This is a letter in response to Andy Barnett's letter to the editor in the Sun Advocate on Feb. 13, 2007.
Carbon County Recreation has been providing quality youth sports programs to the children in our community for over 20 years. As a child some of my first sports experiences were soccer, flag football, YBA basketball and later Jr. Jazz. Because of these programs I had an opportunity to try a number of different things and decide what I liked and that was when the department was in its infant stages. Over the years it has evolved into something spectacular and I am very proud to say that I have been a part of that evolution.
The mission statement of Carbon County Recreation is to provide recreation and life long learning experiences to every resident of Carbon County. Where else in the nation can a child play t-ball on Monday, visit the pre-historic museum as a participant on a field trip for day camp on Tuesday, take tennis lessons on Wednesday, climb a rock wall on Thursday and take a trip down the Green River on Friday? The only answer that comes to my mind is Carbon County Recreation. We pride ourselves on this diversity.
Over the years Carbon County Recreation has developed many programs that still exist today. A couple examples are Pro-Care, an after school day care service that takes place at every elementary school in the district and the Lighthouse, which help mentor at-risk youth in our community. These are not traditional sports programs but think of how many lives have been touched and how many children have been saved because of these two programs created by Carbon County Recreation.
We are a recreation department, meaning every child that participates in our programs has the same opportunities as every other child no matter their physical abilities. We downplay competitiveness and focus on learning the fundamentals and team concepts. We are already doing all of the things that Mr. Barnett stated in his letter, teaching teamwork, discipline, and work ethics. We want every child who participates in our programs to have a positive experience and continue to play sports for as long as they want to.
I agree with Mr. Barnett that we need to focus our attention on the youth and do everything possible to keep the children in our community involved in as many activities conceivably possible. We need to have organized events for our children to participate in. That is why Carbon County Recreation offers such a wide variety of programs.
I encourage everyone in the county to get involved with the youth of our community. Without quality volunteers our programs would not be possible. But as a former co-worker of mine, Eric Madsen, used to say "Don't bring me problems, bring me answers and solutions."