Why Eastern Cooperative Recreation School?
ECRS is a nonprofit organization founded in 1940 to provide cooperative recreation as a way to rest and refresh, to add richness and depth to living, and to aid the development of communities and humanity at large. The “Eastern” in the name refers to the location of the group, which was centered in the eastern part of the United States (at the time there were also several other branches in different geographic locations). The “Cooperative” in the name reflects the nature of the group, which works together for the good of everyone (everyone chips in to help with jobs at events, like providing late night snacks or decorating for New Years’ Eve). “Recreation” because the founding tenant was that play was an integral part of life for adults and children alike, and that it is necessary for mental health and well being. “School” emphasizes the learning and leadership aspects of ECRS.
ECRS (Eastern Cooperative Recreation School) has been around for more than 75 years based on the belief that recreation is the means to get to richer lives, and is an important tool for teachers, social workers, and anyone else who works with people, either on a volunteer or paid basis. The crazy experiment started in the 40s is working.
ECRS Early Years
ECRS has served as a training ground for many successful professionals and volunteers in the field of recreation leadership. Each individual beginning the leadership process works closely with another person or persons who support, encourage, and help guide the individual’s learning process. The Leadership Development Committee, or LDC, monitors this progress and evaluates leaders on group and general leadership competencies via the ECRS Leadership Competency Model.
In recent years, classes at ECRS events have expanded beyond the traditional core of games, informal dramatics and song. New experiences include self exploration (Making the Change You Want; Taking Stock and Moving Forward), Live Action Role Playing (Adventure Games) as well as forays into drumming and puppetry.