Summertime doesn't necessarily mean the living is easy for you. Many professionals working in recreation, sports and fitness are at their busiest when the weather is warm, the pools are full of swimmers, the parks are full of revelers, and the ballfield is full of kids, watching for their turn to catch the ball or (remembering my own softball days) singing, picking dandelions and hoping the ball never ever comes to right field.
The Fourth of July weekend, right around the corner as I write this, but already in the past as you read it, brings an abundance of activities, from fireworks and festivals to 5ks and more.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) takes advantage of the height of summertime fun to celebrate all that parks bring to the public. That's right. Since 1985, July has been celebrated as official Park and Recreation Month.
And this July brings even more opportunities to get the community out to your local parks, with five entire weekends to engage in some kind of park activity.
Upping the ante this year, NRPA is sponsoring a "Rock Your Park" Flash Mob Contest.
What is a flash mob, you ask? Simply, they're sudden assemblies of people who gather, often to do something oddly off-kilter in the time and space they occupy, then just as quickly disperse. There have been plenty of wonderful examples. Go ahead and google "flash mob" to find some. (My personal favorite was a flash mob of Lloyd Doblers on the 20th anniversary of the movie Say Anything. Can it really have been 20 years already?)
Contest rules and more information can be found at www.nrpa.org/flashmobcontest/.
While you're celebrating, and hopefully garnering some of the recognition you deserve for bringing all you do to your community, I know you'll also find the time for more serious contemplation as you read through this issue. We have plenty of food for thought here in these pages, from coverage of some of the latest trends in aquatic safety (on page 20) to a look at design trends in sports and recreation facilities (on page 28). There's also a quick overview of some grounds maintenance practices (on page 34) and a guest column from the American Council on Exercise, explaining how you can get involved in bringing fitness opportunities to military service members and their families (on page 12).
And on page 14, you'll find our Fourth Annual Salary Survey (I can hear the sound of pages flipping all the way from here), where you'll find how your own pay and experience stacks up against your peers. The news this year, as you might expect, was mixed. Overall, average salaries have dropped since last year, but reader respondents are more positive about where things are going in the future, and job satisfaction has soared to new levels.
Even better, we've got a lot more information where that came from, as well as additional information collected from our State of the Industry Survey. We'll be offering up these juicy little tidbits over the next several months over at the RecBlog. (Visit www.recmanagement.com/blog to find it.) We hope you'll visit, weigh in with your own thoughts, and encourage your peers to do likewise.
And in the meantime, have a great July!
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