New Ellenburg Recreation Director Chris Brooks said adding non-athletic events to the youth program would make for a richer experience.
Chris Brooks was named as the new recreation director for Ellenburg's 175-kid strong youth program at the March 20 town meeting.
Brooks said a big goal of his is to pursue new fields for town athletic programs. Right now, the athletic resources the youth program uses are borrowed from Northern Adirondack Central.
Though he's clearly big on sports, with an athletic build, Brooks said he knows that not every kid in town will want to run the soccer field.
Programs for kids who aren't all that into sports are important, too, he said. When he was growing up in Lyon Mountain, the youth program had beach days and bowling alley trips. He'd like to add some less athletic and more social offerings to Ellenburg's program.
A game night would be a good way to kick off those events, he said. Following the town meeting, he gestured around the newly-refinished downstairs meeting hall and said it would be a great place to get kids to bring their favorite games for some fun.
“Some families have one kid, and their parents don't want to play Twister,” he said. Kids like that would get a chance to practice their contortions with like-minded peers.
Brooks went into the Marine Reserves right after high school, and enrolled in the Army Reserves after that. He attended Paul Smith's for a degree in hotel and restaurant management, then worked as a manager for Stewart's Shops for about two years. Since then, he's worked as a corrections officer.
His life has recently settled down enough that he's been more civically engaged, volunteering as a coach for the youth program sports.
The board had another strong candidate for the position, but at their organizational meeting decided that they would prefer a town resident. The other applicant lived on the Mooers side of the town line.
To help smooth his transition into office, the town will retain the previous recreation director, Gary McGee, with a $2,500 stipend for the year as an advisor.
Town Supervisor Dave Leonard updated the board on plans for a recreation field. They may have to put a good layer of sand and topsoil down to level the field, then seed it with grass before the field is ready. That would mean the rec field would have to wait until next year, and a playground could take a little longer.
“We want to get the basics done, but add to it each year,” said Leonard.