IVGID GM’s Corner: Taking care of your community’s future leaders | SierraSun.com

IVGID GM’s Corner: Taking care of your community’s future leaders

Steve Pinkerton
Special to the Bonanza

Steve Pinkerton

If we can believe the weatherman, Incline Village/Crystal Bay will see evening temperatures drop below 30 degrees this weekend. With colder temperatures and the kids back in school, it is a good time to reflect back on another great summer of recreation at IVGID.

Our golf courses, tennis courts, play fields, beaches and rec center have been teeming with activity. I'm guessing most of you know that. What you may not know is the number of youth programs that were filled to capacity.

I'm often surprised how many people don't realize that nearly one in five of our residents is under the age of 18. That is a lot of people to try and keep busy during the summer months.

However, our recreation staff is more than up to the task. Yes, we've offered plenty of the more traditional fare such as swim lessons, summer day camps and softball.

“I’m often surprised how many people don’t realize that nearly one in five of our residents is under the age of 18. That is a lot of people to try and keep busy during the summer months.”

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We've also gone outside the box with several specialty camps. Three years ago, a number of parents asked for something different and our staff delivered. Many of the specialty camps have become so popular that they now have extensive waiting lists.

Camps like the "Author Academy", "Prehistoric Adventure," "Ocean Adventure" and "Passport Travel" sold out within days of posting. The Parks & Rec Department brought in community experts to help kids enhance their skills and get them more prepared for preschool.

The Pre-K Adventure Camps were fun for the parents, too. In the "Author Academy," kids ages 5-6 wrote books with pictures, and then got up and read them in front of all of the parents. Public speaking is a #1 fear for most people, and these young kids are reading their own books to an audience!

"Passport Travel" taught kids how to navigate through countries, and "Make and Bake" taught basic things with food preparation and how to make your way around the kitchen.

Our "Ocean Adventurers" navigated around the world interacting with great white sharks and penguins (imaginary of course) along the way. And while "Jurassic World" dominated the box office, our young archaeologists searched for dinosaur bones right here in Incline Village.

Three out of four new specialty camps had 32-36 kids in them ages 3-7, walking away with a summer of fun and life skills going into this next school year.

With the popularity of paddle boarding, our Parks & Rec Department also introduced "Stand Up Paddle Camps" for 8-14 years old. The paddle camps got kids out on the water enjoying Lake Tahoe while keeping physically active.

The Teen Adventure Trips for 6-12th graders were our most successful teen program. Three brothers from Hawaii had a chance to make new friends and get to know some of the full-time residents here, while enjoying trips to Wild Island, Roller Kingdom, the Need 4 Speed in Reno, the Grand Sierra Resort laser maze and arcade, and a trip to the Granlibakken ropes course (wouldn't it be nice if we had one of those here?).

All of the youth programs were bigger than ever before and everyone seemed to have had a good time. On the way home from In and Out in Reno one night, nine boys were organizing a sleepover for later … showing how our Adventure Trips truly let teens connect.

We also have continued to expand our programs to ensure we have plenty of future tennis players and golfers for life. We had weekly Quick Start Youth Tennis camps, certified by the US Tennis Association, for 6- to 12 year-olds. Our Tennis Center also offered a series of clinics for players as young as three.

Our Junior Golf program (which was featured in the Bonanza several weeks ago) also continues to thrive. Weekly participation is up 40 percent with a total of 180 youth participating this summer.

And while our group was younger than our peer programs in other communities, our youth golfers held their own against older competition. Our defending state golf champs at Incline High have a nice pipeline of future champions on the way!

IVGID also sponsored events for the entire family including the Starlight Summer Movie Series at Village Green, the Water Carnival and Parent's Night. The Dog Days of Fall will be at Burnt Cedar Pool on October 3. Overall enrollment figures broke the 1600 participant mark for our summer programs. For the past fiscal year, we recorded nearly 50,000 total daily visits from our youth population.

As you can see, IVGID isn't just Golf, Tennis and your typical recreational fare. We continually strive to find new ways to provide the best possible programs for all our community members, including the future of our community — our youth.

"GM's Corner" is a recurring column from Incline Village General Improvement Distinct General Manager Steve Pinkerton, who will discuss issues and offer updates regarding various district matters.