school have an annual dance
       together, with a senior in high school student asking a senior citizen to the dance.
    Waterfront concerts – Free concerts every Sunday during the summer for people in the
       community. They also have storytelling, magicians, and readings with a musical
       background.
    Spring Fling – Special event sponsored by local community recreation centers. Events
       include pony rides, stage performances, and music
    Cinco de Mayo – Special events such as this Latin American Festival. Activities include
       a soccer tournament, food, dance, music, and craft that are Latin in nature.
    N.C. Museum of History – Sparkling facility showcases North Carolina’s unique and
       colorful history.
    N.C. Museum of Art – One of the South’s best collections
    N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences – Learn about the state’s natural history from the
       coastal plains to the mountains.
    N.C. Sports Hall of Fame – Members include Arnold Palmer, Dean Smith and Richard
       Petty.
    State Capitol – This National Historic Landmark was built in the 1830s.
    North Carolina Executive Mansion – Called ―the most beautiful governor’s mansion
       (interior) in America‖ by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    Parks, Lakes, and Greenways – Visitors to Greater Raleigh can enjoy more than 150
       beautiful parks and lakes, covering 6,500 acres, and 46 miles of greenways.
    Marin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Gardens – A colorful variety of trees, shrubs and
       flowering plants surround a life-size bronze statue of Dr. King.
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      State Farmers Market – Produce doesn’t get any fresher – or more colorful—than at this
       75-acre open air market.
      Artspace – A center for the visual arts featuring 44 working artists in open-to-the-public
       studios.
      J.C. Raulsten Arboretum at N.C. State University – Features more than 6,000 varieties of
       plants from 55 countries.
      Historic Oakwood – Victorian neighborhood listed in the National Tour of Historic
       Places.
      Pullen Park – Downtown park featuring a 1911 antique carousel, train ride, kiddie boat
       ride and pedal boats.
      State Legislative Building – Home of the N.C. General Assembly.
      St. Augustine’s College Chapel – Built in 1895, the chapel is home to the bishop’s chair,
       a memorial to the Right Reverend Henry Beard Delany.
      African-American Cultural Complex – An exposition of contributions made by African
       Americans to the development of North Carolina and the United States.
      Raleigh City Museum – Interesting exhibits take visitors through the 200-year history of
       the Capital City.
      North Carolina Solar Center – Demonstration house and research facility on the N.C.
       State University campus.
      Historic Oak View County Park – Historic farmstead that focuses on Wake County’s
       agricultural heritage.
      Ray Price Legends of Harley Drag Racing Museum – Check out the only Harley-
       Davidson drag racing museum in the world located on the second floor of one of the
       largest Harley dealerships in the United States.

Cleveland, Ohio
    Computer classes
    Family arts and crafts
    Family ceramics
    Family swim
    Family gym

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    Guided Nature Hikes – Through Martin Park; $1 per person, any group or family can
      come.
    Family Fun Nights – Games for the whole family from 7 to 10 on certain weekends at
      Woodson, Earlywine, and Will Rogers Pools. Children under 13 must be accompanied by
      an adult.
    ―Drive-In Movies‖ – Float on tubes in the pool. Children under ten must be accompanied
      by an adult.
    Family Bingo – at Minnis Community Center; Fridays.
    Community centers – These centers offer other family holiday events.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
                                                                              Leisure Research 32


      Me and My Sidekick in Art – Program for preschoolers (3-5) and a parent, aunt,
       grandparent, etc.
      A ―Puzzling‖ Family Contest – Cancelled due to lack of interest
      Family Skate Night – All ages, second Friday of every month
      Tumbling Tykes – Parents and children (1-3) learn basic tumbling once per week
      Lil’ Bit (Sidekick) Basketball/Soccer/T-ball/Tennis/ Football/Dance – Same as above for
       ages 3-5.
      ―Start Smart‖ Golf – ages 5-7; parental participation is required; one of the advertised
       benefits of the program is ―quality time together for parents and children.‖
      Mommy and Me Playtime – Indoor games at Turner Park (1-5).
      Family Fun Appreciation Night – Games, crafts, and surprises for all ages; designed to
       get the families of program participants involved, also to thank them for support.
      Tulsa Salutes Freedom – Family style 4th of July celebration and picnic.
      Bikes, Balls, and You – open gym type activity for preschoolers and their parents
      Discovery Club – Third Saturday of each month; a nature topic is interpreted through
       both an indoor craft or story and an outdoor hike or exploration; for preschoolers and
       parents.
      Daddy-Daughter Hike – Hiking on more rugged trails.
      Father-Son Cowboy Cookout – Dutch oven cooking.
      Covered Wagon Hike
      Hobo Hike
      Daddy-Daughter Dance

City of Portland, Oregon
    Portland has extensive outdoor recreation programs. Four to eight week-end outdoor family
    recreation trips are planned (1 or 2 per season).
     Sauvie Island Family Trip – Exploring the island’s beautiful waterways by canoe,
        heading up to pumpkin Patch for either and adventure in their giant corn maze or letting
        the kids find and pick their very own pumpkins.
     Family Snowshoe Tours – most scenic trails in Mr. Hood area.
     Cross Country Ski Lessons – Designed for kids 8-16 and their favorite adults.
     Naturalists – guided canoe tour exploring river ecosystem. (geared for ages 6 and up).
     Swan island Sunset Canoe Tour – for ages 6 and up.
     Swan Island to Cathedral Park Paddles – for ages 6 and up.
     Saturday, Forest Park Hikes

      Family Fun Nights - (twice a month) usually a carnival setting. All kinds of activities
       throughout the center. During activities in the water you will often see parents
       participating in the water with the child. Activities in the gymnasium are more parallel
       activities (children playing – parents observing and interacting with other adults).
       Arts/Crafts the parents usually participate with the child. Have cookie and cake walks.
       Because centers are a gathering place it is also a social time for parents.
      In-door Park – Usually during school year, fall, winter, spring. They set up riding toys,
       balls, etc. Parent or grandparent usually brings preschoolers.
                                                                           Leisure Research 33


      Event-Activities – February – Daddy Daughter Dances (for fathers and girls 12 and
       under)
      Parent-child Swim classes (aquaducks)
      Martial arts for the family
      Roller Hockey for families
      Gingerbread Houses
      Hip-Hop for two
      Tap for two

Salem, Oregon
     Parent taught Youth Soccer – Parents trained and work with children, staff moves around.
       Positive response in the community. Parents want to help but don’t know how. Parents
       are trained to connect with the children.
     Swim Lessons – Before class instructors teach parents how to help and be a part of the
       lesson.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
    Kipona Festival
    Reservoir Park Concert Series
    Activity Days – Scheduled playground activities geared mostly towards youth and
       children, but parents were in attendance.
    Easter Egg Hunter
    Fishing Derby

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
     Programming includes activities separated by age and ability. No intentional family
       programming was found.

Memphis, Tennessee
   Easter egg hunt
   International Children’s Festival and Family Day – Families take a ―trip around the
     world‖ to see how people of different cultures use native plants.
   Mother’s Day Brunch
   Harvest Festival Family Day – family crafts, trick or treat, games, and more.

Nashville, Tennessee
    4th of July Free Concert – Alan Jackson & Symphony. There also will be a Kids Zone,
       trampolines, climbing walls, miniature golf, inflatable moon bounce activities. Huge
       fireworks display.
    Community Concerts – Free
    Blues Festival – Memorial Day weekend. Alcohol free
    Big Band – Weekly dances
    Shakespeare in the park – There are plays 4 nights of each week during August
    Movies in the park – Six week program
                                                                           Leisure Research 34


      Community Center Programs – One example is the community night out--this is a weekly
       program showing movies to elementary school kids and families.
      2,600 acre park – Naturalists are there every day.
      Family night hikes – Star gazing.
      Family garden programs
      Family nature hikes
      Special bird banding day
      Special Events Family picnic – Band, Outside, Face painting, hiking, crafts, puppet
       shows.
      Family Friday nights – Every Friday night in the summer have a family program about
       different topic. Full moon hike, spider seminar, insects of the night, amphibian night
       (pond man made at the facility, look for frogs and toads and listen to them.) Showcasing
       the nature center. Bonfires, story time 2 times per quarter for toddlers but mom and dad
       come. Singers at the bonfire.
      Paved trails – These trails facilitate families with strollers

Austin, Texas
    Family Fitness Project 2002 – a yearlong project focusing on creating opportunities and
       resources for non-competitive, family focused physical activities and healthy nutrition.
    Sundays at Pioneer Farms – a time for families to come and enjoy themed cooking,
       crafts, music, and stories.
    Daily Life in the Rural Past – self-paced self-guided tours through a period neighborhood
       with costumed interpreters.
    Diez y Seis Celebration – Austin’s celebration of Mexico’s Independence.
    Family Dinosaur Day – Dinosaur activities at the Austin Nature and Science Center
    Starfish – Teaches parents to teach their children to swim.

Houston, Texas
    Most of these are holiday events, not ongoing programs

Burlington, Vermont
   Community Gardens – Burlington’s youth garden program involves 100 families taking
      part in activities at the Starr Farm Kids’ Garden, Children’s Discovery Garden, and
      Champlain Kids Garden. More than a thousand people take part each year in Burlington’s
      community gardens. Burlington has the largest and longest running community garden
      program in northern New England and is a model for other cities. BACG (Burlington
      Area Community Gardens) gardeners donate hundreds of pounds of fresh garden produce
      to the Emergency Food shelf and four other area agencies and contribute $700 or more
      annually to provide garden scholarships for limited income families. Ten acres of land in
      Burlington support 400 community garden plots at eight BACG sites.

      After school programs – Schools have extensive after school programs to provide
       positive leisure activities for children up until 5 or 6 o’clock to help families.
      Mother & Daughter Yoga Class – Intent is to strengthen relationships, for mother and
       daughters for ages 12 and up.
                                                                           Leisure Research 35



Montpelier, Vermont
   Annual Easter Egg Hunt
   Father/Daughter Dance
   Mother/Son Archery Class
   Water Carnival
   Moonlight family Swim
   Barbeque at the pool
   Family Float night
   Noodle Night at the pool – families enjoy floating around the pool
   Sliding Party – for preschoolers ages 5-6 and parents.


Casper, Wyoming
    Martial Art Classes – For families and discounts are given if Mom and child or Dad and
       child register for the classes.
    Family Times at the Recreation Center – Families can use the facility for $5.00 a night or
       purchase an annual Rec Pass for Friday evenings, Saturdays or Sunday.
    Classes and programs for families – Instructors met with administration and decided that
       programs could be opened for parent and child and that most activities could be made for
       the family
    Annual membership for Family Night-Day Families pay 110 annually to use the
       recreation facility.
    Family Dance Night – DJ will play a variety of music for all to enjoy.

Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Superday
    Tour de Prairie Cycling Adventure
    Goblin Walk
    Youth Basketball League
    Easter Egg Hunt
    Mom and Tot classes – gymnastics, dance, swim, etc.
                                                                               Leisure Research 36




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