Guest speaker from BYU emphasizes family recreation

Hayley Hilbert

Brigham Young University professor Ramon Zabriskie spoke on the importance of family recreation in his presentation Tuesday.

“As you think about your fondest childhood memories, they always involve family leisure and recreation,” Zabriskie said.

Zabriskie spoke to a crowd of about 40 individuals, including WKU students, faculty and members of the community, in Gary A. Ransdell Hall Auditorium.

Zabriskie works as a professor in the Department of Recreation Management and Youth Leadership at BYU, and his research focuses primarily on family leisure, according to the lecture program.    

Zabriskie opened his presentation with the question “is play and recreation important for families?”

When a majority of the crowd answered back with “yes,” Zabriskie continued to explain exactly how family recreation played a role in the structure of a family.

“Family recreation provides structure, stability, familiarity, challenge, change, and novelty to a family,” he said.

Zabriskie explained that family recreation wasn’t something that automatically happened in families. He also mentioned that family recreation wasn’t a magic pill for families, but that it “is good and can certainly impact families in a positive way.”

Zabriskie said that the two main categories of family leisure are known as core and basic. Core leisure includes everyday, low-cost, home-based activities such as eating dinner as a family. Balance leisure includes less common activities that require more investment, such as family vacation.

The presentation allowed several chances for the crowd to become interactive, as Zabriskie asked questions expecting answers, and he included a quiz at the end of the lecture.

Memphis, Tenn., freshman Maggie McGowan said that Zabriskie was much different that other speakers she’s seen.

“It was cool the way he allowed us to answer questions,” she said. “It kept me engaged and I didn’t find myself bored during the lecture.”

Zabriskie ended his lecture by asking again the importance of family recreation, and what it meant to the individuals in the crowd.

“My suggestion to you is to go do it,” Zabriskie said. “Go play more with your families.”