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Good Times in "Ag Alley"
HEY ARE a great bunch,"
laughed Bill North, the
campus cop, when I asked
By DOROTHY LANGSHAW
him his opinion about the students of the College • of Agriculture at the Ohio State University. He went on to say that he wished other colleges had the pep and enthusiasm for group activities that the Agricultural College exhibits. "I actually believe that eighty per cent of them knows everybody else," blandly contributed Shorty, the Ag Alley cop. (Ag Alley is that end of the campus on which most of the buildings of the College of Agriculture are located.)
Education College asks "why?" Ag College replies with the word "recreation."
Yes, Ag College believes in recreation-not the type which means solely movies and dances, but rather activities in which there may be group participation. The activities of the college are subject to the All Agricultural Council which has as ex-officio members the Dean and Secretary of the college. The books of each organization are carefully checked by a student auditor. This and other factors prevent the limiting of membership in the campus organizations.
Membership in this council consists of the president from each of a number of organizations. In addition two members from the Home Economics club, the president and a senior; two seniors from University Grange 1620, one of whom is a man and one a woman; one member from the Agricultural Student; the Student Senate member from the College of Agriculture, and any student officers of the National Collegiate Agricultural Council that may be enrolled in the College of Agriculture.
What Do They Enjoy?
What is the type of group participation that these college groups enjoy? The answer is folk games and play party games. Yes, we furnish. much of our own music. The credit for our interest in this type of activity is due to our very good friend R. B. Tom, extension in rural economics, at Ohio State University. Many of the young people have been at camp with Mr. Tom before entering the University and consequently are prepared for this type of recreation. For those especially interested in recreational leadership Mr.
Tom offers a course which consists of lectures upon the theory of play and play leadership. This course also has a laboratory period which is actual participation in play party games. At this time ideas brought up in lecture are tried out. In connection with this class teams are sent out to nearby communities to lead parties.
It's a big evening for many students when Billy Foster and his Yellow Jackets come to the Armory for a Square Dance. There are often as many as fifty sets keeping in perfect rhythm with the call "Darling Nellie Gray." The floor is also crowded when other types of old time dances are played such as schottische, rye waltz and polka. As is to be expected, modern dances are popular on this as any other campus, including the formal proms.
Skill games have been very popular with this group. Various students have found opportunity to visit the home of Lynn Rohrbough, just twenty miles from the campus, where they can make their own equipment for the games.
Picnics have their place in the curriculum of Ag Alley. In the spring quarter each year the All Agricultural Council sponsors an "All Ag Spree" which is really a picnic. Everyone in the College of Agriculture is urged to attend, including the faculty. The early evening is spent in out-ofdoor sports, such as baseball, and other competitive games. When hunger calls a picnic supper is enjoyed amid laughter and song. When the food has disappeared a mixed dance fills the time for the remainder of the evening. It is impossible to go to such outings without recognizing at least the faces of your classmates thus the basis for Shorty's comment.
Recreation in a College Town
OST OF THE recreational activities in Forest Grove, Oregon, are sponsored by
By S. SHIRLEY Roberts
Pacific University or are held on the school property. Although several of these functions were primarily intended as purely school affairs, they have come to include most of the town's population. A comparatively small town, Forest Grove has a great number of recreational projects.
As Pacific University is called the "New England college of the West," it has many old English customs, one of which is the Wassail party. Just before the Christmas holiday the towns people are invited to McCormick Hall, the men's dormitory, which is appropriately decorated with fir trees, cedar boughs and mistletoe. The Christmas spirit prevails, and the University Glee Club, the Girls in formals and the men in dark suits, sing carols. There is a tableau or short play and. informal speeches. To the crackling of the Yule log in the fireplace a platter is brought in on which is the boar's head; then-the wassail! Hot, spicy, it is followed by a platter of "snapdragons" -burning raisins soaked in alcohol. Friends drink one another's health in the aromatic wassail.
Another event of the Christmas season is the presentation of Handel's great oratorio, the Messiah. A group is formed composed of the University Glee Club and any members of the town's choirs who wish to join. The Messiah, together with other Christmas music, is presented by this group before Christmas. The Sunday after Christmas they join with the choirs of the Portland Council of Churches to present the Messiah at the Civic Auditorium under the direction of Willem Van Hoogstraten, accompanied by the Portland Symphony orchestra. Each person who attends three practices and the performance is
high school music tournament sponsored by Pacific. Wellknown musicians from Oregon
and Washington are judges, and schools from all over Oregon and Washington send representatives. Every townsman avails himself of the opportunity to hear the music, classical and semiclassical, which is sung or played on piano, violin, viola and bass viol.
Probably the most unique feature at Pacific that is valuable to the town in a recreational way is a physical education class called “games of low organization." The members of this class learn to lead marching, party games, and folk dances, and are available at any time to conduct recreational activities at ParentTeacher, Sunday School, or other group meetings. The member of the class who is to plan. and direct a meeting of this type tries it on the class first to discover if any changes in program are necessary.
More in line with work all over the country are the May Day festival in which high school and grade school pupils participate, and which is enjoyed by the entire town; the extra gymnasium classes in games, dancing and swimming for townspeople; the supervised swimming periods for Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and Girl Reserves, and the annual play day for high school girls in this county, which is held in Pacific's gym.
Last summer the stores in Forest Grove started a softball league, but it was not entirely successful because of the necessity of holding twilight games. Nothing daunted, the merchants have started a campaign to buy arc lights for Pacific's athletic field. They will be used not only for the softball games but for high school and college football games as well.
We shall be glad to receive from other colleges and educational institutions information regarding the recreational activities being conducted by the students. RECREATION is particularly anxious to know of instances in which colleges are sharing their recreational programs with the people of the communities in which the institutions are located.
Recreational Provision in Housing Projects
In the Architectural Record for
OTH PUBLIC and private groups concerned with promoting housing developments are increasingly including recreational areas and facilities as an integral part of their plans. Community buildings, recreation rooms, playgrounds, day nurseries, swimming pools and other facilities are being constructed at the same time as the houses themselves.
Buckingham. Buckingham in Clarendon, Virginia, is a planned residential community developed by Paramount Communities, Inc., and consists chiefly of two-story group houses ranging in size from two to sixteen families. The section now under construction will provide for 510 families and occupies twenty-six and a half acres. Eventually 2,500 families will be accommodated in the development which caters to renters with an income averaging $1,200 to $3,000 a year.
Land coverage is less than twenty per cent, and all open spaces are developed in landscaped areas and play spaces. Present plans call for, among other things, space for community rooms, tenants workshops, an auditorium, and nursery schools if desired by the tenants. Plans are laid for a fully equipped playground for children five to eleven years of age.
Hillcrest. Completed six months ago, Hillcrest, a development of the Meadville Housing Corporation, Meadville, Pennsylvania, relieved a housing shortage brought about by the establishment of two new industries in the community. The corporation is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Central Labor Union.
The plot occupies forty-three acres of hill side, twenty-three of which were used for building purposes. Five acres were set aside for future use and eleven acres were given to the city of Meadville for park area.
The Chandler Tract. In a project of the Resettlement Administration, Department of Agriculture, part-time farms will be established on the Chandler Tract in Arizona to enable temporary laborers on farms to escape the necessity for migratory living by supplementing their incomes and providing minimum, but adequate housing. The
project supplies 350 acres of farm land surrounding the housing tract, on which marketable crops and livestock can be raised by the laborers during periods of temporary unemployment. In addition to crop lands, each apartment will have a small garden where flowers and special vegetables can be grown. A community building will have facilities for a day nursery, for social gatherings and for various other activities.
Liberty Square. Liberty Square, recently opened PWA housing project, stands on the outskirts of Miami, Florida. Its 243 units are made up of one- and two-story group houses containing from two to five rooms each which will house only families who previously lived in sub-standard homes and whose income does not exceed five times the rent plus the cost of facilities. The site calls for a community building, centrally located, with accommodations for a day nursery and a large auditorium. Behind this building is a large open dance floor. Swimming and wading pools are flanked on either side by large grass plots. The arrangements of the building allow court space for children's playgrounds and a garden area for adults.
Pickwick Landing Dam. The Pickwick Landing Dam development is a PWA housing project for the provision of permanent homes for workers at this Tennessee Valley Authority plant. The project includes a ten room public school in combination with a community building which also contains an auditorium for both colored and white, a reading room and a sitting room.
Parklawn. Parklawn, also a PWA Housing Project, is located near Milwaukee's industrial and employment district. The tract of forty-two acres contains sixty-four fireproof structures grouped around courts. Seven and a half acres are set aside for recreational purposes. A community house with many facilities, a number of playgrounds and wading pools are provided. An arrangement with the Department of Municipal Recreation and Adult Education of the Milwaukee Public Schools has been made whereby the Housing Project provides the facilities and the Department of Municipal Recreation and Adult Education the recreational leadership and program.
very much isolated and independent districts of San Francisco. In the past years sectional feeling has run high, with constant warfare between the districts involved. Natural boundaries, such as hills and vegetable gardens, were the border line over which armed conflicts frequently raged. Strategy resembling that used in actual warfare was often employed by the various district forces. One gang would entice the enemy across the railroad track at the moment when a freight train was coming through, thereby shutting off retreat and enabling the capture of the "foreigners." Many of the captives were treated cruelly and the police were constantly called on to restore law and order. The use of rocks and weapons of many kinds was common. Eventually an unfortunate motorman piloting a street car was shot with a rifle. It was then that the city government became conscious of the fact that troubles were constantly brewing in this district.
The population of the section is a mixture of practically every nationality, with Italians, Scandinavians and Jews predominating and with a generous sprinkling of Maltese, Germans, Spanish and French. Because of this mixture it has been difficult to
secure solidarity and uniformity of action. The nationalistic feeling which prevailed very strongly in the past often made progress impossible along commercial as well as fraternal lines.
Then Came the Center!
It was in the midst of a cosmopolitan district of this type that Portola Recreation Center was established six years ago by the San Francisco, California Recreation Commission. The building contains gymnasiums of maximum size with apparatus and adequate shower facilities, four club rooms, a kitchen, a well-equipped stage, craft rooms and offices. The center is located on a ten acre playground with the usual facilities such as baseball diamonds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and children's apparatus. The attendance on this playground prior to the opening of the building averaged about 1,200 a week. With the building in operation the average attendance is about 5,000.
The Portola Recreation Center operated
The Staff. The staff of the center consists of one general director and four assistant directors, three of whom are on a part-time basis. At the present time the staff is augmented by twenty-two WPA assistants who teach various kinds of craft work, issue supplies, do office work, and perform other services.
AT THE PORTOLA RECREATION CENTER
Hours of Operation. The center opens at 8:30 A. M. and is in constant use until 11:00 P. M. and often later. An emergency educational program nursery school using the facilities of the center takes care of thirty-five babies. The fast moving of furniture makes it possible to convert the rooms into play rooms and sleeping rooms for the nursery with its kindergarten furnishings in the morning, and to transform them into adult club rooms for afternoon and evening activities. In this way a maximum use of the building is secured with the most efficient services for the greatest number of people.
Because of lack of school facilities the near-by junior high school uses the gymnasium of the center for its various physical education classes.
Clubs and Classes
We have found that by grouping our participants into forty or fifty groups and classes of from twenty to twenty-five each we are far better able to guide these individuals, with their differences in background and experience, and to gain a better insight into their family life and environment. There are about thirty clubs sponsored by the center and held together by a variety of interests. Among the groups are Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts, athletic clubs, social clubs, and clubs for practically every age and interest. A strong active mother's club is one of our outstanding groups. The classes carried on regularly include folk dancing, tap dancing, ballroom dancing, acrobatic dancing, a toy symphony, orchestras, glee clubs, airplane building, woodwork, painting, gymnasium activities and a nursery school, instruction in piano playing, soap carving, puppetry, dramatics, tennis, story-telling and harmonica instruction.
The Club Advisor. Each club has from twelve to fifty members who elect their own officers and transact their own business. A director is assigned as adviser to each club, and while all directors are interested in all clubs each adviser is definitely responsible for the club of which he is in charge. He is sometimes granted the right to vote in club meetings but is usually a silent spectator, leaving all the planning to the club members but always standing ready to be of assistance and to interpret the rules and regulations of the center.
The Council of Representatives. In order to secure unified action by all clubs meeting in the center, a council of representatives has been or
ganized to which each club elects a delegate. We have tried to make this council a dignified body of "statesmen" and to attach real importance to the office and its duties. The council meets regularly once a month. The delegates are assigned to their regular permanent seats and business is carried on in a very dignified manner. The officers of the council are elected by the delegates. By giving this body a great deal of responsibility we have been able to secure cooperation and discipline not otherwise obtainable. It has been our experience that the greater the responsibility given this group the better the response from the clubs.
Through our method of organization we have secured leaders able to promote and conduct center-wide and inter-club activities. The council is empowered to make assessments on the clubs for various purposes. It conducts baseball and indoor basketball tournaments and is in charge of events such as our large indoor carnival, our anniversary celebration and other activities which have become traditional during the past six years. The anniversary celebration lasts a week and is observed by various athletic, musical and dramatic programs. The week is eagerly awaited by members of all the clubs. Recreation executives, city officials and other dignitaries are always invited, and the clubs take great pleasure in entertaining them.
Meeting Places for Clubs. Many clubs are in favor of having their club rooms in various homes, attics and basements. While we encourage the use of the facilities of the center, we also encourage certain clubs to maintain their own rooms. Some groups like to have a place where they can gather at any time and rooms which they may furnish in any way they desire. We believe the proper approach to this problem, which is indeed a problem in many instances, lies in taking a personal interest in these clubs and visiting them as often as possible. Our directors are welcome guests at most of the clubs, and the mere knowledge that a director may visit them at any time keeps activities and facilities at a high standard. We invite these independent groups to participate in various sports of the center and feel the clubs are almost as much our responsibility as though they meet at the building. In this way we have created cordial relations with many groups, clubs and gangs who were antagonistic toward organized recreation and supervision.
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