Recreation for Millions

July 13, 1949

Report Outline
Recreation as Social and Economic Force
Growth of Public Recreation Facilities
Policy Problems in Public Recreation

Recreation as Social and Economic Force

Incressing Opportunity and Need for Recreation

Emergence of recreation as a major element in the national life is one of the striking developments of the 20th century. With more leisure, higher wages, and greater mobility, Americans have devoted a greatly increased share of their time and money to relaxation and diversion. Parallel with this change has come the recognition of recreation as a social service and the assumption by government of a share of responsibility for making recreational facilities available.

Community recreation has followed a course somewhat similar to that of public education, developing from small programs for children of the poor to large programs for people of all social, economic, and age groups. Opportunities for recreation are now being provided by hundreds of municipal and county governments. Most states offer some kind of assistance to local programs and also maintain state recreation areas, while a dozen federal agencies are concerned with recreation on an operating or consulting basis.

Recreation is now an integral part of the educational system, adding a fourth R to the traditional three. Other youth agencies, such as boys' clubs, 4-H clubs, and scout groups, have recreation as an important, if not major, function. Churches have been active in recreation for children and youth, and many of them now sponsor adult programs as well. Industrial recreation takes many forms, ranging from company bowling teams to summer camp facilities for employees and their families.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
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May 09, 1962  Outdoor Recreation
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