Apr. 4, 2013 News Release, Recreation Director receives 7th consecutive statewide award, Greene County, Pennsylvania

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For Release: April 4, 2013
Contact: Elizabeth Menhart, Communications Director/Tourism (724-852-5210)

WAYNESBURG, PA — For the seventh consecutive year, Greene County Recreation Director Jake Blaker has received an excellence in programming award from the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Inc.

Blaker accepted the award at a ceremony held March 26 during the 66th annual PRPS State Conference at Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pa. The Department of Recreation was honored for activities offered last year as part of the county’s summer Day Camp program. The department offered art classes for campers as well as a field trip to the Greene County Historical Society Museum.

"It is exciting to see our day campers use their imaginations and create their own artwork," Blaker said. “These hands-on experiences of arts and crafts and learning about history at our local museum should leave many lasting impressions."

"Being recognized by a panel of 10 recreation professionals for excellent programming is very rewarding," Blaker added.

The art classes, sponsored by the Monon Center and the Community Foundation of Greene County, promoted process over product in an attempt to stimulate awareness, flexibility of the mind, independence, observation, communication, courage and self-esteem.

The "Fun Day" at the museum was part of the Camp Challenge program and featured a kid-friendly approach to learning about local history. Camp Challenge also educated campers about positive lifestyles and career choices, including etiquette and social behavior, nutrition and fitness and outdoor safety. Camp Challenge is administered by the Washington Greene County Job Training Agency, Inc., with funding provided by the Greene County Memorial Hospital Foundation.

Camp Challenge and the art classes were held one day each week during the six-week Day Camp program, which is held at five locations across the county. Day Camp is free to county children ages 5 to 15 years old and is sponsored by the Greene County Commissioners. The program runs from the third week in June through the last week in July.

"We are extremely appreciative of the work that Jake performs during the year," said Commissioner Chuck Morris, chair of the Greene County Board of Commissioners. “He organizes unique events, and his dedication to the youth of the county has been and will continue to be exemplary."

The PRPS is the principal state organization promoting quality recreation and park training, networking and leadership opportunities for those working and volunteering in the field. Headquartered in State College, Pa., the PRPS is a nonprofit membership association with more than 1,700 members statewide. For more information, visit www.prps.org.

Pictured in photo: Jake Blaker (left), Greene County director of recreation, accepts a Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, Inc., excellence in programming award from John B. Balicki, PRPS president, at a ceremony held March 26 in Hershey, Pa.

For general information, please contact the Information Services at 724-852-5399 / Toll Free: 1-888-852-5399.
County Office Building, 93 E. High Street, Waynesburg, PA 15370

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