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Ochoco Gym open for private skate parties, and open gym is available two evenings a week

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Duane GarnerThe longer I have been with Crook County Parks and Recreation District, the more amused I am at what may occur on any given day around here. There's no mystery in my mind why Hollywood created a reality TV show titled "Parks and Rec."!

Some days are rather entertaining, full of drama at every corner. I always enjoy the question that I occasionally get asked: "What do you do exactly?" If you need a good laugh, stop by my office, (bring coffee) and I will tell you about my day.

There are plenty of things in life to laugh about, and it's good to remember this. I find a good laugh a wonderful stress reliever. Have you ever had a situation where, in the moment, it's not funny at all, but as time goes by, you can't help but laugh about it? Perhaps we should all try to get to that point a little sooner and not stress out so much! It would likely be healthier for everyone involved.

Even though the pandemic has taken a toll on our normal recreational activities, I have been trying to focus on some positive things. Human nature is to keep things growing: keep that program, activity or organization going no matter what it takes. Well, I'm convinced that certain things have a life span, and sometimes it's not a bad thing when they come to an end. It can be bittersweet to let go, but inevitably new life blossoms and fills the gap of what used to be there. This also applies to changes in the workplace.

Like many organizations, CCPRD has experienced quite a bit of turnover in our staff. A number of good employees have decided to embark on new adventures this past year, and although it takes some time for someone new to get up to speed, they also bring fresh ideas and new perspectives.

Andrea Weaver started with us this past year at our front desk, and she has been a wonderful addition to our office. Recently, Andrea has been promoted to recreation coordinator and has been instrumental behind the scenes in keeping the Prineville Soccer Club program and Flag Football program running smoothly. She helped organize Prineville's first (and very successful, I might add) pickleball tournament this last month. There was an excellent turnout, and all the proceeds went to the Parks and Recreation Foundation to help fund recreation scholarships for local individuals. If you haven't already met Andrea, I encourage you to stop by and say hi. I guarantee you will leave happier than when you came in.

One of our well-loved programs that did not run last winter and will not run again this year, is the roller-skating rink. It was just too difficult to figure out how to comply with all the COVID rules and still make it a fun experience. Although we won't have the traditional roller-skating rink open, we have moved the skates over to the Ochoco Gym, and we have times available for you to rent it for a private party. We have all kinds of other fun stuff to use as well. We have a sound system, party lights, dodgeballs, kickballs, basketballs, ping pong, archery tag, bounce house, and even a large screen and movie projector. If you are interested in putting on a fun party, we have you covered.

One thing that has not been available in Prineville for some time is open gym time to stop in and shoot some hoops. Starting this month, we will have the gym open on Tuesdays and Thursday evenings. Give Andrea a call for more details.

Just a side note: I realize that there are plenty of things to be upset about on the political spectrum right now, and believe me, I'm not happy about quite a bit of what is going on. I think that it is good and necessary to take a stand and let our government officials know what you are concerned about and what you think needs to happen. Just keep in mind that here in Crook County, our government officials are also our friends and neighbors. Angry outbursts of frustration not grounded in facts will not accomplish anything. However, if you are willing to show others respect by taking the time to listen, you will open the door to be heard. If you are upset about decisions that are being made, I encourage you to gather all the facts and do your best to have conversations directly with those in the know. Don't make assumptions, and don't always believe everything you hear. Help our community by spreading truth and volunteering your time to make a positive difference.


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