This Port Arthur Parks & Recreation manual covers instructions and equipment lists for various games, sports, and crafts. It also includes tips on how to be a good leader, how to run the Playtown Council, and what to do in case of an accident.

The Playtown Council is an interesting look into how children were involved in decision-making on the playgrounds. Elections were run formally and publicly recognized, and the elected Councillors then had a role in planning the activities for the summer.

Only selected pages from the manual are presented in this exhibit.

A green cover has a drawing of a boy wearing a hat and carrying a baseball bat

Port Arthur Parks & Recreation


Organization Manual


A typed purple sheet listing those involved with Port Arthur Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation Committee: 1969

  • Alderman Wm. Morgan, Chairman
  • Mrs D.A.R. Bradshaw
  • Alderman E. Laprade
  • Mr J.A. Martin
  • Alderman E.V. Anten
  • Mr J. Palyga
  • Alderman J.T. Robinson
  • Mr H. Boland
  • Mr T. Axelson
  • Mr. A. Crooks

Commissioner: Mr. David Smith
Director of Recreation: Mr. P. Krystalowich
Parks and Recreation Office Secretaries: Mrs. Doris Colvin, Mrs. Cheyne Sottile
Parks Superintendent: Mr. Frank Brown
Programme Supervisor: Mr. Brian Collins

Summer Recreation Staff:
Playground Programme Supervisor -- Miss Lee Vester

Playground Leaders:

  • Cynthia Koski
  • Robert Dark
  • Bill Kamo
  • Robert Fray
  • Brian Kivilahti
  • Carol Swan
  • Mary Lou MacMillan
  • Erlise Bertelson
  • Linda Lucier
  • Barbara Schmidt
  • Lynn Stokaluk
  • Barbara Soltys
  • Margaret Love
  • Sandy Smith
  • Robert Haines
  • Helen Szewello
  • Jay Hird
  • Collen Hendrickson
  • Kelli Kruhliak
  • Janet Aho
  • Janie McDaid
  • Gwen Mercer
  • Jo Ann Cappello

Centennial Park Guides:

  • Elizabeth Saunders
  • Tanya Ellis
  • Kathy Browning
  • Edith Lindeman
  • Marie Maepea

Swim Instructor - Supervisors

  • Mary McLean
  • Joyce Young
  • Suzanne Montemuro
  • Kathy Montemuro
  • Gayle Anderson
  • Jean A. Grant
  • Ann Hogan
  • Jo Ann Sargent
  • Elspeth Craig

Volunteer Pool Checkers

  • Dennis Sadowski
  • Marilyn Bruni
  • Carol Lynn Newman

Tennis Supervisor:

  • Linda Longworth


  • Dave Bahrynowski - Head Lifeguard
  • Gib Taylor
  • Ted Karp
  • Ken Rusnak
  • Richard Kamo
  • Boyd Nyberg
  • Doug Elsey
  • Ronald Hands
  • Harry Curtis

A purple document with a chart detailing the purpose of a playground

Purpose of Playgrounds


All Ages:

  • Fun
  • Creative Crafts
  • Games and Sports
  • Special Events
  • Music, Drama, Storytelling

The playground provides a safe area where children can play and adults may find the opportunity for creative play.

Creative and physical skills are taught in an outdoor setting.

The programme should emphasize the development of good health, and sportsmanship through outdoor activities.

The playground builds characters by providing recognition, encouragement and opportunities to accept responsibility.

The playground affords opportunities for its participants to enjoy themselves, provides relaxation and an environment for meeting people.

"Off the streets - Onto the playgrounds"

A purple typed sheet with the heading genereal program

General Programme

1. Physical Activities - organized sports and games.

2. Crafts - constructive creative interests.

3. Music, Drama, Dancing - interest in expressing feelings and emotions in beautiful ways.

4. Special Events - add new interest and excitement into the every day programme.

5. Organized Groups - interest in mingling together in organized groups, parties, celebrations, teams.

6. Swimming Programme - "Learn-to-Swim Campaign" - a special Department Programme - Boulevard Lake and Volunteer Pool - Beginners Learn to Swim, Junior, Intermediate and Senior Red Cross, Royal Life Saving and Adult Learn-to-Swim Classes.

7. Tennis  Programme - A special summer programme - Clarkson St. Courts - Learn-to-Play Classes - Tennis Instructor

8. Nature Trails - Centennial Park - Boulevard Lake, Trowbridge Falls and George Burke Park Areas.

A yellow typed sheet with "You!! the Leader" as the heading

You!! The Leader

To be a successful playground leader you must have a firm conviction of the importance of your job, a desire and capacity for work and a willingness to put your whole self into your work. Unless you are ready to maintain a high standard of personal conduct and good tastes, you should seek some  other occupation.

Who are the children waiting for on the playground this summer? You!!

Without you the playground is just a place. With you it is a programme; you make things happen; you make things fun.

You will be the authority on games, stories, arts and crafts, and special events. Your interests and attitudes will be reflected in the children; therefore your dress, speech and actions will exert a wide influence over them and in the neighbourhood.

As a leader - know what is expected of you.

You Should Know:

  • Parks and Recreation Policies
  • Rules and Regulations
  • Your Duties and Responsibilities
  • Emergency Procedure and Phone Numbers
  • Who will supervise you
  • Who looks after Equipment Maintenance
  • Who removes the garbage
  • Where craft supplies and games equipment come from

A green paper with typed wording and a heading that says "Sports Coaching Hints"

Sports: Coaching Hints

  • Simplicity is the keynote of success. Teach the fundamentals systematically and constantly.
  • Teach only a few things at each practice.
  • Use lead-up games for variety
  • Do not concentrate too long on one phase of the game
  • Let your players learn by playing
  • Tell them once and have them do it a million times
  • Encourage players to talk about the game
  • Encourage players to ask when they do not understand
  • Always keep your eye on the ball
  • Always remember the playing of the game is more important than winning. You, their coach, are moulding the citizens of tomorrow.
  • Know your game rules

A purple paper with typed wording and a heading of "Discipline"


Discipline involves your method of handling:

  • Yourself on the job
  • Unpleasant situations as they are created by children
  • The misuse of grounds and equipment

The complete lack can destroy the benefits of your total programme

How to Avoid Problems: The most sure-fire way of avoiding problems of discipline is to plan an interesting programme and to carry it out with enthusiasm and sincerity.

Activity Keeps Away Trouble:

  • keep things humming and avoid idle moments
  • Include something for everyone
  • avoid awards and costly prizes
  • use a playground council - elected representatives for specified periods - to help plan programmes (and junior leaders)
  • do not cater to the whims of a few - even if they make more noise with their requests than all the rest together.

Types of Children

Regardless of your efforts to plan so things will run smoothly, you will still find certain types of children on the playground who create special problems. Be prepared for these:

1. Big Bully:

  • his actions are often caused by a feeling of insecurity
  • he could be a leader
  • try guiding his energy into useful channels
  • give him some responsibility and a taste of success

2. Shy Violet

  • discover something the child can do well and encourage him to demonstrate this skill
  • by doing so you will make him feel more at ease in the group
  • make him feel important by giving him chores and letting him run your errands

3. "I don't wanna" Sulker

  • encourage the child to do things he likes to do and does well
  • give him praise when praise is due
  • draw him slowly into other activities

A typed image with the heading "Playtown Government"

Playtown Government

The Playtown set-up is an attempt to give the playground children an opportunity to live through the experience of self-government. In a small way, it attempts to give them an opportunity to practise and experience their responsibilities as citizens.

They soon learn, through guidance, trial and error, the good practices in this problem of self-government.

Procedure Outline to be followed:

1. Explain to the children the whole process of electing their own governing body and their responsibility as citizens. Outline the duties of the various officials and stress the importance of choosing the right people for specific jobs.

2. Set a date for election giving the children about a week to prepare.

3. Have them present written nominations for Mayor. These nomination papers should be signed by ten Playtown Citizens.

4. The candidates running should present their platforms. Their campaign should include speeches, posters, etc.

5. Returning officers representing each candidate are appointed. A Polling Booth is set up and hours of voting designated. Only registered Playtown children (over seven years of age) are allowed to vote.

6. When the election is over, scrutineers are appointed to count the ballots. The winner is announced and a special ceremony arranged. A prominent citizen should present the Mayor with his badge of office in the playground.

7. The playground leader, acting in an advisory capacity, the Mayor, and the defeated candidates plus one or two supporters of each candidate hold a meeting and set up the Playtown Council. They appoint suitable people, either from among themselves or at large to act as councillors, chiefs and members of the various departments (see chart)

8. After the Playtown elections, the mayor and his three councillors, along with their playground leader, join the other city playgrounds in a special ceremony with the Mayor of the City and his Councillors. This is a special Inaugural Meeting. At this time, the Playtown Councils are presented with their badges.

A typed document detailing the activties of the Playtown Council

Playtown Council

Parks and Recreation Committee

Mayor -- Playground Leader acts as an Advisor
(elected by Playtown Citizens)

Sports Department:
Sports Councillor

  • elected by Playtown Citizens
  • to appoint delegates for: track and field events, referees, softball, tournaments, efficiency test, basketball, volleyball

Welfare Department:
Welfare Councillor:

  • elected by Playtown Citizens
  • safety squads
  • clean-up
  • first aid

Recreation Department:
Recreation Councillor

  • elected by Playtown Citizens
  • special events
  • dramatics
  • music
  • arts and crafts

Note: The council consists of the Playground Leader, the Mayor (acting as Chairman), the various councillors and the committee heads. The council will meet once a week. One of the main functions of this Council will be to discuss and prepare the weekly programme.

A blue paper with type written text

The Leader

Qualities of a Playground Leader

So you think you are going to be a playground leader.

Have you:
1. The patience of Job?
2. The wisdom of Solomon?
3. The strength of Samson?
4. The fortitude of David?

Are you:
1. Prepared to answer one million questions a day?
2. Able to settle disputes and squabbles over nothing?
3. Enthusiastic enough to be on the go from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in temperature ranging from 40o to 90o with little rest and less energy?
4. Ready to accept criticism from parents, supervisors, co-workers when you have a splitting headache and have just played dodgeball for three hours?

Can you:
1. Play baseball like Yogi Bera?
2. Sing like Nancy Sinatra?
3. Organize like Jimmy Hoffa?
4. Do crafts like Leonardo Da Vinci?

If so, you might become a good playground leader.

Title: Organization Manual 1969
Date: 1969
Creator: Port Arthur Parks and Recreation
Series: 28, Port Arthur Parks & Recreation Files
Location: TBA 4750-33








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