Building a Better World: November 2021

TCFD Rec Team Creates Opportunities
by Denise Sullivan

HURLEYVILLE, November 2021– With the addition of the new Homestead Collaborative College High School at 202 Main Street in Hurleyville, the Center for Discovery’s Recreation Team moved out of the building to make room for the new community students. It’s a win for everyone, as this integral team will soon have a new accessible woodshop in the Bicycle Kitchen building behind the school.
The Recreation Team, led by director Sam Rose, is one of those groups that is pivoting and adjusting while continuing to offer productive and enriching seasonal activities to residents. The Recreation Team is part of Integrated Arts at The Center for Discovery, which, along with music therapy, dance and dramatic arts, creates activities for TCFD residents that help to connect them to the local community while building a sense of identity.
The Recreation Team designs and adapts exciting experiences that would challenge anyone – boating, kayaking, skiing, snow shoeing, camping and woodwork, to name a few. All require intensive planning and staffing to maximize the important benefits that residents receive from these activities. Personal achievement helps build a sense of identity and increases overall happiness for any person, but it is vital for TCFD residents to explore, learn and grow, especially since so many barriers exist for them to participate. It is a feat to simply house and care for this population, but TCFD is committed to removing barriers and opening up the world to them.
The Recreation Team executes as many indoor activities as outdoor in a variety of locations across TCFD’s many campuses. In September and October, getting residents outdoors for bike riding happens often, along with apple picking in the orchards, cider pressing and then making both apple cider and vinegar. A TCFD sugar house contains a commercial cider press, but small, portable presses are taken to residences and indoor community spots around the agency for recreational cider making.
November brings preparation for Thanksgiving and the winter solstice celebration that includes a beautiful luminaria that lines the eastern side of the Hurleyville Rail Trail. Using hundreds of recycled one – gallon plastic jugs filled with sand to hold candles, maintenance and replacement of jugs is a busy activity that needs lots of indoor space for residents to remove labels, cut windows and add sand ahead of the December 21 event.
Sam Rose advocated for and established an accessible wood shop inside the THINC building that was well-used by staff and residents alike. It was home to countless projects, including prop making for several musical productions, and ornament making for the big holiday tree in the center of Hurleyville. TCFD residents visited the wood shop for sessions with Mr. Rose, making useful and functional items while learning. For every woodshop project, Mr. Rose plans the work that residents can safely complete. Sometimes, that work is painting, learning how to pre-drill holes for finishing nails, or using a nail gun, with assistance, for the first time. For residents in day- habilitation programs outside of Hurleyville, he delivers work kits like paint and trim wood, so that more students can be involved with a project.
So, if you come out on December 4 for the tree lighting ceremony, or walk the rail trail luminaria on December 21, say hello to our neighbors and TCFD residents, and thank the Recreation Team for their heartfelt work.