BEAU BETZ has been hired as the Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Assistant Director after two years working in Alton. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
November 26, 2020WOLFEBORO — While he has been involved in parks and recreation in the local area for a while, new Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Beau Betz has jumped feet-first into his new position eager to learn all it entails.
Betz, who started in his new job on Oct. 26, comes to Wolfeboro from Alton, where he worked for Parks and Recreation Director Kellie Troendle in that town's department.
"I'm very excited," Betz said. "I was lucky to form a working relationship with (director) Christine (Collins) and (assistant director) Justin (Chaffee) early on. I knew it would be a good fit."
Betz was part of the Our Towns Committee, which started earlier this year to help the local parks and recreation departments deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The group joined together members of the parks departments from Wakefield, Rochester, Wolfeboro, Alton and New Durham to collaborate on what they could in the early days of the pandemic.
Betz grew up in Rochester and worked for the Rochester Recreation Department as a teenager before heading to college. After graduating from New England College with a degree in sports and recreation management, Betz returned home and started working at Spaulding High School in Rochester.
"But, it was time for me to get use out of my degree," Betz said and he took the job in Alton, where he worked for two years.
"I've always had a passion for recreation, I grew up as a rec rat," he stated. "We were a busy family and growing up in that (situation), it's like a family almost and that drove me to what I wanted to do as a career."
In addition to his time in the recreation department as a kid, Betz also saw the job in Alton as a great chance to grow.
"Alton was a great stepping stone to prepare me for this position," Betz noted. "Kellie was a great boss.
"But, it's definitely a faster pace here and I like to be busy," he stated. "There's not too much time to sit back and think about what's next."
Betz noted he's tried to take in as much as he can from Collins and Chaffee in the first few weeks on the job. Chaffee, who is moving on to become the Ossipee Recreation Director, is remaining with the Wolfeboro department into the new year, which has helped Betz get a handle on just what the job entails. He said he is excited to work with the community and serve the residents of Wolfeboro.
"I'm really fortunate that Justin is sticking around, I'm learning how he does things," Betz stated. "The three of us work well together."
The areas where Betz said he will probably have the most to learn about are coming up this winter in the Pop Whalen Ice Arena and the Abenaki Ski Area, both of which are part of the Parks and Recreation Department. The arena has been open to hockey teams for a few weeks and is preparing to open to the public, with strict COVID-19 guidelines in place, in the coming week. The ski area is expected to open the day after Christmas, assuming the weather is cooperative between then and now.
Betz points out that when he was a teenager working for Rochester, he got a little experience in the ice rink aspect, but the ski area will be something completely new, but something he is looking forward to.
"Those are two aspects of the job that I'm not as familiar with," Betz said. "I am really excited about the ski hill, they have some history here."
Additionally, he's also excited about what next summer could possibly bring, especially if the area is past the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm excited to see what Wolfeboro looks like in the summer, post-COVID," he stated. "It is a great place to be."
Of course, in the present, COVID-19 is at the forefront and Betz said the department has been working meticulously to find a way to keep as many things going as possible, while doing so safely.
"The process is challenging," he said, noting that every rink has different rules, so the department staff members have to make sure everyone is following the Pop Whalen rules, which include temperature checks and health waivers. Luckily, patrons can fill out health screenings ahead of time.
"We've adapted and it seems to be working," Betz said. "It's a long process for everyone."
While Alton and Wolfeboro are neighbors and their departments are different, he said just getting to work in a lakeside community is something that can't be beat in the summer time. And he's looking forward to the chance to experience all the community has to offer.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.