These two documents give a look into the early development of Playgrounds Leaders courses: suggestions for the planning of a course in 1949, and the outline for a fully developed course almost twenty years later in 1967.

A typed document on official letterhead from the Department of Education

Letterhead: Ontario Department of Education, Community Programmes
Sent from: 400 Catherine St., Fort William, Ont, Sept 30, 1949
Addressee: Mr A. Widnall, Recreation Director, City Hall, Fort William, Ont.

Dear Mr. Widnall:

Mr. N.C. Lindsay, who gave the Social Recreation part of the course to Playground Leaders last Spring, is coming to the Lakehead in connection with a Junior Farmers' Conference to be held here October 27 and 28, and could come earlier if we can use his services.

There have been a number of individual requests for the type of training given in Social Recreation Classes last Spring, to be extended for the use of church group leaders and Scout and Guide leaders, and it is felt that this could possibly be done on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday prior to the Junior Farmers' Conference.

In order to set up the necessary organization for a course in the Lakehead, and so that each city might have its proper share in the planning of such a course, it is recommended that the same pattern be followed as was the case with the Drama course last Spring, namely that Representatives of the two Recreation Committees get together, and jointly make the local arrangements which in this case would involve only the selection of the place to hold such a course, as well as the selection of the people to be trained.

There is not much doubt that it will be difficult to restrict the numbers in this course, as it would naturally prove a very popular one, and for this reason, the Committee would have to be prepared to encourage existing and active organizations to send their representative for training.

Would you be good enough to take this matter up as soon as possible with either the executive or the whole of your Recreation Committee to determine whether they will agree to putting on this course, and if so contact this office as soon as you have done so? In the meantime I shall tentatively reserve the three dates above mentioned, namely Oct 24, 25, and 26.

Yours very truly, E.V. Ross, District Representative. 

Title: Ontario Department of Education, Community Programmes Correspondence Re: First Playground Leaders Course
Date: September 30, 1949
Creator: E.V. Ross, District Representative of the Ontario Department of Education, Community Programmes Division
Description: This letter from E.V. Ross to Mr. A Widnall, the Fort William Recreation Director, shows the demand for the Playground Leaders Course since its beginning in 1948, and highlights the involvement of both cities in planning it.
Series: 121, Fort William Parks & Recreation Files
Location: TBA 4802-23

 A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course

Playground Leaders Course
June 18-June 23, 1967
Quetico Centre

General Supplies Each Leader Should Bring:
1. Course Fee $35, payable to the Quetico Centre
2. Toilet Articles - soap, towels, toothbrush, etc
3. 3-ring notebook - along with about 30 lined sheets 8 1/2 x 11. (This is important.)
4. Pen or pencil
5. Insect repellent
6. Spending money - there is a tuck shop where you may purchase chocolate bars, soft drinks, etc
7. Musical instrument
8. Flashlight
9. Rubbers and raincoat
10. Informal clothing
11. Pair of running shoes or rubber soled shoes
12. Heavy jacket or sweater for cool weather
13. Bathing suit
14. Field glasses
15. The following Community Programmes Branch, Ontario Department of Education Playground Manuals which may be borrowed from your Recreation Director or Municipal Recreation Committee:

  • Sports and Active Games
  • Special Events
  • Music & Singing Games
  • Quiet Periods
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Job of Playground Leader

Craft Supplies Each Leader Should Bring:

1. Bottle of Lepage's glue
2. Pencil with an eraser
3. Scissors
4. Sharp knife (paring or jack-knife)
5. Clean cloths (to be used for paint cloths)
6. Empty "Rolled Oats" tubes & boxes of any kind
7. Man's old shirt (to be used as a smock)
8. Coloured craft paper (4 or 5 sheets)
9. One Life Magazine
10. 1/2 pint of shellac
11. One artist's paint brush (any size)
12. One 1/2" painter's brush
13. Crayons
14. Stapler (if one is available to you) 

A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course

[Illustration: winking clown holding a sign reading "20th Annual Playground Leaders' Training Course"]

Planning and Sponsorship: The Course is being planned and sponsored by the Community Programs Division, Ontario Department of Education, and the Northwestern Ontario Recreation Directors and the Quetico Conference and Training Centre for the communities of Northwestern Ontario.


  • Sunday, June 18, 1967 (with registrations commencing not earlier than 4:00 p.m. and terminating at 5:00 p.m.)
  • Monday, June 19, 1967
  • Tuesday, June 20, 1967
  • Wednesday, June 21, 1967
  • Thursday, June 22, 1967
  • Friday, June 23, 1967 (ending at 1:30 p.m.)

Place: Quetico Conference and Training Centre

Programme: Workshops on:

  • Lead up and Active Games
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Music, Drama & Storytelling
  • Special Events
  • Plenaries on: Role of the Playground Leader and Programme Planning

Who May Attend:

  • Playground Leaders, camp counsellors and others involved in summer playground programmes.

Accomodation and Registration:

  • Lodging and meals will be supplied. The fee will be $35.00. This fee is payable to the Quetico Conference and Training Centre at the time of registration between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m., Sunday, June 18, 1967.

Information regarding the syllabus, resource leaders, what to bring and other details will be sent to persons registering.

Registration Deadline: Please fill out, detach and return the registration form below to the Port Arthur Parks and Recreation Committee, 2nd floor, PUC Building, by Thursday, June 1, 1967. In order to insure efficient planning for a profitable training experience, and so that all pre-course material can be completed by the candidates prior to the course, applications will not be accepted after June 1, 1967. 

A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course

Twentieth Annual Playground Leaders' Training Course

Resource Leaders


  • Mrs Margaret Smith
    Arts & Crafts Instructor
    Port Arthur, Ontario
    (Services sponsored by C.P.D.)

Music, Drama, Storytelling:

  • Mr. Paul Inksetter - Teacher
    Hillcrest High School
    Port Arthur, Ontario
    (Services sponsored by C.P.D.)

Special Events:

  • Miss Donna Gilhooly
    Programme Supervisor
    Fort William, Ontario
    (Services sponsored by Fort William Parks and Recreation)

Lead Up and Active Games:

  • Miss Margaret Matheson - Teacher
    Winston Churchill High School
    Port Arthur, Ontario
    (Services sponsored by C.P.D.)

Role of the Playground Leader:

  • Mr. Peter Krystalowich

Programme Planning:

  • Playground Leaders' Staff

Course Director:

  • Mr. Peter Krystalowich
    Supervisor of Recreation
    Port Arthur, Ontario

A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course

Twentieth Annual Playground Leaders' Training Course

Course Delegates

Red Group:

  • Judy Axelson: Port Arthur
  • Gaila Haskins: Port Arthur
  • Janet Aho: Port Arthur
  • Dorothy Tyance: Gull Bay
  • Donna Brisson: Dryden
  • Kary Pringle: Dryden
  • Roxanne Carrigan: Fort William
  • Kathy Johnson: Fort William
  • Jo-Ann Pettit: Fort William
  • Terry Brunello: Fort William
  • Barb Parrott: Fort William
  • Gregg Scott: Fort William Reserve
  • Henriette Simard: Atikokan
  • Linda Bailey: Atikokan
  • Thayna Spence: Ft. Wm. Retarded Children
  • Margaret Showalter: Kenora
  • Karen Alcock: Kenora

Green Group:

  • Janice Metcalfe: Port Arthur
  • June Skokowski: Port Arthur
  • Elizabeth Johnson: Port Arthur
  • Glenn Bannon: Fort William Reserve
  • Christine Janetti: Dryden
  • Patricia Michano: Heron Bay
  • Lois Sutherland: Fort William
  • Wendy Naroski: Fort William
  • Jackie Vibert: Fort William
  • Judy Hrycyk: Fort William
  • Roberta Lambert: Fort William
  • Pearl Curtis: Fort William
  • Christine Halibisky: Fort William
  • Michele Fitzgerald: Fort William
  • Karen Venn: Atikokan
  • Mary Munn: Kenora
  • Valerie Bergman: Kenora

Blue Group:

  • Francine Benwick: Port Arthur
  • Frances Metcalfe: Port Arthur
  • Freda Husic: Port Arthur
  • Peter Penagin: Gull Bay
  • Georgette Malyk: Dryden
  • Madge Smylie: North Neebing
  • Vivian Vanier: Fort William
  • Lynda Lake: Fort William
  • Cheryl Sandberg: Fort William
  • Margaret Burns: Fort William
  • Lynne Ashlee: Fort William
  • Jim Hyder: Gull Bay
  • Margaret Graham: Moburg
  • Mary McKay: Atikokan
  • Debra Nephin: Atikokan
  • Sharon Forsythe: Kenora
  • Lynne McGinnes: Kenora
  • Linda Tarbet: Fort William

Brown Group:

  • Janice Hietapakka: Port Arthur
  • Gayle Touminen: Port Arthur
  • Patricia Donnelly: Port Arthur
  • Denise Akewenzi: Heron Bay
  • Rochelle Solomon: Fort William Reserve
  • Brenda Sparling: Dryden
  • Eileen Desmoulin: Heron Bay
  • Ann Gordon: Fort William
  • Lesley Douglas: Fort William
  • Marlene Vick: Fort William
  • Judy King: Fort William
  • Rose Smith: Fort William
  • Dawne Barrett: Fort William
  • Brenda Harty: North Neebing
  • Patricia Sutherland: Atikokan
  • Connie Davidson: Kenora
  • Louise Swirhun: Kenora

A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course

20th Annual Playground Leaders' Course

Monday, June 19th, 196









Make Beds / Clean Up 


Meet in Conference Hall 



Special Events 

Music & Drama 

Lead Up & Active Games 


Lead Up & Active Games 


Special Events 

Music & Drama 


Clean Up / Dinner / Free Time 


Lead Up & Active Games 


Special Events 

Music & Drama 


Music & Drama 

Lead Up & Active Games 


Special Events 


Free Time / Clean Up 


Dinner / Free Time 




Role of a Playground Leader 


Coffee / Snack / Recreation 

A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course

Advanced Playground Leader's Course
June 28th to 29th, 1967


  • 9:00 a.m. - Peter Krystalowich - Supervisor of Recreation: Policies of the Parks & Recreation Department with reference to the Port Arthur Parks & Recreation Programme
  • 10:30 a.m. - Jim Atchison - Port Arthur Police Department: Bicycle Rodeo
  • 12:00 noon - Lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m - Pat Smith - Athletic Coordinator: Bicycle Rodeo; Kite Tournament (assist); Sports Programme; Tournaments: Volleyball, Basketball, Horseshoes; Track Meet: Importance of Pan American Games 1st time in Canadian History, must start training at the beginning of summer; Baseball: draw up schedule, playoffs; Clinics in sports; Physical fitness programme; Tests in skills; Lead Up Games to Act (5-8 years): Volleyball, baseball, bike or walking.
  • 3:00 - 4:30 pm - Lee Vester - Arts & Crafts Coordinator: Purpose of arts and crafts on the playgrounds, Craft display (fair), Kite tournament, Art exhibit (Fabulous Zoo), Track meet (costumes), Indian Tribe Nite (Costumes) (Casino Park), Variety Show

A typed document detailing the Playground Leaders Course


9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.: Kathleen Heikkinen - Recreation Assistant:
Registration: 1st Day on Playground, purpose, importance
Elections: how, why, when
Presentation to Council: when
Day Camping (Nature Day, Hikes)
3 sups (informal basis) resource people call upon for assistance

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon: Heli Kopti - Drama & Music Coordinator:
Purpose of drama and music on playgrounds
Variety Show
Indian Nite: Songs, Ceremony
Drama Show
Square Dancing
Folk Dancing

12:00 Noon - Lunch

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Ted Karp: Artificial Respiration Presentation

Title: Playground Leaders Course, and Advanced Playground Leaders Course
Date: June 1967
Creator: Peter Krystalowich, Course Director
Description: The Playground Leaders Course Package includes a list of supplies each leader was required to bring, the attendance roster, and the schedules for both courses.
Series: 28, Port Arthur Parks & Recreation Files
Location: TBA 4750-32



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