52 Weeks of Neighboring - 12/31

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Neighboring Tip of the Week – Organize a scavenger hunt based on your community’s assets.

Happy last day of the year 2017! We realize you may be spending time with others for New Year’s Day, and this week’s tip is perfectly suited for such a time.

We propose: Organize a scavenger hunt based on your community’s assets. This activity is perfect for kids and, in light of New Year’s celebrations, it could even be a fun party activity! To start, make a list of some of the unique assets of your neighborhood. These could include interesting looking buildings, murals, monuments, or even yard decorations. For example, in SoCe, a list might include locations like the Lincoln Street dam or the Firefighter Museum. When making this list, it is important to consider both the distance between locations and the safety of the area. Will participants drive or walk? Think about how much ground you want participants to cover and, as always, be mindful of the safety of all participants. Next, organize your participants. Depending on the number you have, they can stay together or split into multiple groups. Finally, set the group or groups loose, each with a list of the locations and a camera (cell phone). They are to find and take a picture of each location in order to prove their completion of the scavenger hunt.

One time, Matt and Catherine did this with a group of 5 kids at Christmas. They made a list of some of the most unique Christmas yard displays in the neighborhood and also added challenges like: carol at a neighbor's house and shovel a neighbor's driveway. The kids enjoyed walking around finding the items. They had so much fun helping neighbors that they ended up shoveling several driveways before they returned home triumphantly with pictures and stories!

An asset-based scavenger hunt presents not only a fun activity for kids and adults alike but also an opportunity to be mindful of your community’s many assets!

Happy neighboring!