In June, Nicole Conley was hired to be the Recreation Coordinator for the town of Charlotte. Conley is no stranger to the area having grown up in Hinesburg and she is excited to be working close to home. An avid basketball player who also enjoys running, she is happy to be able to help others find activities that make them smile. “I’ve always been interested in athletics in general, so this is a really good fit,” Conley said.
The Charlotte Recreation Department sponsors a number of popular activities, Camp Hoopla being one, which is a performance program and one of the most successful. In the realm of sports, soccer is extremely popular and this year’s jamboree was well attended. Conley also oversees basketball and lacrosse programs which allow Charlotte athletes to interact with kids from other municipalities.
Conley would like to increase the number of activities offered so she intends to talk to people throughout town to learn about their interests. “I would love to add some more adult programming,” she said, citing wilderness first aid and other fitness programs as possible additions. “The number of adults who attend our programs has grown. The majority are youths but we’re slowly increasing our numbers and that will continue as we add to our schedule.”
In addition to new activities for adults, Conley would like to augment the department’s after-school programming and perhaps include some art classes. “We need to track what the community wants,” she said. “I want to see if something works and if not, try something else. I don’t want us to expand to bigger than what Charlotte can handle.”
Conley was the Athletic Activities Planner at Champlain College before heading to New York City for a multi-faceted job as Assistant Director of Athletics, Women’s Basketball Coach and Cross Country Coach at Vaughn College, a school of 1,200 students directly across from LaGuardia Airport. Two years in the city was enough for Conley, who is glad to be back home with her family in Hinesburg. “I’m happier in a smaller town,” she said.
Working with the Recreation Department is nice break for Conley from the more intense and competitive world of college athletics. “The main goal is for people to have fun,” she said. “I enjoy finding programs that people enjoy and getting them to take part. People are getting out and getting exercise or taking part in other activities and seeing them smile makes it fun for me.”
Conley is grateful to all the volunteers who help make the department a success. “Without volunteers there would be no Recreation Department,” she said. “I rely on them heavily, particularly the parents who coach kids and give them an athletic outlet outside of school.”
Conley said members of the community have volunteered whenever she has asked for help. “I can’t thank them enough for the hard work they do,” she said. “People have stepped up when I ask them which has been really great and helpful.”