I agree with Andy Barnett (Letters to the editor, Sun Advocate, Feb. 13, 2007) on the importance of recreation programs and physical activities for our youth.
Sports, competition and physical activities are important for proper development of health and fitness. Carbon County Recreation (CCR) offers a long list of programs and activities to the citizens of Carbon County, both for youth and adults. In checking their website I found an impressive list of programs being offered.
I'm not sure which item Mr. Barnett is most frustrated about? Perhaps the quality of programs, the lack of participation, the costs, or the management? Crucial elements to the success of any youth program would be involvement by the parents and commitment by the youth.
While Mr. Barnett and I are in agreement on the importance of such programs, we seem to be in the minority of parents who believe so. While we believe that sports, athletics, physical activities, competition and team-play are vital to raising healthy children, the current "X-Box" Generation (and many of their parents) seem to think that sitting in front of a video game or "chatting" on-line will somehow develop the social skills needed to succeed in today's social climate.
It's my opinion that until parents are willing to put such activities higher on their priority list, success of any youth program will be hindered. In no way have I been involved in the majority of activities or programs sponsored and administered by Carbon County Recreation, but those that I have been fortunate to be involved with have been managed by dedicated and concerned employees.
I am confident that the leadership and staff of CCR has the best interests of our youth in mind and are committed to successful programs for the youth of our area. I'm confident that Mr. Barnett's desire to see the programs grow and improve is shared by local government officials, and management and staff of CCR.
The programs are available, the staff is dedicated and the local government entities are supporting CCR financially. It's my opinion that what is lacking is commitment from parents and participants to place recreation, sports, competition and teamwork higher on their priority list.
I realize that there are many parents out there, like Mr. Barnett that are already involved and dedicated. But, as is true with most volunteer projects, it's STP (same 10 people) that do all the work. Those parents who are involved in their children's lives tend to do it all. They are the coaches, the referees, the PTA president, the club supervisor, the scout leaders, the trainer, and the dance chaperone.
With Utah now suffering from an epidemic of youth obesity, it's a perfect time for everyone to come together and work to make the CCR programs even better than they already are.