By Jaime Bayers
Plenty of youth are ending summer by attending the last few Halifax recreation programs of the season, and for most of them, it won’t be the last REC program they go to. For years, young people have been getting involved in their community through the programs offered by REC and it truly comes full-circle as some of them grow old enough to become a leader themselves.
EmJay, a thirteen-year-old level 2 youth leader for REC, is looking forward to the following summers, ready to become a level 3 leader and then apply to be a fully-fledged REC leader: “I don’t remember exactly when I started, maybe around 5 or 8 years old? But now I’m a leader so it’s like, wow, memories. I remember being a camper was so fun and I just thought being a leader would be even more fun! Getting to do it all the time instead of just some of the days.”
With a variety of programs offered each summer for a wide range of ages and interests, the staff try to get each kid involved regardless of how shy or social they might be. At the end of the summer, EmJay says that she had always made some new friends.
“I was nervous because I didn’t really know anyone but after a while it got better, and I was cool with everyone I didn’t know. Just some awkward icebreakers, but other than that it’s totally awesome…I think it makes kids come out of their shell, open up to new people and maybe make friends for life. Just be yourself…and join REC!”
Not only are the REC programs valuable to young people in a social aspect, but they are helping the community by creating responsible, helpful, and involved youth.
“Being a leader, you get to do a community action plan and it just really helps the community. We either fix things or just help out,” EmJay said, “I learned more responsibility because I have to take care of kids and do something for the community. It’s nice to show that little kids can make a difference in the world.”
For more information about the REC programs, you can contact the Public Library in Musquodoboit Harbour, 902-889-2227.