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"I'll See You at Atlantic City!"
"'LL SEE YOU AT ATLANTIC CITY!"
Yes, you can say that with a good deal of confidence because many of your friends will be there. Letters, long distance calls and personal inquiries give clear indication of the growing interest and assured attendance.
The program is practically complete. The cooperation that has been shown by outstanding board members, educators from colleges and public schools, recreation executives and others, has been splendid. The discussion groups alone enlist the leadership of 150 men and women as presiding officers, discussion leaders and summarizers. The printed list of questions which will be used in the discussion groups are in the mails within the next two weeks. Every section of the country will be represented by executives and lay leaders, officials and volunteers.
Since the last issue of RECREATION many new names have been added to the list of speakers and leaders. Among these are Frank S. Lloyd, Professor of Education, New York University; H. J. Baker, Director, Cooperative Extension Work in Agriculture and Home Economics, New Brunswick, New Jersey; Dr. F. W. Maroney, Teachers College, Columbia University; Ernest M. Best, President, Springfield College; Julian H. Salomon, Field Coordinator, National Park Service, Washington, D. C.; Hon. Richard Hartshorn, Judge, East Orange, New Jersey; Ellen Eddy. Shaw, Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Mrs. Ruby M. Payne, Crispus Attucks Recreation and Community Center, Lancaster, Pennsylvania; George W. Farny, mining engineer, Morris Plains, New Jersey; George Hjelte, Superintendent of Recreation, Los Angeles, California; Professor Emery E. Olson, American University, Washington, D. C.; Mrs. Eva W. White, Elizabeth Peabody House, Boston; Professor Harley T. Lutz, Department of Economics, Princeton University; J. E. Bennett, Commissioner of Public Affairs, Portland, Oregon; Dr. O. E. Jennings, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh; William H. Turner, Secretary, Conservation Association of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; Walter Scott, Superintendent of Recreation, Long Beach, California; Byrnes MacDonald,
Sixth Deputy Police Commissioner, New York (Mr. MacDonald has developed neighborhood councils and the special police program for the prevention of delinquency in New York City); F. L. McReynolds, Extension Specialist, 4-H Club, Purdue University; Arthur S. Hotchkiss, Director of Recreation, Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, Birmingham, Alabama; V. K. Brown, Chief, Recreation Division, Chicago Park District; Professor George Shipman, Princeton University; F. G. Crawford, School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University; Harold S. Buttenheim, Editor, American City, and Col. Ernest G. Smith, publisher, Wilkes Barre, Pa.
Radio Round Table
The radio round table will be one of the most interesting features of the program. The subject is intriguing-"Is Public Recreation Pampering Youth?" Mr. John G. Winant will be master of ceremonies. He will state the question, explain what is meant by public recreation and review some of the questions raised by people who really believe that recreation pampers youth. Mr. Otto T. Mallery, lawyer, connected with the Playground and Recreation Association of Philadelphia, will share in the discussions from the point of view of the business man; Mrs. James H. Van Alen will represent the lay woman's point of view; George Hjelte will speak for recreation, and Edward Ballinger, a student at New York University, will speak for youth.
This able group should answer with some finality the questions so often heard:
"Why do we now need leaders of recreation? We grew up without them."
"Is too much being done now for young people?"
"Do they appreciate it after all?" "Does public recreation destroy originality?" "Why should we give money for amusement?" Board Members, Committee
A FINAL ANNOUNCEMENT
The Twenty-Second National Recreation
men and Volunteers
This Congress will be marked by an unusually large representation of board members, committeemen and volunteers. (Continued on page 113)
Why Not a Stay-at-Home Vacation?
HY NOT ENJOY a stay-athome vacation?
This was the question that came to mind after a casual encounter and even more casual words, the other afternoon.
By MARESE ELIOT
A stay-at-home vacation will give
"That applies to America generally," I agreed, "In spite of our motor and trailers and auto camps."
She smiled. "That seems so. I live across from the Brooklyn Botanical Garden," she continued, "I go walking there on week-ends and can you believe this?-I rarely hear English spoken during those walks! German, French, Czech, Spanish, yes, and even Polish and Russian, but only a few old couples are speaking the English tongue. The younger generation pass our gorgeous Botanical Garden by-if they even know it exists."
Two images crossed my mind the quaint planting of annuals in Central Park that is called Shakespeare's Garden, since it gives root to every flower and herb mentioned by the bard, and the charm of the tip of Manhattan Island whose rocky crest is crowned with Fort Tryon Park. Though I have lived in New York nearly two decades, I had only discovered these treasures a few days before. Most of us scarcely know our own towns or our own country.
One of the most fruitful phases of the WPA Recreation Department program has been the opening to youth and adult the possibilities within their neighborhood for leisure time activity.
Pocketbooks that are lean-and ever so many still are in that condition may not support a vacation away from home. Even if the call of mountains, lakes and ocean must be denied, why should families not find rest and recreation by experinenting in a Stay-at-Home vacation? For father, the office will not be calling in the mornings; for the children, school bells will not be ringing. With the entire family at home, the enjoyment of the vacation period can be limited only by lack of re
sourcefulness on the part of the individual members and can be measured by their determination to make the time mutually recreative.
Getting Ready for Vacation
In planning such a stay-athome period, the first activity that should be undertaken in advance of vacation time is an investigation of the neighborhood and all it can offer for recreation. This is group activity for winter and spring evenings as the family gathers around the hearth after dinner.
Suppose you decide to experiment this year. Find a map of the locality in which you live. Several types are useful but those readily available through the U. S. Geological Survey in Washington give the correct picture of the terrain, revealing back roads, elevations, water courses and lakes. A map, carefully backed with a thin linen or closely woven cotton, can be folded without fear of tearing along the creases or at the edges.
Check off parks and other scenic spots as objectives for hikes and picnics. Gather all the information concerning these spots and the facilities they offer for entertainment. The library will probably contain books that reveal old buildings and approximate location of historic events. In the vicinity of New York City sites of old Revolutionary forts are still unknown and light on their actual location adds a focus to the trip. A folder can be made for the maps together with such detailed information as train schedules and rates for train and boat trips both for the places at some distance and also for the ones that are reachable by trolley. The knowledge of schedules coming and going will often save tiresome waits at inadequate wayside stations. The gathering of such data about the neighborhood places of interest makes a pleasant occupation for the winter and spring evenings and the results can be neatly filed away ready for the momentous vacation period.
In the city, locations of municipal pools and bathing beaches should be ascertained and the hours and days that they may be used, together with all information as to the necessary equipment
WHY NOT A STAY-AT-HOME VACATION?
that the family will need to take advantage of the pool. If there are no such public places in the community, then research can be made along private lines. Some settlements have pools. The hours and prices may be discovered and filed away for that hot afternoon during the stay-at-home vacation when the family feels it must have a swim. Some of the hotels have pools, as do some of the larger clubs. Often they have special hours at reduced rates. The vacation folder can file away all such data for that occasion when knowledge is valuable.
Many communities have golf courses that are open to the public. If the older members of the family already play golf or have a desire to learn the game, the information in advance will save time when vacation days are at hand. This data should include the necessary permits and the schedules of the course. Most parks boast of tennis courts which will add to the vacation pleasure of younger members of the group. In many places grounds are laid out for croquet and horseshoe and quoits. Again it will be well to know in advance and file for reference the methods that must be employed to use these community activities. Some of these grounds must be booked in advance, some require a small fee, some do and some do not provide the apparatus. Be prepared to take advantage of the courts during the holidays.
Home Resources Important
Perhaps the family is located in a community where no such facilities are provided for leisure time. Then they are thrown back upon the home resources. If preparation is made in advance of vacation, the old adage of "no place like home" will prove true to the stay-at-home vacationer.
The back yard is the ideal spot around which to center the holidays at home. Little money will be needed to develop it so that it can be used not only for the weeks of entirely free time but also in those hours of leisure which are growing every year. Such a playground need not be filled with costly apparatus in order to provide a healthful, happy place for adults and children to spend their leisure.
For the children of the family, slides, swings, see-saws, as well as sand boxes for the tiny ones, can all be made by the group themselves. It is a curious fact that the apparatus which children are able to construct alone or with the aid and supervision of grown ups, often proves more interest
ing and absorbing than that purchased. Children, indeed, need materials for construction.
For the small ones, the sand box is the spot in the play yard which will keep them happy and quiet for the longest periods. The older members of the group can construct the frame. The box should be built of boards carefully planed to prevent splintering. Its depth should be about ten or twelve inches. The size is regulated by the space available. A narrow shelf around the top provides a place for the children to sit and a space on which they can play. Play materials consist of tin cups, molds, old spoons, and shells from previous seashore trips, which make, with the clean sand filling the box, a source of absorbing interest.
To the side of the fence, the woodshed or on the laundry pole, a heavy wire twisted into a ring may be attached. This forms a basketball goal. Plenty of goal shooting practice is enjoyable during vacation time.
With a small plot of turf there can be constructed a putting field for father, mother and neighbors who want to improve their game off the course. This can be easily made by sinking some old tin cans in the turf. Provided there is sufficient room, the so-called game of "clock golf" may be laid out and used with real advantage to those who need to perfect the putting side of their game. A net swung in circular form from several posts may be used as a net into which father can practice his drive. Using the side of the garage or the back fence as a backstop, this driving tee makes an excellent practice ground The same spot is excellent to practice drive shots for tennis skills.
Hiking is one of the most fascinating and varied of the family activities which can be enjoyed during the vacation period. Family hikes begun at this time can be continued when the actual holidays are only memories. Hikes may be planned and their course marked on the map during the winter evenings. They may be begun before the actual vacation time. A luncheon may be packed and ready so that on the spring evenings when the children come from school and father from his office, the whole family can set out for a walk in the woods to some scenic spot for a campfire and supper, drawing a dividend from daylight saving time! Thus the vacation time can be savoured in advance and later lengthened into the fall after the precious holidays are past.
Hiking trips are particularly opportune for developing hobbies both for the entire family and its (Continued on page 115)
Youth to the Rescue!
Young People of Cleveland work through the NYA to increase the city's recreational facilities
HE ADDITION of seventeen playgrounds to Cleveland's recreation system will not come merely as a "happening." It will be the result of careful planning by the Division of Recreation of the Department of Parks and Public Property, of which J. Noble Richards is Commissioner, the Mayor's Advisory Board on Playgrounds and Recreation, and the National Youth Administration. Cooperatively these groups last August worked out plans for the utilization of the services of young people in the NYA during the fall and winter months. The plan involved the collection and repair of city playground equipment; the manning of "continuation" playgrounds, the operation of a workshop for the manufacture of permanent facilities and the construction of permanent improvements on city-owned playgrounds. Such a program, it was Mr. Richards' plea, would give the young people year-round occupation, and more would be accomplished for the city's facilities than municipal appropriations could make possible for years.
The officials who cooperated in the project were enthusiastic over the plan. And in addition it was backed by neighborhood groups and organizations such as Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, the American Legion, garden clubs and foreign groups whose interest was enlisted in cooperating with the authorities in maintaining play areas, beautifying them, and securing additional facilities and equip
Then They Began!
And so they started out, these young people, with little in the way of materials or leadership from skilled workers, but with the will to do! What they accomplished has been outstanding.
A large room in the old Thomas Edison school previously used by Mr. Richards for the work of the Cuyahoga County Recreation Commission became the workshop of the
NYA wood and cement projects. A number of untrained youths were assigned to the projects, and several broken packing boxes were dragged from the basement for them to knock apart. Tools at the beginning of the venture consisted of one hammer and two old saws. Other tools were secured later. Green youths worked with green lumber. The packing boxes were transformed into work benches. Hands unaccustomed to tools learned to guide a saw accurately and the mysteries of blue prints were carefully explained.
Three thousand feet of lumber were delivered by NYA and the city together. Supervisors showed the willing youths how to shape molds and treat them to keep the wood from warping. Of course there were difficulties. The experimental stage was a hard one on both youths and supervisors. Nevertheless they at last went into production and did a creditable job.
Tons of sand and sacks of cement followed the building of molds. Just as painstakingly were they taught to mix and pour the concrete as they had been instructed in working with wood. At last they were ready to mix concrete of the right consistency and pour it into the waiting molds.
Today, stacked neatly, awaiting their turn to become a part of some city playground, are huge piles of building blocks, paving blocks, copings, drinking fountains, park benches both plain and fancy, horseshoe boxes, curbings, foundations for handball and shuffleboard courts and ping pong tables. At the other end of the line are other earnest youths who are grading, constructing walks, straightening the high wire fences and painting them, building substantial concrete retaining walls and laying cement blocks and curbings. When the last cement block has been laid and the last tree planted, the city of Cleveland will have seventeen model playgrounds to gladden the hearts of thousands of children who can forsake the danger of city streets for a safe and happy sanctuary.
It is an interesting story, as told by
In the basement of Brookside Zoo, another group began their work repairing an almost unbelievable mass of broken slides, rusty swings trailing rusty chains and splintered seats, teeters which are tottering, and the vast hodge-podge of faulty equipment which has accumulated through the years.
In another room is a different scene. Here are slides, repaired and painted, swings whose chains. gleam in the light with a coat of aluminum paint skilfully applied, giant strides which fairly invite the small Clevelander to give them a try. Where a piece of equipment proves hopeless it is taken apart and parts used to repair more hopeful cases. Tools and equipment? Borrowed. Material? Odds and ends of other equipment. The paint was donated in large part by public-spirited Clevelanders.
Miles of Nets!
The girls in the NYA shared the honors at the Central Avenue Bath House. Here a small net factory is in operation. New basketball, tennis, volley ball and ping pong nets are being made and old ones are repaired. This project was started in the basement of the City Hall at first without even the aid of looms. The girls followed the procedure shown in a picture in a magazine. The knots, however, would not stay
put. When the project was moved out to its present quarters a supervisor was put in charge who had been in the navy for eighteen years. With the aid of his nautical knowledge the girls have learned to tie a good many knots per hour.
All these girls had to start with was six pounds of nails, twelve pounds of nuts and
bolts, fifteen pounds of linen twine, and nine pieces of lumber! With the lumber the supervisor fashioned a loom, and with this the girls have made rapid progress. The nets are thoroughly tested as the girls finish them and then they receive a waterproof treatment which is the old navy man's secret formula.
All the city playgrounds and tennis courts will now have real nets at surprisingly low cost-and the knots will not slip!
A miniature playground, the work of a young NYA artist, has been viewed by visitors from all over the United States. Occupying the space of an ordinary table top, it shows a finished playground with benches, drinking fountains, walks built of cement blocks in mosaic patterns, volley ball and basketball courts, slides, swings, shelter house and shade trees.
The outcome of it all? Many young people who otherwise would have been unemployed after the summer season have worked throughout the winter on these NYA projects learning skills which will help them enter industry. Donations by public-spirited citizens, a few borrowed tools chiefly from the WPA warehouse, scraps of lumber and a small outlay by the city and NYA will result in seventeen new playgrounds, all of which will be completed by the end of the summer.
Large quantities of net are being made for the play areas of Cleveland by eager young workers