Host a Free-Range Potluck Picnic Sat., June 23 (I am!)

Hi Folks! It’s time for all of us to start getting together, especially as summer looms. So Saturday, June 23 is Free-Range Potluck Picnic Day!

If you want to host a picnic, just write an invite in the comments, below, or email me at . I will list any and all get-togethers in an upcoming blog post. Include the time, the place  — a local park or block or home —  the Zip Code and a way people can contact you (email address or Facebook page).  Also a raindate. And meanwhile, if you are anywhere in the New York Tri-State area —


I cordially invite you to a my very first Free-Range Kids potluck picnic. It’ll be held at the extremely old-fashioned summer place we rent,  a cottage at the Rosmarins Bungalow Colony in Monroe, N.Y., an hour and 15 mins from New York City. (Directions here.) Come anytime after 2 p.m. and stay for a bbq supper. Bring swimsuits!

Oh — what’s a bungalow colony?

It’s a group of summer rental cabins, close together, usually near a lake or pool. (Ours has both.) We love Rosmarins because everyone hangs out and you don’t need to keep track of your kids. From around age 3 they just run off to the playground or their friend’s place, or they get out their chalk. Cars are in the parking lot, off premises.  The 100 cabins are small and old-school. Think Formica tables, Linoleum floors, tiny bathrooms.  Rosmarins has been running for about 70 years and this season there are still some empty units. So we’re hoping to lure some new renters up there! (We don’t own the place, we just love it and want it to keep going!) Here’s our official invite:

DATE: Sat., June 23 (rain date, Sunday, June 24)

TIME: 2 – 10 p.m. (No need to stay the whole time, but when it gets dark we show a movie outside)

PLACE: Rosmarins Bungalow Colony, 12 School Rd, Monroe, NY 10950

BRING: Something yummy, and towels for your family.


ROSMARINS INFO: Phone: 845 783 7222.

If — best case scenario! — too many folks respond for us to handle, we’ll throw another picnic a few weeks later.

Hey — let’s start a movement! Or at least summer!

29 Responses

  1. Wish I could go but unfortunately I live in Canada =(

  2. Wish we could come but NYC is a bit far from American Samoa. The place sounds wonderful. Maybe we can make the 2nd Annual Free Range Pot Luck.

  3. Finally! 🙂 We are unavailable on June 23, but if there is enough interest, we would love to host a Free-Range Picnic on June 24, around 1pm, for any free-range parents (or parents who would like to be a little more free range but don’t know how to start) in Montgomery County, Maryland. The park most convenient for us is Montrose Park on Rollins Ave in Rockville, near Twinbrook Metro. But if most people who respond in the comments to this post are in a different part of the county, we can come to you. Thanks Lenore!

  4. Aw-ww! I would love to come. I love the sound of the bungalow community. It reminds me of a place I used to go to as a kid on Lake Winnepesaukee. I love the idea of doing a Free Range pot luck, but that’s the night before we go to Webelos Camp. I might be going to bed at 2pm since I may not get sleep for the following 3 nights! Camping, outside, in Mississippi, in June. Can you say hot and sweaty?

  5. I’d like to host a picnic, but I need to figure out where before I put up an official invite. I’m in Tacoma, WA (anyone else in the area want to co-host?).

  6. I want to live at a bungalow colony all the time. 🙂

  7. June 23rd is also the day you are supposed to camp out in your backyard. So that could be the ideal end to the picnic.

  8. I would so be there if I could! Not only am I a big fan, I grew up spending summers in a bungallow colony and feel bad my kids didn’t. I’ll be camping with my cub scouts, though and letting them cook things over a fire and run around, climb trees and so on. We’ll be with you in spirit!

  9. Hmmm..I live in NW Ohio…anyone else in the area interested in this? We could meet up at one of the parks…

  10. Love the area, having spent years near White Lake at Ten Mile River Scout Reservation (camp Kunatah). But from MD is a bit too far for us. 🙂

    And Krollk – We are in Kemp Mill, and I’m moving my wife toward the free-range world 🙂 That Sunday might work for us.

  11. You’re so fun, Lenore! If we lived closer, we sure would stop by. Actually we would rent a cabin. Sounds dreamy. … As always – Thanks for ALL you do!

  12. Jeff – My husband spent all his summers at scout camp in Kunatah but we are in DE now. He has been going to reunions there the last few years with our son who will be a Webelo in a few days. Love the idea of a F.R. picnic and look forward to seeing if there is one near wherever we will be on that day. My Mom-in-law tells story after story about her days in the bungalow colonies in the 50’s. NO parental supervision except for feeding. Happy kids.

  13. @Shari – if your husband is in his mid 40s we were probably there at the same time.

  14. Hey Maggie – I’m in NW Ohio 🙂

  15. Hi betsb68! Glad to meet you:) Whereabouts (in general terms) do you live? I’m in Eastern Lucas County. We should see if we can round up some more local free rangers and do this!

  16. Yes Jeff, you got it! He’s 43. He was from Midwood, Brooklyn. Don’t remember his troop number. He took my daughter and son up for the past 2 years, they swam in the river, ate at a nearby diner, visited all his old haunts in camp. Living in the city and playing baseball in the street using cars as bases, it was a great gift to him to get out to the woods every summer.

  17. Shari We were there at the same time. I was there with 180 and 611. (I’m 44).

  18. LOVE THIS! Not for my family this year, but next year maybe?!

  19. OK – here is my invite:

    Where: Titlow Beach, Tacoma WA
    When: June 23rd, 2-5pm (rain date – same time on Sunday June 24th)
    Bring: A dish to share (I’ll provide hot-dogs), AND shoes and towels for kids who go crabbing on the rocky beach
    RSVP: (yep, my real Email address! I’m willing to trust that most people out there are trustworthy – just like I’m teaching my kids to trust people)

    And I am shocked – no-one else is willing to do this??? And a record low of 18 comments. This surprises me. I thought everyone else would want to meet freerangers in their area…. but I guess maybe it’s easier to just complain on-line that your kids have no-one to play with than actually actively try to find some like-minded people in your area.

    I’d really love to hear people’s reasons for why they aren’t willing to take some action.

  20. Good for you, Z-girl! I’m trying! Apparently there are either very few Free Range parents in Ohio, or there are so many no one feels the need to meet someone new and expand their social circle:) I’m hoping it’s the latter…I’ll put it out there one more time! Anyone in NW Ohio interested in meeting up in one of the local parks or beaches for a potluck? Bring a dish to share, picnic gear for your family and anything else you’ll need to make this a truly great First Annual Free Range Potluck! What have you got to lose? It’s free, fun and a great chance to make new friends!

  21. Official Invite!
    Where: Country Gables Park, Phoenix, AZ 85053
    When: June 23rd, 4:30-dark (Rain date? This is Phoenix! If this ends up being one of the three days out of the year that it rains we’ll dance in it and enjoy every moment!)
    Bring: A dish to share. I’ll bring paper plates, utensils, and drinks… and my share of the food of course.
    RSVP: Jenna Boettger Boring, (And please RSVP if you plan on coming, if nobody emails me we probably won’t be sitting out there all by our lonesome.

  22. Another Invite:
    Block party
    Saturday, June 23, 2012
    Where: Alameda, CA Laurel Street between Clinton and Powell
    We cordially invite you to our very first Free-Range Kids potluck block party. It’ll be an extremely old-fashioned come-play-outside party. We will have balls and other games to play.

    Come anytime after 3 p.m. and stay for the potluck.

    Bring food and other balls and game equipment.
    Also, bring your own eating-ware (plates, utensils). This will be a no-waste event, too.

    Be prepared to let your kids play with others and have a great time.
    This is a low traffic street with kids who love to play. The only rules are to be sensible and respectful of others.

  23. Z-girl, I am also disappointed by the small number of responses there have been to this thread.

    Lenore, maybe Uly is right, and moving this post to the top would garner more responses?

    Lenore, Z-girl, Lucy, Jennaboring — hope you have wonderful picnics and make many new friends!

    Our picnic (on the MD side of DC) is still on, provided at least one other person emails me at the week before with a definite “We’ll be there”.

    I did think about moving it to a more central location to accommodate Kemp Mill dad and any others, but the truth is that we are extremely busy that weekend (we are moving to a new house the day before, and have two events to attend Sunday late afternoon and evening) so unless we know for sure that it is going to be a big event, I don’t think I can persuade my family to travel much farther than the neighborhood park.

    We are definitely interested in meeting up with other free-range parents and their kids in the wider DC area on other days, so please feel free to shoot me an email about that too. My daughter is 10, and will be riding the metro by herself soon.

  24. The “Let’s Hope Summer has Actually Arrived in the Pacific NW” Park Party!

    DATE: Sat., June 23 (rain date – Sun., June 24)

    TIME: 11am – 1pm

    PLACE: Ebright Creek Park (1317 212th Ave SE, Sammamish, WA 98074)

    BRING: Kids ready to play and have fun with new friends AND a picnic lunch for your family.


  25. I would come in a heartbeat to this but will be out of town. Please post and let us know if you do another one. I might rent one of those cabins, too. I’m totally sold on the description!!

  26. I just started planning my party (see previous posting) with my neighbors. So I know that at least they will show up. I don’t even think they are on the free range list, but they are (mostly) free range parents – unlabeled, I guess. I look at this as an opportunity to share the concept and and validate the parenting that is already going on around here. And, of course, show others what is ok, too.

  27. I certainly sympathize with you free-rangers. If I organized a picnic here in Eastern Europe there would be kids coming without their parents!

  28. Logan Square, Chicago here. Would love to do this.

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