Recreation Director’s Report

March 9, 2010

Usually when it’s time to write the March Recreation Director’s Report there is snow still covering the ground, however as you can see that’s not the case this year. The sun has graced us and temperatures have been warmer than normal and sugaring season is upon us.

On Friday, February 12, 2010 the Pittsford Recreation Department & Brandon Recreation Departments co-sponsored our annual Valentines Day Teen Dance at the VT Police Academy. 137 teens in grades 7-10 participated in this event. First, I want to thank the members of the Brandon Recreation Department “Raiders” 7th/8th grade football team Dean Douglas & Jon Thornton, who arrived early to set up and stayed late to help clean up. I’d like to thank the parent chaperones who volunteered to take time out of their hectic schedules to help us keep a close watch on everything. Thank you to Ron Corliss, Diane Douglas, Kelly & Stephanie Giard, Jeff Jones, Joanne McLaren, Kathy Roberts, Paula Rosen, & Mark Winslow. I’d also like to extend a “special thank you” to Laurie Hemple and Kathy Shortsleeves who operated the concession stand. I’m thankful, as were the teens, for the services they provided to the event. Mrs. Shortsleeves spent a lot of time preparing for this event and it showed in how popular it was.

On Wednesday, February 17, 2010 the Recreation Department sponsored a School Break Fun Day program. Usually during the February school vacations, the Recreation Department sponsors fun and exciting field trips in order to get children out of the house to engage in some social interaction and to participate in some type of physical activity. We had 29 (1st – 6th grade) students who went “indoor rock climbing” with us at the Green Mountain Climbing Center in the morning. After lunch, the group enjoyed an afternoon of swimming in the Mitchell Therapy Pool at VAC.

On Saturday, February 27, 2010 the Pittsford Recreation Department in conjunction with the Pittsford Trails Committee scheduled our 8th annual Winter Celebration at the Caldwell Trail. Participants of all ages were invited to get outdoors and enjoy an afternoon of exercise and fun with their family and friends. Due to rain, flooded trails, and a potential to tear up a farmers field in which we park cars in we were forced to cancel the event again this year. Saturday ended up being bright and sunny with a couple inches of new wet snow but the trails were covered with a water making them impassable in parts to walk or hike on. This was an unfortunate turn of events since the 2008 event had seen record numbers of over 125 people attending and I felt the program was picking up in popularity. Hopefully we’ll try again next year.

On Sunday, March 7, 2010 the Recreation Department began its third season of the ski & snowboard program at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. Thirty students of various ages and skill levels are participating in this four week program. Students are divided in small groups based on skill level and each week will receive a one hour lesson from a Snow Bowl instructor. After each class the students have 2 hours to ski or ride. The kids that can demonstrate to their instructors that they are chair lift ready are given passes which allows them to ride a lift up and work on refining the skills they have learned as they descend the mountain. The remaining students, or beginners, continue to practice their stopping and turning in the “Discovery Zone” (a.k.a. bunny slope). Each spring it’s nice to see how much these kids have improve during the 4-week program. The goal for everyone is that by the end of the four weeks each and every child will be proficient enough to ride a chairlift up the mountain and ski or ride down a beginner trail in a controlled manner. The Snow Bowl instructors have been very professional working with our group. They have a great deal of knowledge and are able to pass that on to our skiers & riders.

On Friday, March 12, 2010, the Pittsford Recreation Department and the Maclure Library, along with the Lothrop PTO will host our last Family Fun Night of the winter. The theme for this Family Fun Night is “Wild, Wild, West”. Each event is held at the Vermont Police Academy. Family Fun Nights are designed for our local families with children in the third grade and younger. The Maclure Library supplies the wonderful art & craft projects. The Recreation Department is in charge of providing physical activities and games for families to take part in, such as “Giant Connect Four, Checkers, Chess, & Dart Ball”. The tunnels are extremely popular for our target age group also. Family Fun Nights are a fun way for the kids to burn-off some of their built up energy and allows parents to socialize a bit.

The Pittsford Day Committee members met on Thursday, January 21, 2010 to begin planning for the 2010 summer event. After some discussion it was decided that Saturday, June 26, noon – 5 pm would work best for the committee. Since then two meetings have been postponed for various reasons. The next meeting Pittsford Day Committee is Thursday, March 18 at 6:00 pm at the Town Offices.

On Thursday, February 25, 2010 (the 4th Thursday of each month), the Recreation Department & “Pittsford Seniors” had to postpone their monthly luncheon at the VT Police Academy because of a snow storm the day before. The event took place a week later, Thursday, March 4. Though over 50 seniors had taken the time to pre-register, only 39 actually ate the meal. Each luncheon features a keynote speaker. Following lunch Laura Vien from RAVNA, Marketing and Public Relations Associate spoke about the programs offered by the Rutland Area Visiting Nurses Association. The Sr. Luncheons give local seniors a nutritious meal at an affordable price ($4.50 donation for people 60 and older & $6.00 for everyone else) and the chance to socialize with neighbors and friends. The next monthly luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, March 25 @ 1:00 pm.

I’m happy to report that the “Safe Sitter” babysitter class filled all eight spots. This interactive program is for 11-13 year old students interested in becoming a “Safe Sitter” babysitter. Participants learn about child care essentials, injury prevention & management and how to care for choking kids.

Finally I must report that on February 10, 2010 Kathy Brown submitted her resignation from the Pittsford Recreation Committee. Kathy Brown had been a member of the Recreation Committee since January 2005 when she was appointed to fill a vacancy left by Kelly Carter. Over the past five years Kathy has been invaluable member of the Recreation Committee who will be surely missed by us all who had the opportunity to work side by side with her. She was as dependable, enthusiastic member, who brought a great deal knowledge to the group. She is a great supporter of the Recreation Area, our programs and it easy to tell how much loves the town she lives in. Kathy Brown was also a key component of the Pittsford Day Committee. As the Treasurer of the Pittsford Community Corporation it was her job to keep the Pittsford Day checkbook. Kathy always kept a close, detailed eye on the funds both coming in and out. Kathy was great about properly thanking each and every donor. Over the past few summers she had put her own touch of class and Americana on the annual event by putting red, white, and blue bunting along bridge that spans the Sugar Hollow Brook. Kathy will be surly missed; I can’t say thank you enough.