SOS 1000 Islands – 2018 Dive Ambassador’s Feedback Letter To SOS

Dalton Rogers feedback in a letter to SOS 1000 Islands;

“Dear SOS – 1000 Islands Chapter,
This summer I was awarded the rare opportunity to serve as the dive ambassador for SOS 1000 Islands and worked out of Centeen Park! It was a fantastic experience that gave me access to wonderful, experienced divers who were eager to share their stories, lessons and equipment!  The days were great, meeting wonderful people and if the opportunity arises for another student; I highly recommend it is one who is a novice diver with the desire to learn more!  They will be afforded the chance to try scooters, and other pieces of equipment from generous owners!  This position is one that requires fantastic social skills and conflict mitigation techniques.

There is so many points that visitors have made to improve the park, some of these include:
• Expanding on the Free Brockville Wifi project so data can be received within Centeen Park
• Construction of a gazebo and change rooms towards the east end of the park
• Another set of stairs
Some of these goals are feasible but would require cooperation from the municipal government. During my time working at the park I’ve experienced a ratio of roughly 80/20. With 80% of divers and local attendees being supportive of the park. While the other 20% is wholly unsupportive of the park and very vocal.  Having had conversations with both of these groups I’ve come to understand the pros, cons and misunderstandings of the park.  Those primarily being that some swimmers believe that western stairs are solely for swimmers alone, this point has been addressed with statements to the effect of, “the park is a public place and no one patron has usage of the stairs. Divers and swimmers are permitted to use either set of stairs.”

Another key point of criticism I have is Dogs being off leash.  Seeing it at least 5 times a day at minimum, it makes some individuals very uncomfortable when a large dog comes running up, and has led to several fights between dogs while I’m down here.  Sign placement stating that dogs must be on leash is recommended.  In conclusion the role has been fantastic, and the token program is both fair and heavily supported by the local divers and swimmers who utilize the park!  From my conversations with divers, swimmers, local patrons, and other entities that more dialogue is necessary between organizations as to the scope of what SOS does (I’ve found that even divers think of SOS and immediately imagine Centeen, but forget about all the other aspects of the organization).  It must also be recognized that some local residents will never support Centeen and the divers, no matter the amount of dialogue.  I’ve also seen regularly that the park is heavily littered in, not
by divers however. I arrive early in the morning and find beer cans, cigarette butts, etc and know they are left by local patrons. During my time, I’ve seen that divers albeit messy (leaving large piles of equipment, and taking up large spaces), are always picking up after themselves and rarely leave even the slightest bit of litter.

Points if the role is retained for summer of 2019:
• the role must be occupied by a diver (regardless of experience)
• Have strong people skills
• Conflict management skills
• Computer skills (specifically video editing)
• Bookkeeping skills (selling tokens and keeping track)
• Extroverted personality (desire to interact with the public, and making the first move)
• Bilingual is beneficial but not critical, I’ve found that during my time, our Quebec patrons have been amazingly receptive and if effort is made     than they are eager to help teach!
Once again, thanks for this opportunity! It has taught me a lot and I’ve made a lot of good friends and fond memories that I’ll cherish forever!

Dalton Rogers