With 32 years of high school and junior college refereeing experience to go along with 29 years in the parks and recreation business, Dale Boedeker brings a lot to the table.
Boedeker joined the staff at the Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department recently as the new youth recreation program supervisor. The 1981 Chadron (Neb.) State College graduate worked 15 years at Jackson Hole and spent the past 14 years with the Sheridan Parks and Recreation Department.
“This was an opportunity to be involved with a beautiful facility. This the top of the line in terms of facilities,” Boedeker said. “I’m not here to change a lot of things. My philosophy is that programs for youth and adults are to have fun and to learn the game.
“Recreation is not necessarily an all-star situation. We want all our kids to understand how the game is played and to learn fundamentals.”
Boedeker is a member of the Wyoming High School Association for officiating and has been refereeing high school sports for the past 32 years. He was also a board member for the Wyoming Sports Officials Association.
Boedeker referees football and also officiates basketball from the junior high school level all the way up to the junior college level.
“I know how to get screamed at,” he said with a laugh. “But being in the recreation business for so long, I’ve seen a lot of issues with parents and coaches and fans and how to address them when they come up.”
The 2012-13 youth programs will include 421 basketball players in grades 4-6; 477 future players in grades 1-3; 712 outdoor youth soccer players and 822 indoor soccer players.
The parks and rec department also conducts programs in girls fastpitch softball, hiking, as well as the Hershey Track and Field meet and Junior Olympics competition.
“I feel the purpose of recreational activities is to teach kids the sport they are in and to keep them active,” Boedeker said. “With the obesity rate the way it is around the country right now, keeping them active is one of the key issues.”
The basketball programs are in full swing. The department also offers swimming lessons and indoor soccer. Youth volleyball runs April through May. Spring golf is coming up, as well as softball and other spring activities.
“In a perfect world, it would be nice to have all my coaches established in every program. We are still looking for boys basketball coaches,” he said. “If we don’t have the coaches, we don’t have the program.
“We appreciate what the coaches do.”
The recreation center is not the only exceptional facility in Gillette. The playing fields are top of the line as well Boedeker said.
“The facilities they have here in Campbell County are very nice. I’ve seen the softball complex at Bicentennial Park. We use South Campus quite a bit, it gives us a lot of options with all of our programs,” he said. “The fieldhouse is another tremendous addition to what we do.
“I’ll be running Hershey track and field in June. We’ve had some Gillette kids that have gone to the national meet. We had a girl last year that went to Hershey, Penn.”
He hit the ground running, but it didn’t take long to get in the swing of youth activities. The Campbell County Parks and Recreation Department offers the full gamut and Boedeker will wear many hats over the upcoming months.
Youth activities involve a number of young people, including:
Grades 4-6 girls basketball, 200 players
Grades 4-6 boys basketball, 221
Grades 1-3 Bantam basketball, 477
Spring indoor soccer, kindergarten-6, 822
Fall indoor soccer, kindergarten-6, 712
Girls fastpitch softball, 174
Youth hiking, 21
Hershey Track and Field competition, 74
Kid’s night out, 380
Kid’s camp, 527