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Recreation Specialist

Significant Points

This series includes positions where the paramount requirement is for a general knowledge of the goals, principles, methods, and techniques of the broad field of recreation in evaluating recreation needs and in planning, organizing, advising on, and administering recreation activities and programs which promote the physical, creative, and social development of participants.

Background

Recreation specialists apply a knowledge of the values and uses of recreation and of the interests and attitudes of the population served in planning and carrying out recreation programs. They evaluate recreation needs and stimulate and maintain participant interest in appropriate recreational activities.

Recreation specialists are employed in a variety of recreation programs. They provide recreation for:

-- members of the armed services and their dependents;

-- residents of Department of Justice correctional institutions;

-- residents of the District of Columbia;

-- students in boarding schools and other educational facilities administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior;

-- (in nontherapeutic, strictly diversional settings), patients and staff of hospitals and homes, or of other Federal medical facilities.

Recreation programs consist of:

-- a variety of specialized activities in a particular area of interest, such as, sports, music, or theater, which are geared toward the special interests and needs, and the levels of physical, creative, and social development of participants;

-- diverse activities in a general recreation program carried out under the auspices of a civilian community center or a military recreation center; or -- diverse activities for a particular group, such as, young people, senior citizens, prisoners, or the physically and/or mentally disabled.

Also, as the work assignments of individual recreation specialist positions may differ from one to the other, they may require different knowledges, skills, and abilities, depending on the kind of recreation program or activities involved. However, regardless of their subject-matter specialization, all recreation specialists must possess:

-- a basic knowledge of the goals, principles, methods, and techniques of recreation;

-- a good understanding of the interests and motivations of individuals and groups;

-- the program planning and leadership skills needed to devise and carry out recreation programs that will stimulate and sustain the interest of participants and so challenge their participation that they may benefit from the physical, psychological, and social values to be derived from recreational activities.

Volunteer Management Aspects of Recreation

Many recreation programs are heavily dependent upon volunteers for successful accomplishment of a considerable number of recreation activities and services. The variety and volume of activities and services available to the participant community are also influenced substantially in many cases by the availability of volunteer support.

A volunteer is any person who, acting as a private citizen, offers his/her services gratuitously under circumstances not involving an employee-employer relationship; and whose services will not be used to displace any employee and will not include the assignment of duties subject to the Classification Act of 1949, as amended. Therefore, although volunteers cannot be considered subordinate personnel, as such, to whom the classic supervisory services such as performance ratings are given by recreation program managers, the attraction, selection, training, and management of this type of work place special responsibility upon such program managers and impact heavily upon the factor of complexity in their jobs. Public relations aspects of overall programs become considerably more complex for, in order to attract and hold volunteers, the recreation specialist must be exceptionally adept and diplomatic in all dealings with such persons. Furthermore, great care must be taken that volunteers are properly oriented as to program policies and procedures; are promptly assigned to well organized, appropriate, and meaningful activities; are frequently and openly appreciated for services rendered, and are supported by the recreation program specialist as full-fledged members of staff in their work with participants.

Another complicating factor is the turnover rate in volunteer staff, with the ever-present need for alternative plans and contingency arrangements for back up support. Important recreation activities cannot be canceled simply because a volunteer does not show, so alternative planning is a crucial task. On the whole, the turnover rate among volunteers requires a continuing recruitment, training, and management effort which complicates the scheduling of recreation activities and creates responsibility for minimizing the adverse effects such turnover has upon participant interest and achievement.

Training and Management Processes. Recreation Specialists in charge of program specialty areas obtain and utilize volunteers by the following means:

Recruitment -- the process of locating and attracting volunteers.

Placement -- the process of matching volunteer resources with substantive or technical tasks to be performed.

Orientation -- the process of informing volunteers of broad program direction, procedures and goals and of rules and procedures relating to specific activities.

On-the-Job-Training --the continuing process of training and guiding volunteers in the substantive and operational aspects of those program activities to which assigned.

Transition Training -- the process of expanding the horizons of outstanding volunteers so that they may move into different areas of service as needed.

Recreation Specialist (Youth Activities), GS-0188-05

Nature of the assignment

As a trainee, the employee completes specifically assigned tasks regarding the recreation program for the dependent youth of the military base, which assignments are designed to acquaint the employee with the variety of activities of, and to equip the employee with required skills and abilities in, this specialty area.

-- Schedules participants for organized youth activities.

-- Works with specified post and community organizations to arrange support services for activities which require transportation assistance, supplies and equipment, volunteer services, etc.

-- Prepares and disseminates posters and other publicity for specific events and activities.

-- Gives information to military personnel and volunteers regarding the rules, regulations, and requirements for such program matters as schedules, types of activities authorized, membership requirements, discipline, and fees.

-- Assists in the initiation and conduct of specific youth activities, such as: monitors preteen and teen clubs; organizes facilities for swimming events; sets up areas for exhibits; carries out various assignments in preparation for athletic and social events.

-- Prepares specific information for budget planning, based on information available in program records and including, for example, cost per participant of various activities.

-- Collects information regarding actual and potential participant recreational interests and needs, using telephone polls and checklists. Presents findings in concise form as prescribed in a manner designed to reflect trends in the needs of the community.

-- From information furnished, prepares records and reports regarding various aspects of specific youth center activities, including participation rates, operating costs, staff and equipment requirements, and services provided without cost.

-- Disseminates various available youth program information to participants and parents (e.g., information regarding recreation schedules, fees, rules, and other requirements).

Recreation Specialist (Youth Activities), GS-0188-07

Nature of the assignment

Plans and administers a typical and conventional basic recreation program for the dependent youth of a military base, which program involves few innovations, limited adaptation and change, and a small participant community with needs and interests which are fairly conservative and common.

-- Within overall plans developed at higher levels, and assisted by a Youth Advisory Council, selects and emphasizes program activities to be offered, both those in the required basic categories and those additional ones which may be possible through available resources and desirable in terms of participant interests and needs.

-- Plans and coordinates the details of recurring activities, special events, and joint community undertakings so as to make maximum use of facilities, services, and other resources.

-- Schedules and publicizes youth activities, insuring maximum effectiveness in attracting and motivating participants.

-- Arranges for supplies and services needed to accomplish scheduled youth activities, accounting for funds involved.

-- Assisted by an Ad Hoc Committee, solicits volunteer and part-time paid services for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance. Interviews and selects such personnel and provides them with required orientation, training, and management. (Generally, program offerings are such that volunteers or part-time instructors are relatively easy to obtain, and their combined hours of service per month do not exceed that which would result from the work of 2 full-time employees if such staff were available.)

-- Provides guidance and leadership to the various youth activities and their participants, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for specific activities as developments require. Instructs individual participants and groups of participants in baseball and other sports.

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing youth recreation activities from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Recommends program changes and variations in activities in the light of findings.

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans formulated at higher organizational levels. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests and needs of population serviced.

Recreation Specialist (Youth Activities), GS-0188-09

Nature of the assignment

Plans and conducts an "on the street" recreation program (designated as the "Roving Leader Program") for a large area of the city, which program is designed as a crisis prevention and crisis intervention tool to provide assistance directly to the area's troubled, delinquent, handicapped, and hostile youth in rechanneling their energies, interests, and activities into constructive pursuits. The program requires innovative approaches and special communications skills because of a combination of such factors as (1) many of the youths involved are from low socio-economic areas and extremely deprived family backgrounds; (2) constructive recreation interests and skills are limited; (3) many are not only anti-social but have been officially recognized as delinquent or near-delinquent and, in some cases, have criminal or juvenile records; (4) drugs, alcohol, and abnormal behavior are common problems; (5) exposure to constructive recreation activities is of critical importance in the effort to redirect and rehabilitate.

-- Continuously moves about the assigned area, making contact with organized street gangs, individual youths, concerned parents, involved citizens, and various public and private recreation, social, educational, health and welfare agencies.

-- Attempts to establish rapport with individuals and groups not presently identified with recreation programs. Informally evaluates the specific recreation and other social needs of each person, and follows through in contacts with those social, educational, recreation, and health and welfare agencies which may be able to provide supportive services in the rehabilitation-and-redirection-through-recreation effort.

-- Develops plans of action to motivate youths toward activities which will develop recreational skills, desirable social behavior, and involvement in more constructive leisure activities.

-- During the planning stage, keeps in close contact with the youth groups and individual youths to be involved. Strives toward acceptance and rapport. Adapts approaches in cases where hostility and mistrust of the adult world prove to be deep-seated and pervasive.

-- Collaborates with juvenile aid organizations, church leaders, school officials, the police, probation officers, community recreation facilities, case workers, employment agencies, and other social welfare and health agencies in bringing youths into more constructive activities designed to assist them in developing more desirable social attitudes and behavior, in acquiring life coping skills and in alleviating physical, mental, educational, economic, and other non-recreational deficiencies which are equally important factors contributing to the problem. Takes the "whole person" approach toward youth rehabilitation efforts, with recreation as the fulcrum.

-- Organizes and implements "on-site" recreation activities to redirect youths into more desirable activities. These impromptu activities are in vacant lots, parks, side streets, and backyards and often require modification of activities to take into consideration the limitations of the setting.

-- When preliminary recreation efforts bear results, works with staffs of private and public community recreation facilities in arranging for more organized recreation suited to the special needs of individuals and groups.

-- Interprets the objectives and procedures of this specialized recreation program in appearances before school groups (e.g., the PTA), police seminars, social services meetings, and conferences of urban social agencies.

-- Solicits volunteer and part-time instructors and special equipment and materials for recreation activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance and resources. Interviews and selects volunteers and part-time instructors and provides them with orientation, training, and management. (The working environment and other circumstances are such that volunteers and part-time instructors are difficult to obtain).

-- Provides technical guidance and instruction to individual participants and groups of participants engaged in those recreation activities for which the employee has technical expertise (e.g., boxing, baseball, football, and basketball).

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of specific activities and of the program as a whole in the assigned city area, determining the degree of success from the standpoint of participant response, extent of input and cooperation from other community agencies, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Adapts and varies program activities in the light of findings.

-- As an experienced person in this type of recreation program, the employee frequently assists with hard-core cases in other areas. Assesses the situations involved, preparing reports of findings with recommendations as to appropriate actions within the framework of recreation.

-- Provides advisory services to various city government and private organizations regarding the recreation aspects of youth program planning.

Recreation Specialist (Community Activities), GS-0188-07

Nature of the assignment

Plans and administers the leisure services and resources segment of a large military recreation center program for community of 20,000 (based on 100% of total troops, officers, dependent wives, and dependent children over 19; authorized retired military and wives; and authorized civilians). The area of responsibility includes tours and travel services, leisure counseling, and social, food, and other consultant services relating to the leisure facilities and recreational opportunities available through both the military establishment and the adjacent civilian community.

-- Within overall plans developed at higher levels, selects and emphasizes leisure services to be offered, both those within the required basic program categories and those additional ones possible through available resources and desirable in terms of participant interests and needs.

-- Plans and coordinates the details of both special and recurring activities, such as historical and cultural tours, special leisure time events including exhibits and talent shows, and various leisure activities undertaken jointly with the adjacent civilian community (e.g., dances and church events), insuring maximum use of facilities, services, and other resources.

-- Schedules and publicizes various tours, trips, and other leisure activities in the interest of the most effective attraction and motivation of participants.

-- Plans and schedules special meeting with participants to discuss their leisure interests and needs and to jointly plan specific trips, tours, social events, etc. Provides leisure counseling services to individual military personnel seeking leisure interests, encouraging their participation in activities which will promote creative self-expression, cultural appreciation, self-development and enjoyment.

-- Provides guidance and leadership to the various leisure activities and their participants, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for such activities as developments require.

-- Solicits volunteer and part-time paid services for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance (e.g., tour guides for low-budget tours). Interviews and selects such personnel and provides them with required orientation, training, and management. (Generally, program offerings are such that volunteer or part-time paid assistants are relatively easy to obtain. Also, the supervisor provides assistance and advice in finding such staff.)

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing recreation center leisure activities from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Adapts and varies program activities in the light of findings, and redirects individual participants as their needs indicate.

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans for the leisure activities segment of the recreation center. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests of the population served.

Recreation Specialist (Community Activities), GS-0188-09

Nature of the assignment

Plans and administers the activities and services of a major urban community center identified as a Recreation Center and involving a facility located on several acres and equipped to serve a community of about 16,000 persons. Although the majority of activities are closely supervised activities for children and youths, the center program provides services also to adults, including senior citizens. The social, cultural, intellectual, and physical recreation activities constitute an overall program which is more diversified and enhanced than the typical and conventional basic program of the smaller neighborhood centers and which require innovative approaches and major adaptations to take into account such environmental elements as (1) limitations in available funds, facilities, volunteers, instructors, or other resources; and (2) the generally deprived socioeconomic backgrounds of the majority of participants which necessitate that the center provide basic recreational and social skills training before introducing more enhanced activities. Broadly, the recreation program involves a variety and volume of activities which substantially exceed the minimum essential program requirements for a facility of this type and size and which includes responsibility as the focal point for recreational services to several neighborhood playgrounds.

-- Within established agency policies and objectives, plans the community center program. Selects and emphasizes program activities to be offered, both those in the required basic categories and those additional activities possible through available resources and desirable in terms of participant interests and needs. Devises, improvises, and adapts these various activities to the wide range of participant interests and needs, and to meet the limitations of funds, facilities, equipment, and volunteer and other staff support available.

-- Plans and coordinates the details of recurring and non-recurring activities, special events, and joint community undertakings so as to make maximum use of facilities, services, and other resources.

-- Schedules and publicizes community center activities, insuring maximum effectiveness in attracting and motivating participants and in providing the widest possible range of activities in terms of community interests and needs.

-- Arranges for supplies and services needed to accomplish scheduled center activities. Accounts for all funds involved and makes recommendations for improvements in funding and other support services.

-- Solicits volunteer and part-time paid services for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance. Interviews and selects volunteers and provides them with required orientation, training, and management. In order to meet all program needs, provides transition training to outstanding volunteers to permit them to serve in new and different areas of the specialty field. (Program offerings and other circumstances are such that volunteers and part-time instructors are difficult to obtain.)

-- Provides guidance and leadership to the center's various activities and participants, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for such activities as developments require. Instructs participants in those activities for which the employee has technical expertise, in this case, athletic and physical fitness activities.

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing activities of the center from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Adapts and varies program activities in the light of findings.

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans formulated at higher organizational levels. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests of the population served.

Recreation Specialist (Senior Citizens Activities), GS-0188-07

Nature of the assignment

Plans and administers a typical and conventional senior citizens basic recreation program which involves few innovations, limited adaptation and change, and a relatively small participating community which as fairly typical and mutual recreation interests and needs.

-- Within overall plans developed at higher levels, selects and emphasizes program activities to be offered, both those in the required basic categories and those additional ones possible through available resources and desirable in terms of participant interests and needs.

-- Plans and coordinates the details for recurring activities, special events, and joint community undertakings so as to make maximum use of facilities, services, and other resources.

-- Schedules and publicizes senior citizens activities, insuring maximum effectiveness in attracting and motivating participants.

-- Arranges for supplies and services needed to accomplish scheduled senior citizens activities, accounting for all fund involved.

-- Solicits permission to use various community facilities for senior citizens program activities, including recreation center or community center facilities, church social halls, meeting rooms of fraternal and civic organizations, etc. Monitors the use of these loaned facilities to insure against misuse.

-- Solicits volunteer and part-time paid services for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance. Interviews and selects such personnel and provides them with required orientation, training, and management. (Generally, program offerings are such that volunteers or part-time paid assistants are relatively easy to obtain.)

-- Provides guidance and leadership to the various activities and their participants, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for specific activities as developments require. Personally directs several senior citizens activities, such as, physical fitness sessions, shopping trips, and table games.

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing senior citizens recreation activities from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Adapts and varies program activities in the light of findings.

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans formulated at higher organizational levels. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests and needs of the population served.

Recreation Specialist (Institutional), GS-0188-09

Nature of the assignment

Plans and administers an enhanced recreation program in a moderately large Federal correctional institution which program requires innovative approaches and major adaptations because of a combination of such factors as (1) limitations in available funds, facilities, volunteers, paid staff, or other resources; (2) the wide range of participants from the standpoint of ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and recreation interests and skills; (3) the requirement to integrate recreation program activities with the institution's education, training, and rehabilitation program for purposes of the overall rehabilitation and social and academic education of inmates; and (4) the need for leisure counseling services as a major motivational and rehabilitation tool.

-- Within established agency policy and objectives, plans the institution's recreation program, including required basic activities and those additional activities possible through available resources and desirable in terms of participant interests and needs. Devises, improvises, and adapts these various activities to the wide range of participant interests and needs, and to meet the limitations of funds, facilities, equipment, and volunteer and other staff support available.

-- Plans and coordinates the details of recurring and nonrecurring activities, special events, and joint educational-recreational programs to make maximum use of facilities, services, and other resources.

-- Schedules and publicizes recreational activities, insuring maximum effectiveness in attracting and motivating participants and in providing the widest possible range of activities in terms of interests and needs. Coordinates the activities schedule with the custodial staff to insure compliance with security requirements.

-- Arranges for supplies and services needed to accomplish scheduled activities. Accounts for all funds involved and makes recommendations for improvements in funding and other support services.

-- Solicits volunteer and part-time paid service for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance. Interviews and carefully selects such staff from the outside community, the institution staff, and inmates, providing them with required orientation, training, and management. In order to meet all program needs, provides transition training to outstanding volunteers to permit them to serve in new and different areas of recreation. (The type of institution, program offerings, and other circumstances are such that volunteers and part-time instructors are difficult to obtain.)

-- Provides guidance counseling and leisure counseling services to the approximately 850 inmates, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for scheduled recreation activities, and introducing new activities in order to enable inmates to put counseling into action. Monitors such activities to insure that essential "coping" skills and other results sought are being achieved to the fullest possible extent.

-- Promotes maximum involvement of institution inmates in recreation activities and services through resident committees and other peer group processes. Instructs individual participants and groups of participants in those recreation activities for which the employee has technical expertise, in this case, team sports.

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing recreation activities from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unplanned developments, and program objectives. Adapts and varies program activities in the light of findings.

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans formulated at higher organizational levels. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests and needs of the population served.

Recreation Specialist (Outdoor Activities), GS-0188-09

Nature of the assignment

Plans, develops, manages, and maintains a military outdoor recreation program for a large community of 30,000 active and retired military, their dependents, and authorized civilians in an area with climate and other conditions favorable to a strong program for 3 seasons of the year. The program primarily involves planning and administering a range of fairly typical, conventional and well-established basic activities; however, it also includes: (1) several outdoor activities which are typical of an enhanced program; (2) some basic land-use conservation and environmental protection responsibilities; and (3) limitations in available funds, facilities, volunteers, paid staff, and other resources.

-- Within established agency policy and objectives, plans the outdoor recreation program. Develops the natural land and water resources for selected outdoor recreation activities, both those in basic categories (e.g., swimming, camping, boating, and fishing), and those designed to meet more specialized interests and needs (e.g., skiing, riding, scuba diving, and skeet and trap shooting). Devises, improvises, and adapts these various activities to fit the conditions of the natural environment, and to conform to limitations in funds, facilities, equipment, and staff support.

-- Plans and coordinates the details of recurring and nonrecurring activities, special events, and joint community undertakings so as to make maximum use of resources, consistent with the military mission and with the principles of natural resources development, conservation, sound usage, improvement, and management.

-- Schedules and publicizes outdoor recreation activities, insuring maximum effectiveness in attracting and motivating participants and in providing the widest possible range of activities in terms of community interests and needs.

-- Arranges for equipment, supplies, and services needed to accomplish scheduled outdoor recreation activities. Accounts for all funds involved in the program, and makes recommendations for improvements in funding and other support services.

--Solicits volunteers (including military personnel on temporary special duty) and part-time paid services for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance. Interviews and selects such staff and provides them with required orientation, training, and management. In order to meet all program needs, provides transition training to outstanding volunteers to permit them to serve in new and different areas of the specialty field. (Program offerings and other circumstances are such that volunteers and part-time instructors are difficult to obtain.)

-- Provides guidance and leadership to the various outdoor recreation activities and participants, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for such activities as developments require. Instructs individual participants and groups of participants in those activities for which the employee has technical expertise, in this case, waterskiing.

-- Insures that safety orientation is provided regarding specific activities. Provides an ongoing education program designed to promote the rational use and sound protection and conservation of the natural resources and various facilities involved. Apprises the participant community of the requirements and procedures for the best possible use of the program's land and water resources.

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing outdoor recreation activities from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Adapts and varies program activities in the light of findings.

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans formulated at higher organizational levels. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests of the population served, and to the rational use of the land and water resources involved.

Recreation Specialist (Outdoor Activities), GS-0188-11

Nature of the assignment

Develops, manages, maintains, and plans and administers a very large military outdoor activities program within the land and water resources set aside for use of a participant community of 55,000, with recreation resources which are used by the general public, in addition to assigned military personnel, their dependents, retired military personnel and dependents, reserve military personnel, and authorized civilian employees and families. Plans and directs a wide range of land and water outdoor recreation activities and services which constitute a seasonal program which exceeds a typical and conventional outdoor recreation program not only in terms of size of the outdoor area involved and of the community served, but because of such combination of program elements as: (1) the responsibility for development of considerable amounts of the available natural resources for multiple recreation usage; (2) the widely diverse range of outdoor recreation interests and needs of the very large community served which results in a variety and volume of activities substantially exceeding a typical and conventional basic program; (3) the geographic dispersal of outdoor recreation areas (in this case, 5 different locations over a radius of 50 miles); and (4) the presence of strong conservation and environmental protection coordination responsibilities involving such tasks as the development of recreational plans for the rational use of fish and wildlife habitats for recreational purposes and the determination of fishing and hunting levels, consistent with established harvest quotas.

-- Within established agency policy and objectives, plans the outdoor recreation program. Develops plans for the use of natural land and water resources for selected outdoor recreation activities, both those in basic categories (e.g., swimming, camping, boating, and fishing), and those designed to meet more specialized interests and needs (e.g., skiing, scuba diving, flying, gliding, and ice skating). Devises, improvises, and adapts these various activities to fit the conditions of the natural environment, and to conform to limitations in funds, facilities, equipment, and staff support.

-- Plans and coordinates the details of recurring and non-recurring activities, special events, and joint community undertakings so as to make maximum recreational use of resources, consistent with the military tactical and morale mission and with the principles of natural resources development, conservation, sound usage, improvement, and management.

-- Schedules and publicizes outdoor recreation activities, insuring maximum effectiveness in attracting and motivating participants and in providing the widest possible range of activities in terms of community interests and needs.

-- Arranges for equipment, supplies, and services needed to accomplish scheduled outdoor recreation activities. Accounts for all funds involved in the program, and makes recommendations for improvements in funding and other support services.

-- Solicits volunteers (including temporary special duty military personnel) and part-time paid services for activities which could not be scheduled without such assistance. Interviews and selects such staff and provides them with required orientation, training, and management. In order to meet all program needs, provides transition training to outstanding volunteers to permit them to serve in new and different areas of the specialty field. (Program offerings and other circumstances are such that volunteers and part-time instructors are difficult to obtain.)

-- Provides guidance and leadership to the various outdoor recreation activities and participants, modifying, adapting, expanding, or otherwise changing plans and procedures for such activities as developments require. This also includes continuing education of the user community in the rational use and sound protection and conservation of the natural resources and facilities involved.

-- Monitors the activities of private associations (e.g., gun clubs) which are privileged to use the facilities of the program. Insures that such usage does not conflict with policies governing participation without rank or grade, activity priorities, and safety and environmental protection regulations. Assures that the actions and activities of such associations are not contrary to the policies and procedures of, and do not compete with, activities of the morale support (recreation) program.

-- Encourages the establishment of special interest groups within the program, and follows through to provide elementary skills development and specialized training as needed. Renders support services to such groups, e.g., assists in the formation of governing bodies and publicizes organizations and their activities. Monitors these organizations to insure adherence to outdoor recreation policies and procedures.

-- Develops administrative safeguards to protect funds, equipment, and property, a continuing problem because of the isolated location of the outdoor recreation areas, the large number of facilities operated, and the sensitive nature of equipment used.

-- Coordinates certain outdoor activities with other specialty areas of the recreation program (e.g., collaborates with the dependent youth activities center director in the planning, use, and administration of resident camps within the outdoor recreation areas).

As directed, serves on state and local boards, committees, and other bodies engaged in the planning, development, rational use, and conservation, beautification, and sound protection of the area's various outdoor recreation facilities and the natural resources involved. Works with local, State, and Federal agencies in developing cooperative projects with the civilian community. Coordinates conservation aspects of the program with the post facilities engineer (e.g., in determining the game fish and wild life harvest yields).

-- Continuously evaluates the effectiveness of ongoing outdoor recreation activities from the standpoint of participant response, resources, unforeseen developments, and program objectives. Reassesses specific projects in terms of whether optimum use is being made of recreational opportunities involved and from the standpoint of whether the restructuring of specific activities would promote greater results (e.g., whether improvements in limited-facilities campsites would result in sufficiently increased use to warrant the cost of improvements).

-- Develops periodic program plans and annual budget requirements with supporting data for inclusion in overall program plans formulated at higher organizational levels. Insures that program emphasis is on those activities most appropriate to the interests of the population served.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Entry-level supervisory or professional jobs in recreation sometimes require completion of a 2-year associate degree in parks and recreation at a community or junior college. Completing a 4-year bachelor's degree in this field is necessary for high-level supervisory positions. Students can specialize in such areas as aquatics, therapeutic recreation, aging and leisure, and environmental studies. Those who obtain graduate degrees in the field and have years of experience may obtain administrative or university teaching positions. The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) certifies individuals who meet eligibility requirements for professional and technical jobs. Certified park and recreation professionals must pass an exam; earn a bachelor's degree with a major in recreation, park resources, or leisure services from a program accredited by the NRPA or by the American Association for Leisure and Recreation; or earn a bachelor's degree and have at least 3 years of relevant full-time work experience, depending on the major field of study.

The education and experience of top executives varies widely, but many have a bachelor's degree or higher in business administration or liberal arts. Many positions are filled from within the organization by promoting experienced managers. They may help their advancement by participating in company and outside training programs to learn management techniques. Top executives must have excellent interpersonal skills, an analytical mind, a decisive manner, and leadership ability.

Employment

The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry provided about 2 million wage and salary jobs in 2008.

Most, 58 percent, of these jobs were in the other amusement and recreation industries segment, which include golf courses, membership sports and recreation clubs, and physical fitness facilities.

Although most establishments in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry are small, 43 percent of all jobs were in establishments that employ more than 100 workers.

The arts, entertainment, and recreation industry is characterized by a large number of seasonal and part-time jobs and by workers who are younger than the average for all industries. About 45 percent of all workers are under 35 years old (table 2). Many businesses in the industry increase hiring during the summer, often employing high school-age and college-age workers. Some segments of the industry are heavily reliant on immigrant and guest workers. Most establishments in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry contract work out to lighting, sound, set-building, and exhibit-building firms not included in this industry.

Related Occupations
Sources of Additional Information

For additional information about careers in the parks and recreation industry and a listing of colleges and universities offering accredited programs in parks and recreation studies, contact:

  • National Recreation and Parks Association, 22377 Belmont Ridge Rd., Ashburn, VA 20148. Internet: http://www.nrpa.org

Information on obtaining Recreation Specialist positions with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management through USAJOBS, the Federal Government's official employment information system. This resource for locating and applying for job opportunities can be accessed through the Internet at http://www.usajobs.gov or through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703) 724–1850 or  (703) 724–1850  or TDD (978) 461–8404 and   (978) 461–8404. These numbers are not toll free, and charges may result. For advice on how to find and apply for Federal jobs, download the Insider's Guide to the Federal Hiring Process” online here.

Sources:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; and
  • Office of Personnel Management, Position Classification Standards.

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