The rules of the sandbox apply just as much to adult community complex patrons as they do to kids in

The rules of the sandbox apply just as much to adult community complex patrons as they do to kids in

From the Centre: Sharing everything is key to smooth experience at Creston rec centre

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It has been an interesting past few weeks as we have had the Spring Trade Show (did you stop in and say hi to us?), the Community Directed Funds stakeholders forum to discuss the who, why, what and how of some Columbia Basin Trust funds in our valley and, finally, the quilt show. Looking forward over the next number of weekends are the annual Canadian Rocky Mountain Cloggers conference, Creston Valley Bird Fest, martial arts convention, the Rotary WineArt event, Prince Charles Secondary School grad and triathlon. Wow! That just gets us into the first week in June.

I was cleaning up some paperwork on my desk the other day… OK, that’s a lie — I just rearrange and restack in my own particular method of horizontal filing. (I saw a quote by Albert Einstein the other day in which he said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”) Anyway, I came across some reference to that famous book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, and I could help but reflect how applicable the first rule is to the community complex. It simply states, “Share everything.”

We get a lot of people here in our sandbox and could you imagine what it would be like if our patrons didn’t follow at least the most basic tenets that are instilled as five-year-olds sitting on your butt in the sandbox with a group of your peers? Remember the mean kid that took your toy or messed up your castle? Hopefully they got pointed back in the right direction but we knew being in the sandbox was a privilege, not a right, and we quickly learned that we didn’t throw sand and everyone had a lot more fun when we shared.

While those days of the sandbox are long behind some of us, it is one of the more fitting analogies for society today. Our sandbox at the community complex includes both friends and strangers; strangers are friends you haven’t yet had enough time to play with. Remember what Aristotle said: One hour of play tells you more about an individual than many hours of intellectual conversation. Find a stranger, play with him or her, and see a new friend emerge.

Our sandbox is big; the Creston room can hold 450 people (and has, on occasion), the hockey arena is rated for 941 in the bleachers and 1,700 on the dry floor (there have been some massive grad ceremonies here), the fitness track is assessed at 100 patrons and the pool area can hold 237 swimmers and 50 spectators (and has a few times in the past five years) so can you imagine what it would be like if we couldn’t tolerate each other?

Somewhere in there, hopefully you start to learn the rules of the sandbox; wipe down the machine when you finish working out, skate with the flow of people, try to clean your feet when you come in, don’t jump in the lane where someone is swimming — there’s a pile of rules to learn and many of these are not instinctively learned just by walking through the front doors of this place. That’s part of our job: gently indoctrinate on how to not throw sand or take someone’s toy, and boy, I’ll tell you, sometimes it seems that’s all we do all day, but in the end, the result is everyone has a lot more fun when we share.

Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.