INVOLVEMENT IS the answer to keeping children out of trouble, says volunteer Debbie Henderson of Harford County.
"Today's children have too many pressures on them," says Henderson, 38. "And, that's the main reason I volunteer to the Forest Hill Recreation Center to help plan and offer programs which will channel their energies into something positive. Also, it provides quality time between parents. And time together is so good,'' says the Forest Hill resident.
Henderson jokes that she does whatever is necessary at the Center, where she has volunteered for six years. She has just been appointed to the advisory board of the Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation, she had a softball team that her husband, Bill, coached last year, and she is in charge of dances for ages 9 to 11 as well as other parties and events. The Recreation Center is in the North Harford Middle School.
Henderson works in the procurement office of the Harford County government. She and her husband, who is a supervisor at Domino Sugar Co., have an 11-year-old daughter, Jackie, who attends North Harford Middle School.
Paul Yanney, chief of recreation for the county's Department of Parks and Recreation, says ''Volunteers are our main source of help although we do contract for and pay professionals to instruct programs such as lessons in ballet, karate and a variety of other instructions for youth and adults. Our volunteers serve on committees, hold programs and coach sports, help with fund-raising, maintain equipment, office work, and we would welcome someone has has expertise on some specific subject who would plan and offer a program on it,'' says Yanney.
Most of the programs take place in county schools and recreation complexes. Also under Yanney's department are the
Equestrian Committee, which handles horse shows and other horse-related events, and the mansion, Liriodendron, which houses a museum and can be booked for meetings and weddings. Volunteers for both are welcomed.
Debbie Henderson says that one of the greatest difficulties of presenting programs is the lack of an adequate number of
''I can't stress that enough. Too often a few volunteers do it all. Programs become limited without enough help, and those who do work so hard have burnout,'' she says.
Harford County's recreation headquarters is at 702 N. Tollgate Road, Bel Air 21014. To volunteer, call Paul Yanney at 879-5082 or 838-5170 to find out the recreation district office and facilities nearest you.