Aboriginal Summer Program for Youth in Recreation (ASPYR)

Organization Sponsor: Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association

URLs: 

Program Description

Through the Aboriginal Summer Program for Youth in Recreation (ASPYR) Program, the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) works in partnership with Aboriginal communities to train Aboriginal youth leadership skills. With his/her new skills, the youth is able to provide recreation programming in their own Aboriginal community. The ASPYR Community Champion Support is a selection requirement for an Aboriginal community to be involved with the ASPYR program. Managed and administered by SPRA, the ASPYR Program seeks to assist Aboriginal communities from around Saskatchewan with recreation leadership training.

The intent of ASPYR is to develop quality recreation leaders and programming for Aboriginal communities and to encourage and increase the number of Aboriginal youth working in the recreation field. Partnership with the chosen communities, that the ASPYR youth are selected from, will ensure that the possibility exists for a summer ‘recreation' employment opportunity. Assistance from a ‘Community Champion' in garnering this employment opportunity is important and this confirmation will reflect on the youth nominated for selection into the ASPYR program.

The purpose of the ASPYR camps is to provide the opportunity to participate, to all of our member communities in the Province. The program is developed to train Aboriginal youth from Aboriginal communities. The youth that participate are specifically trained in Play Leadership, Introduction to Coaching, Teamwork/Leadership and CPR/First Aid and Drowning prevention. With his/her new skills, the youth are able to provide recreation programming in their own Aboriginal community. The ASPYR camps will be in partnership with SPRA and the selected Host Community.

Funding Sources: 

Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA)

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) developed the Aboriginal Summer Program for Youth in Recreation (ASPYR) to develop quality recreation leaders and programming for Aboriginal communities and to encourage and increase the number of Aboriginal youth working in the recreation field. ASPYR was created to assist First Nations and Me´tis people and communities in sustaining their values and traditions through culturally appropriate community based recreation programs. Partnerships with chosen communities will ensure that quality recreation leaders are available for recreation employment opportunities.

Impact Of Program: 

Last year, two camps were held with Host Communities. Forty four youth participated in the camps that were held on a selected weekend, over three days.

Evaluation Tools: 

ASPYR Leadership Camp Evaluation Forms

Key Elements Towards Success: 

Through participation in the ASPYR Program, First Nation communities realized the social and personal benefits of participation in recreation programs, the youth employed in the program gained meaningful work experience in the recreation field and trained staff/ volunteers remained in the communities to be able to provide recreation programming. Towards the end of the camp, a unity had developed amongst the participants.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

It was difficult to get some of the youth to take part because of then not fully understanding the purpose of the program and their role. The time of the year for the program with it being so close to the end of the school year and open communication are extremely important.
With participants and with the modules – 15 initially attended while one was sent home due to a lack of involvement. Some didn’t respect that they were there to really focus and train hard in learning new leadership skills.

Length and Stage of Project: 

As a two-year pilot project set for 2006 and 2007, the 2006 year had Program Planning, Play Leadership and First Aid training as its main components

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