I always find this time of the year interesting with the kids going back to school, our aquatic centre shutdown now behind us and we are ready for another season in the arena and curling rink. This is the time of year when many people get back into the gym or register for a fall program. For others it may be getting in as many golf games as possible while they still can. If you are like me, you are hoping we have a warm September so we can swim in the lake just a little bit longer.
September is also the time of year when students are heading back to university after working for the summer. The Parks and Recreation Department has worked with the Summerland Youth Centre for over 20 years offering the Summer Day-camp and Playground programs. During this time we have had the opportunity to employ a number of University Students to act as the Program Co-coordinator for the summer programs. The most recent co-coordinator, Brea Ratzlaff, has held this position for the past three summers and has done an amazing job during that time. Brea is now looking forward to university graduation this year so will be moving on in the world and with her drive, talent and intelligence will surely be a great success.
Over the 20 years of offering the Summer Programs we have been very fortunate to work with a long list of very talented individuals who have also gone on to do great things. Past program coordinators include Sarah Pickett who now holds a university degree and is attending Medical School. The Bell twins, Brittney and Lauren who have gone on to become teachers. Julia MacDonald, now a mechanical engineer in Calgary. Joanna Wicket, a mother and an airline pilot. Jenny Bergstrom, a mother of two children, living in Summerland and teaching in Penticton at Princess Margaret Secondary. Kaley McPhedran, who after accepting a softball scholarship to Wisconsin has returned to Canada and is now a high school counselor for the Delta school district. Going back to the 90s, Kristi Fenwick who has carried on in the recreation field as a Recreational Programmer in West Kelowna and is also now a mother, Lisa Halquist a mother and popular personal trainer in Summerland. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention James Mayne, our only male co-ordinator who after an initial career in underwater welding is now a father and chiropractor in Vernon.
What a privilege it has been to work with this amazing list of quality individuals who have contributed to making our Summer Programs such a success.
All have gone on to do “bigger and better” things but at one time called Summerland home.
Dale MacDonald has been Summerland’s Director of Parks and Recreation for the last 22 years and in his sporting past has won provincial championships in four different sports.