John and I serve as our ward Activities Committee leaders. While we were in Africa, a whole new housing development with up to 60 new homes has been added to our ward. We are now part of “the old timers” in this neighborhood. We have been thinking of ways to mix everyone up a bit so we can all get better acquainted.
Here’s an idea we discovered that we started here this evening. It’s called a Cookie Walk. Below is a description and some instructions for the host families that John put together.
COOKIE WALK ACTIVITY
Stonewood 4th Ward
- Get to know ward members better in a casual setting.
- Foster interaction with everyone in the neighborhood, regardless of church affiliation.
- Collect donations for community service initiatives.
Once each month, everyone in the neighborhood is invited to take a walk through the neighborhood on a designated evening and stop by the “Host Homes” who will have cookies to share. People start when they want and move at their own pace, stopping to visit in the streets or at the Host Homes as they choose. Host Homes will change each month.
NAME: We need a name that clearly describes the activity. Here are the names we have considered so far, with some additions:
- Cookie Walk
- Sweet Stroll
- Sunday Treat Tour
- Treat Tour
- Treat on the Street
- Parade of Cookies (playing off Parade of Homes)
- Second Sunday of the month, 6-8pm, beginning 10 April (Palm Sunday, the week before Easter).
- Ward Activities Committee will send email reminders each month, plus posts on ward website.
- Four homes are chosen to be “Host Homes” each month. The Host invites their surrounding neighbors to bring 2-3 dozen cookies to their home before 6pm. They could simply text their neighbors and see who is willing. The Host sets up a table on their driveway and maybe a water dispenser with paper cups, if they would like. Non-LDS neighbors may also want to participate by bringing cookies and are more inclined if involved by their immediate neighbors. If a Host has insufficient response from neighbors or needs a table, they should contact the AC for help. It would be nice to always have the Host Homes distributed throughout the ward.
- The AC will come up with a sign to be planted in the front yard of the Host Homes so everyone recognizes it as part of the ward activity.
- The AC will notify the Hosts if we are looking for donations for community service initiatives during a particular month (e.g., cans of food). There may not be a collection every month. The AC will be responsible to collect the donations afterwards and deliver them to the appropriate organization (e.g., United Way).
- This effort should be easy and pretty stress-free for the Hosts. We are mainly looking for social interactions and connections among those who stroll by and sample cookies. No frills.
Here are the instructions John sent out to the host families:
THANK YOU so much for being our Cookie Host Homes this coming Sunday, April 10th. You are the pioneers for this monthly ward activity and we are grateful for your help.
The idea is that everyone in the neighborhood is invited to take a walk through the neighborhood between 6pm and 8pm Sunday evening and stop by the “Host Homes” who will have cookies to share. People start when they want and move at their own pace, stopping to visit in the streets or at the Host Homes as they choose. We will plant a sign in front of your home on Sunday morning.
To prepare for the Cookie Walk, we hope you will invite your surrounding neighbors to bring 2-3 dozen cookies to your home before 6pm Sunday. You might want to just text a few neighbors and see who is willing to help. You’ll probably need 10-15 dozen cookies at your home. If you end up with extras, share them with neighbors you noticed didn’t make it or just gobble them up yourselves!
Hopefully, you have a portable table you can set up on your driveway to lay out the cookies. If you feel like it, you could also have a thermos of cold water and some paper cups available. But please don’t feel like you need to do anything fancy. These should be no-frills cookie stations that we want everyone to feel capable of hosting. Also, we want everyone to continue walking and mingling, so don’t feel any need to invite Cookie Walkers into your home. Feel free to close up shop at 8pm. We’ll come by and pick up the signs.
If you have insufficient response to the cookie requests or if you need a table, please let Ann or me know and we’ll help you out.
That’s about it! If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to mingling and snacking Sunday evening. The weather looks like it will be great Sunday evening!
The ward activities committee
Our first Cookie Walk was a Huge success! Our neighborhood streets were full of neighbors and friends walking and talking together between the host families. The kids especially enjoyed it, almost as much as Halloween!
Best of all, we got to meet and make many new friends.
Everyone is already looking forward to our next Cookie Walk!