2015 - Innovative Leisure Practices: Cases as Conduits Between Theory and Practice (Vol. 1)

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    Training tomorrow's aquatic leaders: A collaborative model in the Regional District of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island
    (World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University, 2015-12) Porteous, Anne M.
    The recruitment, training and retention of Lifeguard/Swimming Instructors is essential for the provision of safe and high quality aquatic programs. For years, recruitment, training and retention has become increasingly challenging. The issue was identified in Ontario, Canada, in 2005, and over the past ten years the issue has continued right across the country. The author, who works as an Aquatic Recreation Programmer for the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) on Vancouver Island, BC, has recently been dealing with this mounting problem. As a solution, the author, in collaboration with the local School District, developed an Aquatic Leadership Program (ALP). A school based curriculum was designed, allowing students to gain credits for aquatic leadership courses offered by the RDN. The ALP was a comprehensive concept approved by the School District and included Ministry of Education funding. A Pilot Project was initiated from February 2015 to June 2015. Eight students were accepted and of the eight students enrolled, six successfully completed the program, and three were hired by the RDN. Upon evaluating the program with the SD69 teachers involved, the ALP was deemed a success. The goals and objectives of both parties were met, and the outcomes established for the students were also met. However, there were some challenges identified throughout the program and these were addressed during the evaluation process. Solutions to the challenges were explored that will be integrated into the next ALP implementation. The ALP was beneficial to the RDN because it provided a group of trained and certified students able to apply for employment after completing the program. It was favourable to SD69 as it fit well with its mandate to provide students with alternative educational experiences to enhance their knowledge, skills and experience for future career choices. Most importantly, it was of significant advantage to the students who gained invaluable leadership skills and were well trained to obtain employment while attending school or upon graduation. Another important benefit of the ALP is its value to other communities facing similar staffing challenges. The author recently completed a Power Point presentation to the Canadian Red Cross. It was well received and there may be other stakeholders interested in hearing about the program including Parks and Recreation Associations and School Districts across Canada or internationally. The ALP can be an excellent solution to recruiting and retaining certified and qualified aquatic staff.
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    Robotics programming kids for leisure
    (World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University, 2015-12) Peel, Nicole
    Children in out of home care (OOHC) in Australia are an unknown equation in relation to higher education. At present no Australian university collects enrolment data on students to see if they have previously been in care therefore there is no way of knowing the success of attending or completing higher education for a student who has been in the OOHC system. Children in the OOHC system are children under the age of eighteen years of age who the government has assessed at risk and in need of protection, by the state government (Australian Institute of Family Services, 2015). In 2009, a survey of education outcomes for 200 children and young people living in non-relative foster care and residential care in Victoria found that 23.7% had repeated a grade at school, 60.2% experienced a change of school, 18.1% did not attend school at all, 30.8% had wagged school in the past year and 14.7% of children surveyed had been suspended (Wise, Pollock, Mitchell, Argus & Farquhar, 2010). The University of Western Sydney aimed to address this very question by working with children in OOHC. In 2012, the KiC (Kids in Care) program was developed by the Western Sydney University to raise awareness and facilitate educational and career aspirations of children and adolescents in OOHC. Western Sydney University was aiming to address the increased university participation gap of children in OOHC through the use of leisure. At the core of the KiC club was the use of robotics technology facilitated through leisure education. Whilst the program has proven to be successful in the short term, the full outcomes of the program will not be known until the oldest KiC member reaches the age of university enrolment.
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    Walk to Tuk: An innovative physical activity program for Northwest Territories residents
    (World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University, 2015-12) Brooks-Cleator, Lauren A.; Giles, Audrey R.; Tremblay, Sheena
    Residents in rural and remote communities face barriers to physical activity that are related to climate, lack of facilities and infrastructure, lack of transportation, and lack of safe and public spaces. Consequently, 42.5% of people in the NWT still report being inactive during their leisure time. Walk to Tuk is an innovative initiative which has been able to effectively address many of the barriers to physical activity for residents in the NWT through its flexible and simple approach. Walk to Tuk is a physical activity challenge that is run on an annual basis by the NWTRPA. It encourages community members, schools, and workplaces to form teams of between 1-20 people to conceptually ‘walk the distance’ of the Mackenzie River from Fort Providence to Tuktoyaktuk, a total of 1,658km, between the beginning of January and the beginning of March – the coldest months of the year in the NWT. Anyone can participate in Walk to Tuk regardless of ability or age. In 2015, Walk to Tuk had a tremendous impact on the NWT, with 2,500 participants from 24 NWT communities who logged a total of 453,442.4 kilometers. There are many aspects of Walk to Tuk that are innovative and contribute to its success. Walk to Tuk is challenging, territory-wide, web-based, allows for a range of activities, caters to all age groups in the NWT, and is a winter-based program. Furthermore, there is no fee or equipment required to participate in it and it includes a team component that is beneficial for social support. It is an innovate program that gets people in the Sub-Arctic and Arctic physically active in large numbers.
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    Supporting informed destination development using visitor intelligence
    (World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University, 2015-12) Vaugeois, Nicole; Parker, Pete
    Having an understanding of the profile of visiting markets can assist destinations to make informed and effective marketing investments. This case study describes a collaborative model to design and pilot a community-based visitor experience study on Vancouver Island intended to create a system for ongoing, local data for tourism development. Initiated in 2013 by two communities and Vancouver Island University, the model expanded across the island to 9 communities by 2015 due to its success and community buy in. The model intercepts visitors on their trip asking them to complete a ballot with their email address in exchange for a chance to win a set of attractive prizes from the destination. In exchange, visitors are later sent a web based survey by email asking about their experience, preferences, satisfaction and characteristics. The project has enabled participating communities to learn more about their visitors and to enhance their marketing intelligence. The project is evaluated with communities annually at a meeting where refinements are made for successive years. This project highlights that systems to provide locally relevant data on visitors are valuable to assist communities to allocate their scarce marketing dollars effectively. The case study describes the elements in the design of the model, the process used to gather data, the tools used to share results and the feedback from the community stakeholders involved. Insights gained are valuable to those interested in modernizing data collection on visitors at the community or regional level.
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    Lessons from the river: Utilizing whitewater critical incident and accident case studies to inform decision-making frameworks in outdoor leadership
    (World Leisure Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation at Vancouver Island University, 2015-12) Dussler, Rob
    A primary competency for aspiring and practicing outdoor leaders alike is the ability to make sound decisions. Risk management efforts are directly linked to active decision-making on the part of the leader. In some instances, decision-making and risk management come in the form of accident and incident response. Despite being so central to the practice of outdoor leadership, the decision-making literature in outdoor adventure education is surprisingly sparse. Students and practitioners expect that scholarly literature and formalized training programs will inform their professional practice. A review of the outdoor adventure education literature and notable training programs reveal a privileging of more linear and deterministic decision-making models and curriculums. There is little research that examines how outdoor leaders make decisions in practice. The research study that forms the basis for this article sought to understand the decision-making process of individuals involved in whitewater critical incidents and accidents (Dussler, 2014). Participants drew on a variety of internal and external sources of information that are not wholly represented in more linear and deterministic conceptions of decision-making including: intuiting and instincts, training and education, and mentorship. Participants also indicated that while training and education were beneficial in making critical decisions, there were instances where prior training and education failed to inform their current reality.