Recreation Programmer – Maggie
Q: Tell me about yourself and how you came to this profession.
A: After high school, I applied for a job as a day camp leader, so i was 18 and I’ve worked in the field since then. I’m now 43, so it’s been more than 20 years. It just sort of morphed into becoming a recreation programmer. Even in elementary school I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. Then as I went through high school, I played a lot of team sports and was very athletic. When i went to Langara, I played basketball and [studied] human performance, thinking that I was going to become a PE teacher. All through college and university, I worked in recreation to help offset the cost of school. So I went all the way through, ended up not going through Human Kinetics at UBC, I just went into [the] Arts program. So I thought I could teach geography and my secondary subject would be PE. So the dream was still to become a PE teacher. Then I just fell in love with recreation, I went from a day camp leader to an instructor to doing Program Assistant work; working with seniors as a senior worker. I worked at special events and then when it came time to enroll in the PDP Education program, I was already stable within recreation. So it seemed like a natural fit, I didn’t fulfill my education to teach. I just stuck with recreation and I’m really glad I have now. So this is a little different from teaching, but I still get to work with people from Preschoolers to seniors, I’m still having that relationship building. I love the flexibility, work-life balance and scheduling, so I’m really glad I made this choice.
Q: What does a day in your life look like?
A: It’s kind of all over the place. I do quite a bit of administrative work. Contacting instructors through phone or email. I create the brochure. So the brochure has all the programs in it. I create the program, hire instructors and see the execution of the program. Follow through with feedback. Look at statistics to see if the program should be offered again, and if no need within the community, then look at what can replace that program. Meeting the public, seeing what they’re interested in to see what new programs can be created. Having community connection. Working with instructors, providing them the best customer service so that they can provide the best customer service to our clientele. Ensuring that I am. Supporting the front desk. Working with association board. Vancouver is unique because we have volunteer boards to work in partnership to provide programs to the community
Q: What is one of your favorite programs and why?
A: My favourite program would be Social Tuesdays with the Seniors. I enjoy working with seniors. This is planned by the Seniors Committee, which I sit on, and involves patrons from the community. Every single Tuesday we come up with a different activity. Activities range from social to physical recreation. Anything that brings people together socially. I get to create programs for them but also get to be a part of the programs and build connections with them. I get to do both worlds. I do the programming, work with the seniors and see the execution of the program. I reap the rewards of seeing the seniors enjoying what I’ve programmed