Playful Experiences: Measure Youth Outcomes in Parks and Recreation
Utah Recreation and Parks Association
Do you like to play or know anyone else who likes to play? Play has forever been a seminal focus for recreation and parks programs. When designing and implementing experiences for youth participants, we typically measure our success by how much fun youth had. These days, while play and the outcome of fun are still meaningful to youth, stakeholders expect outcomes beyond fun. From season to season, many of us now hear parent voices asking, “What will my children gain from your program?” or “Why is yours better? What makes yours unique?” City council members ask us to justify the use of citizens’ tax dollars. We apply for grant funds to sustain our programs, and donors request to see the impact of our programs with quantified results. What can be done?
Roark, M. F., & Evans, F. (2010). Playful Experiences: Measure Youth Outcomes in Parks and Recreation. Leisure Insights: A Publication of Utah Recreation & Parks Association, 30(1), 10-11.