Posted 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020

Assistant Professor Brian E. Kumm-Schaley, shown here leading the rec class in 2019, says students have had to become creative while planning community activities this fall. Changes have included adapting communication strategies, while maintaining a sense of humor. “It has definitely been challenging, but it has also been an opportunity,” he says.

UWL rec class sets three events

A UWL recreation management class will offer three programs for area children. The events, planned as part the REC 301 leadership and programming course, will be virtual and hybrid to keep participants safe during COVID.

The events, all free, include:

Family Fun Scavenger Hunt — Onalaska

Families can discover parks in Onalaska by participating in the first ever Onalaska Parks and Recreation Scavenger Hunt. UWL students will partner with the Onalaska Parks and Recreation Department to host a scavenger hunt from Nov. 12-15.

The event runs at 10 different parks in the city. Participants will find clues on the parks and recreation Facebook page, and then be encouraged to proceed to those parks to take a picture with the given object. Clues will be provided at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. Participants can post their images to the Facebook page to be entered into a drawing.

To participate, register with the Onalaska Parks and Recreation Department at 608.781.9560.

The Turkey Scramble — La Crosse

UWL students will team up with the La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department to provide a hybrid event for families. The Turkey Scramble will include a socially distanced scavenger hunt, a take-home craft and prizes from local sponsors.

The event runs from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, in Myrick Park. Register for the scramble with the La Crosse Parks and Recreation Department at 608.789.8640.

Children’s Museum Winter Fun

UWL students will host a virtual family event in conjunction with Children’s Museum of La Crosse at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5. The event will include crafts, games and community engagement to celebrate the beginning of winter.

The program will be hosted virtually on Zoom, but families can pick up an interactive activity box at a pre-scheduled time the week prior to the event. Register at the Children’s Museum website or Facebook page.

For many years, students in UWL’s REC 301 leadership and programming class have taken fun activities to families and children in the La Crosse area. In the past, events have been held like this activity at the Children’s Museum. This year, activities will be held online and outside, with physical distance requirements.

Assistant Professor Brian E. Kumm-Schaley says the fall semester class working on the three events have turned to the similar summer class to discover tips on how to successfully program virtually. 

“Despite the challenges that the pandemic has obviously wrought, the students in REC 301 have embraced the challenges with grace,” he says. “We have collectively grown in terms of our flexibility, creativity and innovation. The students have been phenomenal and inspiring.”

Kumm-Schaley says the students have especially discovered the importance of adapting communication strategies, keeping a bit of humor along the way.

“It has definitely been challenging, but it has also been an opportunity,” he explains. “And we’re seizing the opportunity, learning how to make a positive impact in our new normal.”

The UWL Department of Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation offers degrees in both recreation management and therapeutic recreation at the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, preparing students for careers in recreation while instilling an appreciation for quality leisure in people's lives. The department has been nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions (COAPRT) since 1988.

Find out more about the department.