The primary role of recreation leaders is to encourage recreational and sporting activities in various settings such as schools, parks, and youth centers. Their job requires them to motivate others to work as a team member while also promoting good morals and sportsmanship. They develop recreational and sports programs best suited for their company's client base. Other duties also include advertising the availability of recreational activities, securing funding for special events and projects, and adhering to safety practices.

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Recreation Leader Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real recreation leader resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage funds and resources to include developing the annual NAF budget, which include submission and prioritization of program component requirements.
  • Receive training in problem solving, peer mediation and first aid & CPR.
  • Train in CPR, food handlers, and videos of other health relate issues.
  • Include the use of PowerPoint, book references, and hands-on demonstration to verify attention to all learning styles.
  • Utilize clinical assessment, MDS documentation, and collaboration with interdisciplinary team and families.
  • Supervise and provide leadership for children participating in summer programs to ensure a safe and caring environment.
  • Direct age appropriate lessons and activities focusing on positive character development using reading, writing, and mathematics.
  • Incorporate knowledge of therapeutic concepts and methods for determining appropriate recreation therapy services for psychiatric, and chemically dependent, patients.
  • Assist in QA meetings and create action plans.
  • Participate in QA and QIS survey at a facility and corporate level.
  • Direct age appropriate lessons and activities focusing on positive character development using reading, writing, and mathematics.

Recreation Leader Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, recreation leader jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a recreation leader?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of recreation leader opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 33,800.

Recreation leaders average about $14.44 an hour, which makes the recreation leader annual salary $30,040. Additionally, recreation leaders are known to earn anywhere from $23,000 to $37,000 a year. This means that the top-earning recreation leaders make $13,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a recreation leader, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a summer camp counselor, camp counselor, activities director, and activity coordinator.

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Recreation Leader Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 25% of Recreation Leaders are proficient in CPR, Customer Service, and Recreation Programs. They’re also known for soft skills such as Communication skills, Flexibility, and Leadership skills.

We break down the percentage of Recreation Leaders that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • CPR, 25%

    Certified in CPR AND AED on adults and children.

  • Customer Service, 21%

    Enforced department polices governing public safety and quality service, display and professional customer service skills.

  • Recreation Programs, 7%

    Handled tasks of overseeing daily operations of the center including assistance in developing, promoting and implementing recreation programs.

  • Recreational Facilities, 5%

    Managed the daily operations of the recreational facilities and conferred with management to discuss and resolve participant complaints.

  • Role Model, 4%

    Inspire confidence and be an exemplary role model to both Recreational Aides and children during summer and winter school breaks.

  • Youth Sports, 4%

    Developed, coordinated and administered youth sports teams, educational programs and activities.

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"cpr," "customer service," and "recreation programs" aren't the only skills we found recreation leaders list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of recreation leader responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a recreation leader to have happens to be communication skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "recreation workers must be able to communicate well" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that recreation leaders can use communication skills to "provided guidance to youth through communication, listening skills, and positive role modeling. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform recreation leader duties is the following: flexibility. According to a recreation leader resume, "recreation workers must be flexible when planning activities." Check out this example of how recreation leaders use flexibility: "developed a supervisory structure that maximized flexibility and customer service. "
  • Leadership skills is also an important skill for recreation leaders to have. This example of how recreation leaders use this skill comes from a recreation leader resume, "recreation workers should be able to lead both large and small groups" Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "used leadership skills to act as a role model to younger teens and promote a positive environment at all times. "
  • A recreation leader responsibilities sometimes require "physical strength." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "most recreation workers should be physically fit" This resume example shows how this skill is used by recreation leaders: "developed weekly lesson plans administered enrichment and recreational activities to students organized and coached youth sports instructed physical education"
  • Another common skill for a recreation leader to be able to utilize is "problem-solving skills." Recreation workers need strong problem-solving skills a recreation leader demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "completed incident reports and resolved problems with tact and diplomacy. "
  • See the full list of recreation leader skills.

    We've found that 53.3% of recreation leaders have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 4.3% earned their master's degrees before becoming a recreation leader. While it's true that most recreation leaders have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every six recreation leaders did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those recreation leaders who do attend college, typically earn either a business degree or a psychology degree. Less commonly earned degrees for recreation leaders include a kinesiology degree or a liberal arts degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a recreation leader. We've found that most recreation leader resumes include experience from Catholic Health Care System, City of Carlsbad, and City of Pleasanton. Of recent, Catholic Health Care System had 6 positions open for recreation leaders. Meanwhile, there are 5 job openings at City of Carlsbad and 5 at City of Pleasanton.

    Since salary is important to some recreation leaders, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at University of California, Berkeley, Aspen Snowmass, and City of Upland. If you were to take a closer look at University of California, Berkeley, you'd find that the average recreation leader salary is $40,363. Then at Aspen Snowmass, recreation leaders receive an average salary of $38,466, while the salary at City of Upland is $32,011.

    View more details on recreation leader salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Mid-America Regional Council of Carpenters, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Ymca. These three companies have hired a significant number of recreation leaders from these institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious recreation leaders are:

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    What Summer Camp Counselors Do

    Summer camps are programs with different themes organized for children or teenagers during the summer months. Summer camp counselors are responsible for the overall supervision of campers and the planning and implementation of the different programs to give children a memorable experience. It is their responsibility to create a fun, safe, and rewarding environment for each camper. They provide counsel, support, and monitor each camper's individual development. A good summer camp counselor is reliable, honest, and has strong leadership skills.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take summer camp counselor for example. On average, the summer camp counselors annual salary is $4,423 lower than what recreation leaders make on average every year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between recreation leaders and summer camp counselors are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like cpr, customer service, and recreational facilities.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a recreation leader responsibilities require skills like "recreation programs," "youth sports," "homework assistance," and "front desk." Meanwhile a typical summer camp counselor has skills in areas such as "child care," "kids," "work ethic," and "provide emotional support." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Summer camp counselors really shine in the education industry with an average salary of $30,707. Whereas recreation leaders tend to make the most money in the government industry with an average salary of $28,465.

    The education levels that summer camp counselors earn is a bit different than that of recreation leaders. In particular, summer camp counselors are 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a recreation leader. Additionally, they're 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Camp Counselor?

    Camp counselors' general responsibility is the supervision of a camping event. Camp counselors' duties include reiterating the rules and regulations, emergency drills and procedures, and related standard protocols to ensure that the campers maintain a safe camping environment. A camp counselor should possess strong leadership and decision-making skills to develop recreational programs and immediately resolve concerns that might affect everyone's overall camping experience. Camp counselors also help develop social interaction, promote teamwork, and monitor participation among campers.

    The next role we're going to look at is the camp counselor profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $5,700 lower salary than recreation leaders per year.

    A similarity between the two careers of recreation leaders and camp counselors are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "cpr," "recreational facilities," and "role model. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that recreation leader responsibilities requires skills like "customer service," "recreation programs," "youth sports," and "homework assistance." But a camp counselor might use skills, such as, "kids," "child care," "core values," and "general safety."

    Camp counselors may earn a lower salary than recreation leaders, but camp counselors earn the most pay in the education industry with an average salary of $29,249. On the other side of things, recreation leaders receive higher paychecks in the government industry where they earn an average of $28,465.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, camp counselors tend to reach similar levels of education than recreation leaders. In fact, they're 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Technology Do You Think Will Become More Important And Prevalent For Recreation Managers In The Next 3-5 Years?

    Dr. Clinton J. Warren

    Lecturer, University of Minnesota

    Wearable technology has been gaining prominence in the general health and fitness industry for years now. As professional and collegiate sports have found more sophisticated ways to measure athlete performance, through adopting wearable technology, the cost, and thus accessibility, for the general population has grown. I would expect this trend to continue. It has been suggested that the pandemic may be a catalyst for growth in virtual or augmented reality in the health, fitness, and recreation industry, but a real move toward this is likely further than five years down the line.Show more

    How an Activities Director Compares

    An activities director is responsible for planning engaging events for the participants, considering individual interests and the safety of procedures and resources. Activities directors guide the activity staff on assisting the participants, ensuring that they are comfortable with joining the activities. Since most activities directors work at a healthcare facility or elderly institution, they must also monitor the health of the participants by conducting therapeutic activities and evaluate the participants' progress for every program. The activities director must be a critical-thinker, as well as have excellent communication skills to coordinate with facilities personnel for successful activity completion.

    Let's now take a look at the activities director profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than recreation leaders with a $14,942 difference per year.

    By looking over several recreation leaders and activities directors resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "cpr," "customer service," and "community events." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a recreation leader is likely to be skilled in "recreation programs," "recreational facilities," "role model," and "youth sports," while a typical activities director is skilled in "patients," "rehabilitation," "resident care," and "home health."

    Interestingly enough, activities directors earn the most pay in the health care industry, where they command an average salary of $41,547. As mentioned previously, recreation leaders highest annual salary comes from the government industry with an average salary of $28,465.

    Activities directors typically study at similar levels compared with recreation leaders. For example, they're 3.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Activity Coordinator

    An activity coordinator is someone who creates and plans activities, outings, and events in various settings. Typically, they oversee creating programs, staffing events, and supervising the implementation of activities. They generally report to the activity director or community manager. One of their tasks is to collaborate with directors of studies to schedule the activities. Other tasks include coordinating staff with the activities and informing them of the decisions regularly. Also, they strategize, coordinate, and encourage the members to participate in the activities.

    Activity coordinators tend to earn a higher pay than recreation leaders by about $5,269 per year.

    While both recreation leaders and activity coordinators complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like cpr, customer service, and front desk, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Each job requires different skills like "recreation programs," "recreational facilities," "role model," and "youth sports," which might show up on a recreation leader resume. Whereas activity coordinator might include skills like "patients," "memory care," "mds," and "social interaction."

    Activity coordinators earn a higher salary in the government industry with an average of $38,943. Whereas, recreation leaders earn the highest salary in the government industry.

    The average resume of activity coordinators showed that they earn similar levels of education to recreation leaders. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.4% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.2%.