Five Community Building Ideas for Your Cottage Neighbourhood
It is wonderful to feel like you are a part of your cottage community, however finding a way to connect with your community and to meet your neighbours can be challenging. Below are five ways to build community in your cottage neighbourhood.
1. Start a travelling (by boat) dinner party
Everyone loves food, so why not invite a few folks from your neighbourhood to participate in a travelling (by boat) dinner party? Each participant (or couple) is the host for a different part of the dinner. Generally, this is broken down into snacks, appetizers, main, and dessert. At each stop, the host provides a beverage or two for their guests (beer and wine are typically good choices). But, be sure to remember to offer non-alcoholic choices for your designated drivers -mocktails are a fun way to be creative! This is a great way to meet your neighbours, to visit other cottages in your community, and to enjoy some great food. As news of this event travels through your community, you are bound to hear from others who want to join you next time! Remember to keep it simple!
2. Organize an “on the dock” yoga class
Yoga has many therapeutic benefits, including its capacity to build community. Choose a dock or identify a space in your cottage neighbourhood that is conducive to hosting a group of yogis and invite a local yoga instructor to facilitate a weekly class. Be sure to invite your neighbours and let people know when the start and end dates of the summer yoga season will begin and end. Be sure set a reasonable fee for participation ($10 is the fee we pay at our local cottage class) and invite people to participate as they can. Namaste!
3. Host a cocktail hour
Invite a few of your neighbours over for a cocktail hour and keep it to an hour! Let folks know ahead of time when you will be hosting the cocktail hour (i.e. 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.), and let them know that it is a fun hour to meet some new people and to enjoy a beverage together before the dinner hour. Mocktails are also a fun alternative! Be sure to invite others to think about hosting a similar event in the future. Cheers 🙂
4. Start a local community cottage association (or join your local one)
Local cottage community associations are a group of local cottagers who are concerned with a number of issues related to their cottage community (i.e. local real estate market, the environment, water quality, summer community events, etc). If there is a local cottage association in your neighbourhood, consider joining it. If not, perhaps its time for some folks to get together to create one. This is a great way to care for your cottage community and to build into its future!
5. Organize and host a cottage concert
Consider hosting a cottage concert and invite your neighbours to participate. House/cottage concerts have grown in popularity significantly over the past number of years. Folks like us who love music are inviting musicians from across the country to perform in their living rooms! And then they invite their friends and neighbours to participate. This is an awesome way to support extraordinary musical talent and enjoy some great music in an intimate setting. But, all concerts do not have to look alike! If you love to cook, you can provide a dinner and then listen to the music, but if this is too much, why not consider a pot luck or no food at all! It’s totally up to you how you want the event to unfold, but it is totally worth looking into as a way of sharing a great afternoon or evening with music lovers in your cottage community. This is one of our favourites!