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Leadership in recreation : a study of the impact of leadership on the recreational programme in the city of Bellingham, Washington Jones, George Vaughan

Abstract

One of the main phases of recreation is the leadership which sponsors, administers, or carries out programmes. This study purports to set forth some of the features of leadership in recreation generally, and in Bellingham in particular. The criteria chosen apply to leaders individually or in groups. Four classifications of leaders are used: builder, representative, exponent and compeller. A further means of measurement is to assess motivation, goals, degree of participation, personal attributes, training, and the capacity of the leader to develop his group. The conditions that create leaders are described as: additions to existing responsibilities, social and economic status, and available time. Leaders also appear because of needs and pressures from outside. An intelligent minority needs representation. The study shows that leaders can be grouped according to "communities." Leaders are classified with regard to their ratio to population, showing a gradation from the best residential districts to the poorest. "Disenfranchised" groups, that is, those with little or no representation, are also revealed. Union representation in community councils is not as broad as might be expected, and some implications are stated. The results of perpetuating and interlocking leadership are discussed as ways of gaining either strength or weakness. Individual leaders are assessed on the basis of Busch's classification. Patterns of leadership - interlocking, democratic, wide lay participation - are discussed. From the patterns certain conclusions appear: the need to broaden the base of participation, and to increase possibilities for generating leaders. Both private and tax-supported agencies are shown to have a unique contribution to make to leadership. A distinction is made between the work of the professional social group worker and the volunteer. The study suggests some ways of generating leadership. There are abundant resources for training of volunteers in Bellingham, if they were utilized. Social work can help in harnessing leadership to do its best job. Budgetting recreational programmes through the Chest offers one method whereby sponsoring, administrative, and programme leaders can help each other. The study further suggests that agency leaders can work together for effective achievements in recreation: there is a strong relationship between good recreation and sound leadership.

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