FAIRMONT– The Fairmont Community Education and Recreation fall and winter brochure is about to be released and should arrive in homes during the first full week of September. The brochure will include information on a variety of upcoming events and courses in the coming months.
CER Director Stephanie Busiahn said this brochure includes a number of new offerings. Part-time employee John Bartscher is also new to the CER office.
“He runs a new after-school program called Key Quest,” said Busiahn.
The program, aimed at students in grades 4 to 6, lasts two weeks in September.
“We are really excited for this and we are planning other programs similar to this one. John has extensive experience in youth programming and we are delighted to have him here,” said Busiahn.
CER is also partnering with Bowl Mor for new classes. Prep bowling is for students in grades 4-6 and will take place after school. There is also a learn-to-bowl course for youngsters and adults.
“We are partnering with Smith’s Greenhouse for new adult classes. They teach a course on spruce pots in the fall and also make your own wreath,” said Busiahn.
There will also be a sip painting course in October and November. The course, which includes a glass of wine, painting supplies and an instructor, was first offered by Fairmont CER last spring and went well.
“We have extended some of our health and wellness. We have virtual classes on which we partner with an instructor,” said Busiahn.
She said the instructor is based in the Twin Cities, but because the classes are virtual, the instructor is opening up the classes to other community editors in the area. So Busiahn said that even if one or two people signed up, the course still took place.
“It has great content” said Busiahn.
While virtual classes were important during Covid, Busiahn said she found people were still interested in them despite the lifting of restrictions.
“I thought for sure that people would never want to do another Zoom meeting and nothing virtual again. But we keep seeing that work,” she says.
There is also a virtual piano and guitar lesson that lasts several hours. Busiahn said the classes cover the basics.
She said information on other proven programs like archery, basketball camps for boys and girls, and learn to skate and play hockey will also be in the brochure.
“They have always been well attended” said Busiahn.
Reflecting on last season, Busiahn said he saw record numbers on the recreational side over the summer. T-ball had 90 youngsters registered and flag football, which begins in early September, has the same number.
“One of the challenges we face with these increased numbers is that of volunteer coaches,” Busiahn admitted.
She said that originally for T-ball, only four adults signed up to become coaches when 20 were needed. They eventually found enough for T-ball and flag football, but moving forward, Busiahn said they may have to limit sign-ups if they don’t get enough volunteers.
“These programs don’t work if we don’t have volunteers,” said Busiahn.
This is the first year that the CER has sent out a third brochure. Traditionally, two were sent each year.
“Because of this, we are more flexible and fluid and we encourage instructors to come and see us if they have other classes that interest them. Then we put information about it in our webshop,” said Busiahn.
She said they were really trying to push the online store more and almost everyone was signing up for classes through it.
“Just because you get the catalog in the mail, that’s not all we do. That’s not all we offer,” said Busiahn.
The online store can be found at fairmont.k12.mn.us under the CER tab.
Finally, Busiahn said they are always open to new ideas and always looking for additional instructors.
“If you have a passion or a hobby or if there is something that interests you, we would love to take advantage of it and share it with others”, she says.