Upper St. Clair Township

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Upper St. Clair's Recreation Department Honored with Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award

The Township of Upper St. Clair’s Recreation Department was honored with an Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award for its Lifeguard Buddies program at the Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society’s (PRPS) Annual Conference & Expo this week. Aquatics supervisor Chris Biswick and aquatics coordinator Cary Johns accepted the award.

In addition to receiving the award, department staff led four presentations and two round tables at the conference.

The presentation topics:

  • Target Marketing Strategies to Enhance Program Participation
  • How to Make Fitness a Standard in Recreation
  • Health and Wellness Promotion in the Workplace
  • Summer Camp Staff Retention

“The PRPS Annual Conference is a statewide gathering for recreation and park professionals that provides an opportunity for professional development, contribution and fellowship,” said Paul Besterman, the Township’s director of recreation and leisure services.

“The Township management team and Board of Commissioners have always understood the importance of this professional development as the impact on the quality of life for our residents is the Recreation Department’s number one goal,” said Besterman.

The Recreation Department has represented the Township at the conference since the late-1970s as it aims to learn from industry leaders as well as share its own knowledge and expertise.

“The Township’s Recreation staff members participate in and contribute to the yearly conference as we strive to be a leading agency in the Commonwealth. This year, staff members Chris Biswick, Tyler Walker, Amanda Sekanic, Katy Heslop and Cary Johns all made a significant impact while leading seminars and roundtables as well as bringing home an Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award,” said Besterman.

The full-time staff members who attended were also joined by Chris Santilli, a part-time employee at The Boyce Mayview Park Community & Recreation Center (C&RC) who has been involved with the department and the C&RC as a member, lifeguard, camp staff member and camp director over the years.

Four pictures of Upper St. Clair Recreation staff at the PRPS Annual Conference & Expo
Upper St. Clair Recreation staff leading presentations and accepting an Excellence in Recreation and Parks Award at the 2023 Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society (PRPS) Annual Conference & Expo in Hershey, Pa. 

The department’s award-winning Lifeguard Buddies program focuses on teaching the basics of lifeguarding, such as scanning techniques, pool rules, general water safety and hands-only CPR. Participants shadow a Buddy Lifeguard throughout the session.

To register for this summer’s Lifeguard Buddies program, click here.

Four photos of lifeguards and children during the Lifeguard Buddies program
Photo collage Upper St. Clair lifeguards teaching children the basics of lifeguarding at the Boyce Mayview Park Community & Recreation Center.