She Looked Up and Her 2-year-old Wasn’t There

Hi Folks! This is a good one to take to heart…and to the playground. — Lenore

Dear Free-Range Kids: I’ve known for a while that Free-Range is a great way to raise confident, independent, capable kids, but I never knew how much this approach would help me as a parent until last night.

I was at a local park with my boys.¬† They are ages 2 and 4.¬† My older son has just recently mastered monkey bars and after his probably 10th or 12th time cruising along them, his hands slipped and he fell down pretty hard.¬† He’s generally a tough guy when it comes to injuries, but he’d gotten the wind knocked out of him as well as a fat lip and was quite upset.¬† I was consoling him for a few seconds when my 2-year-old apparently wandered off.

This park is quite large.¬† It has two separate playground areas, some soccer and baseball fields and a woodsy area with trails to walk through.¬† I had no idea which direction he’d gone and was pretty panicked.¬† He was only missing for about 5 minutes, but it felt like days.¬† Immediately several complete strangers essentially organized a search party and they put one of them in charge of staying with my screaming, injured son so that I could go help look for my younger son without the older in tow.

I found my little one down on the lower playground around the corner out of sight from me.  He was happily talking to a man with a dog.

After I got home last night and was somewhat settled down from what had been an absolutely terrifying ordeal to me, I had this moment of clarity where I was so thankful that I’ve found your blog and have become a proud, self-proclaimed Free-Range mom.¬† During those scary 5 minutes, at NO time did it even occur to me that my missing son had been abducted.¬† I instinctively went with the most logical scenario: ¬†He’s 2.¬† He probably saw something interesting on the other side of the park and had wandered over there (there was a Little League game going on, lots of kids down there and as I mentioned, people with dogs…he LOVES dogs).¬† It was the most likely scenario and it allowed me to find my son much quicker by following my instinct instead of the standard worst-first thinking.¬† It also allowed me to feel perfectly comfortable leaving my older son with strangers while I searched for the other.

Thank God for common sense and the kindness of (perfectly safe) strangers!  And thanks for continuing to spread the word about the benefits of raising Free-Range kids.

Fondly,

Karen Miller

A toddler, a dog and a frantic mom (not pictured).

A Conversation with an Older Man

Hi Folks — To be filed under, “What we’ve lost.” Or maybe, “What Free-Range Kids is working ¬†to bring back.” – L.¬†

Dear Free-Range Kids: I had an interesting experience in the Target parking lot today. While
I was unloading my cart, an older man passed and complimented me on my
four kids. I thanked him, and we struck up a conversation.

When my three-year-old shyly turned away from the man, he said,

“That’s right, I forgot you’re not supposed to talk to strangers these
days.” And he turned to leave.

I said, “No sir, I teach my children that it’s okay to talk to
strangers. They need to learn how to speak with adults. I just teach
them never to go anywhere with a stranger.”

The man said, “Yeah, when I was in my 40s and 50s, I always pictured
myself sitting on a park bench one day, giving dollar bills to little
children. But some wackos messed that up for the rest of us. Can’t do
that anymore.”

I told him the world was worse off for it, and I try to teach my
children that most people are good and it’s okay to interact with
people of all ages.

The man started to leave again, but then abruptly turned around,
pulled out his wallet, and gave each of my kids a $1 bill. I wanted to
decline, mainly because I like my kids to earn their money, but I
could see how delighted they were, and how pleased the man was that he
could do that for him. I realized this man probably genuinely enjoys
interacting with children, and we live in a world where he may not
have an opportunity to do so.

I wonder what our children could learn from old men sitting on park benches.

Lauren Richins

You Think Your 9 & 6 Year Olds are Too Young to Ride Their Bikes to Their Friends?

Hi Readers! Laura Alves is a mom of 4 who has made a change in her ¬†world — and beyond. As can we all! – L

Dear Free Range Kids:¬†I’d like to share my little story (actually three) of Free-Range happiness in our small central Wisconsin town.

I have four kids, ages 9, 6, 4, 2. I generally allow and encourage (and sometimes require) my older two to ride their bikes. My philosophy is that if it is safe and reasonable for them to propel themselves somewhere, than they should. I have little kids at home who don’t want to spend their summer days in a minivan while I chauffeur the older two around. A neighbor, whose daughter is 10, asked me if I let my kids ride their bikes alone to the park, which is one and a half miles away with one busy County Highway to cross. I told him that yes, they’re allowed to ride there together. They know the safety rules of biking and of crossing busy roads. The neighbor said he’d been hesitant to let his daughter do this, but if she went with my kids, he’d feel better about it. So, they all went together and had a blast! He lets his daughter regularly bike to the park now.

My oldest daughter’s friend lives about a half mile away, across the same busy County Highway. The friend called one day and asked if my daughter could come over. I sent Charlie on her bike, and when she arrived, the other mother called me to see if I knew my girl had ridden alone there. I told her of course I knew! We talked about it and she agreed that even though it made her nervous, IT MADE SENSE to allow the girls to ride alone at this age. They are now BOTH coming to and from each others’ houses solo!

We are very good friends with a family whose oldest two kids are best friends with our oldest two kids. We were all talking one night about letting them do more stuff alone. Our friends said that they had been on the fence about letting their kids bike/walk to our house, the park, the school, etc. We shared our feelings about how it’s good and healthy for them to do things on their own. They agreed and now ALL the kids are riding their bikes around in a big pack, exploring, and having a blast. They’ve managed to stay safe, stay out of trouble, and have a ton of fun all summer long!!

I’m realizing that there are a lot of parents out there that WANT to give their kids more freedom. They just need a little push from someone letting them know it’s okay. The “safety” movement has created sort of a mob mentality with parents, but a lot of people don’t necessarily want to subscribe to it. They just think making a lot of rules and restrictions is what good parents do. I’m grateful that Free-Range-Kids has inspired me to break free of this delusion, and that I in turn have inspired these other parents to give their kids some much needed freedom. Perhaps these parents will inspire more. Perhaps by next summer our playgrounds and streets will be filled with kids having a safe, and happy-go-lucky summer with their friends. Could this be possible? Here’s to hoping!!¬†– Laura Alves

No, there is actually no mention of wombats in this post. But kids on bikes, yes.

Help Needed: Do Kids Mow Neighbors’ Lawns Anymore?

Hey Readers — Here’s a query from reader that I’m curious about, too. Weigh in! — L.
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Dear Free-Range Kids:¬†My name is Stacey Gordon and I have noticed that I never see children doing the things that we did when we were kids. ¬†They seem to be supervised at all times and never have any “just kid” time. ¬†Nothing seems to be expected of them. It is as though they are treated as infants right up until the time that they are expected to wake up one day and magically become adults… without any practice.
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I caught a thread in our local neighborhood Yahoo group. ¬†Someone was asking if there were any kids that did yard work for summer as they would love to hire one. ¬†People fired back answers. One person suggested that kids were spoiled by their parents. Recently, in this same neighborhood, someone called the police when they saw some unsupervised kids IN THEIR OWN YARDS. ¬†My response to the thread was along the line of, “If the police are called if children are playing in their own front yard unsupervised, imagine what kind of trouble the parents would be in if they let the kids mow the lawn!” So my curiosity came from this neighborhood conversation.
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As children, we would hustle for money any chance we got. ¬†In the city of Yonkers, on those rare snow days, we’d get out and shovel and help clean off and dig out cars for the folks who had to get to work. ¬†They were always grateful and would throw us a few bucks. In summer we would go to the local grocery store (one of many we could walk to) and stand outside and help customers carry their bags to the car for tips. ¬† ¬†We would later pool our money and go to the local pizza joint and chip in ¬†for an entire pizza and a pitcher of soda. ¬†If there was money left over we went to the candy store for treats and baseball cards. ¬†Making our own money made us feel independent and grown up.
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It seems that in many locations that children are no longer able to be unsupervised while playing in their own yards. Do kids still do these things? There are no kids (a few infants maybe) in my current neighborhood so I have no way to judge.¬†Does anyone still see children mowing yards for money anymore? By “children” I’m thinking anywhere from age 9 and up. ¬†I recall in years past, in the suburban neighborhoods, my cousin and other kids would go door to door soliciting yard work. ¬†Would a kid even be allowed to touch a lawn mower now, much less seek gainful employment in the neighborhood? ¬†Is it fear on the parents’ part? Is it laziness on the kids’ side? ¬†Are kids just spending too much time being scheduled, or playing on computers?¬†What’s the story? – -Stacey, who writes the blog SouthGeek.

Sure, kids can use TOY lawnmowers. But what about the real thing?

Reject the Fear That Coach Automatically = Pervert: THANK A COACH! New Viral Video Campaign

Hi Folks! I just LOVE this campaign that just got underway in England. It was started by a gal named¬†Heather Piper who describes herself as a “Professor in the Faculty of Education at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, whose research interests tend to be contrarian and challenge the status quo, and¬†much so called ‘wisdom.'” Go Heather! – L.¬†

THANK A COACH by Heather Piper

When the 2012 Olympics were awarded to London, the UK Government (like other governments before them) made much of the hope that the legacy would be to get children and young people more active and involved in sports ‚Äď part of a happier and healthier nation. Instead, as recent research has shown,there are many coaches who feel anxious and overwhelmed by the way that trust in coaching relationships has been destroyed by the fear-based and mechanical way that child protection and ‚Äėsafeguarding‚Äô has been imposed on them. The result has been that they feel spied-on, and end up doubting their colleagues‚Äô motives, and even their own ‚Äď viewing themselves and others as potential paedophiles!

There is something very wrong when, on attending their first football training session, eager 9-year-olds have to listen to a talk about the team’s child protection measures (implicit message: coaches are likely to be perverts). Whatever this does to children, an adult coach may be terrified when a young player races over to them as part of her goal-scoring celebration (Is she going to hug me? What will everyone think? Will I get suspended like the guy last year?). The problem is not one for the UK alone, the US, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few, share similarly risk-averse societies.

The pattern everywhere is much like that seen earlier in teaching and childcare and, again, the real losers are the children who lose the chance to benefit from strong and trusting inter-generational contact. The deficit extends beyond the issue of coaching kids to become better swimmer or soccer players: a good coach can provide  emotional support for children learning how to get along and grow up, which is particularly important for kids who may have less support at home.

To try, in a small way, to counter the pervasive negative messages about sports coaching and to honour the selfless work of the many thousands of coaches who offer their technical expertise (and often much more than that), a new campaign focuses attention on the positive coaching many of us will have experienced. In a risk-obsessed, fear-based, and mistrustful era we need some good news stories, and the ‚ÄėInspired to Greatness‚Äô campaign¬†aims to collect and provide them. Take a look and join-in. Thank a coach for what they did for you. We can‚Äôt take coaches for granted. We CAN give them the thanks they deserve. Share your videos! – H.P.

Cheers, coach!

You’ll Like This Kid

Hi Folks — I sure liked him! Liked what he’s all about! – L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: ¬†I wanted to share a great interaction we had this past Saturday with a Free-Range Kid.¬† My son and daughter-in-law were moving from their apartment, and while we were over there packing and taking boxes and furniture down the U-haul truck, a 9-year-old boy and his little sister stopped by and asked if they could help.¬† The little sister took a couple of small things down to the truck, but quickly lost interest.¬† Her brother spent 4 hours with us, packing boxes (he emptied an entire closet by himself), carrying lots of stuff down two flights of stairs, helping me tip over the loveseat to get the crumbs out of the bottom, helping us disassemble the lamps, the dinette table, etc.¬† At first I wouldn’t let him use the packing tape because of the sharp blade needed to cut it, but thinking of you, I showed him how to use it properly, so he was able to put the boxes together without any adult assistance.

He is the son of the building superintendent, so I think his family might not have the resources to send him to camps and summer activities, and because they are immigrants, they might not know that kids are supposed to be locked up “safe” all day.

He didn’t ask to be paid — he was just helping us because he wanted something to do — but I gave him $5, and after a few minutes he turned up with a slice of pizza and an eggroll from the take-out places down the street — very proud of himself for having the wherewithal to get his own supper.¬† When we left for the day, he kept thanking us for the fun afternoon he had had, working his butt off with the grown-ups! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† All the best,¬†Bella¬†Englebach

News Flash: Kids LIKE helping out.

These Moms Created a Neighborhood Camp (And So Can You!)

Hi Readers! Here’s a letter about a homemade camp started by two moms that just may inspire you — ¬†the same way THEY got inspired last year, thanks to ideas being spread by Mike Lanza of Playborhood. (Here’s a cool post by him of how he turned his front yard into a neighborhood hangout.) If you start a camp, let us know! L.¬†
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Dear Free-Range Kids: I wanted to let you know that you, Mike Lanza,¬†and the Camp Iris Way creators inspired me and a fellow mom, Karen Hoffman, to start out own neighborhood camp. ¬†The first annual “Montara Street Camp” happened last week and was a huge success! ¬†Not only did the campers, counselors, families and neighbors love it, but Karen and I had so much fun running it. ¬†Of all the volunteer efforts I’ve been part of as a stay-at-home mom, this one was the most rewarding and fun.
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We modeled our camp after Camp Iris Way, and actually were in contact with Iris Way founder Diana Nemet [see below] when we were having difficulties getting our permit.  Since this was a new concept for the police and city, there were various concerns and hurdles.  However, the permit was ultimately granted and we had so much fun holding the camp in the street.  As a result of our camp, the neighborhood definitely feels closer.  Campers and counselors formed a special bond and new friendships were made.  One of my favorite parts of camp was it pushed parents to let kids walk and ride bikes by themselves, many for the first time.  I just loved watching everyone walk to camp.
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Here are links to the two local articles:¬†HMB Review¬†and ¬†HMB Patch.¬†¬†We made the front page of our local newspaper and have received lots of positive responses from people in town. ¬†We are looking forward to running it again next year and hope it becomes an ongoing part of our little coastal community.¬†¬†Again, thanks for being such a great inspiration!¬†¬†My husband got so sick of hearing me quote your book¬†after I read it last year. ¬†I couldn’t help it! ¬†– Sarah Bunkin

The Montara Sreet campers
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And here’s a note from Diana Nemet, who started a neighborhood camp last year:
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Thrilled to learn of the success of ¬†Montara Street Camp–it’s absolutely wonderful! Reading about it brought back memories of the first year we ran Camp Iris Way. It’s definitely an incredible community-building accomplishment and I’m sure that the kids will enjoy each others company a lot more this summer than they had in the past!
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We had 73 kids attend Camp Iris Way this summer. Neighbors are still astonished that we have this many kids living just on Iris and Primrose Ways. I suspect you’ll see the numbers jump for next year’s Montara Street Camp. Our neighbors actually schedule their vacations around CIW now so that they don’t miss it! ūüôā
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I suspect it might be valuable to include another link to the workplan and templates¬†that we provided in last summer’s post.¬†Congratulations Sarah and Karen! I’m delighted to learn of the fun you had, and agree that it’s one of the most rewarding contributions to my community that I’ve ever made. ¬†Best,¬†¬†Diana Nemet

Update! Free-Range Picnics this Saturday! You’re Invited!

Hi Folks! Here’s the lastest listing of Free-Range potluck picnics coming up this Saturday, June 23, with the newest ones on top. If you’d like to host one, just put the who/what/when/where/RSVP info in the comments and I’ll post one last blast before Saturday. – L.

TORONTO – GTA

WHERE:  Oriole Park, Yonge & Davisville in Toronto

DATE: Saturday June 23

TIME: Noonish until mid afternoon

BRING: Kids ready to meet new friends, a picnic lunch for your family, bathing suits for anyone who wants to use the wading pool/splash pad.

INFO/RSVP: Folks can email ebardon@gmail.com for questions and more details.

*  *

MT PROSPECT, IL

DATE: Sat., June 23

TIME: 10am-1pm.

PLACE: Melas Park, 1326 W. Central Road, Mt. Prospect

EVITE:  http://new.evite.com/l/K4R26D2XHZ).

*  *

LOGAN SQUARE, CHICAGO — THIS ONE IS ON SUNDAY!!!!

DATE: Sunday, June 24

TIME: 1:00 PM until the kids wear out

HOST:  Christina Matthews

WHERE: Palmer Square Park РLogan Square (corner of Palmer Blvd. & Kedzie Blvd.),   Chicago, IL 60647

BRING: Your family,¬†a picnic lunch and any balls/games of interest to your kids.¬† We’ll be on the west side of the park near the “bunny hill.” ¬†We are a¬†family of four with¬†identical twin (almost 5 years old) boys, so we’re usually pretty easy to spot.¬† I’ll try to be organized enough to string a sign or some balloons to mark our spot ūüôā
RSVP: christinamatthews42@gmail.com

*  *

NASHVILLE, TN

No specific time or place set, but this Free-Ranger writes:

Free Range parents in Nashville TN (I’m in south Nashville/North Franklin area) email me¬†suznericward@gmail.com.¬†Would love to meet like-minded parents in my area!

*  *

AND LAST WEEK’S LISTINGS AGAIN:

*  *

LENORE’S POTLUCK PICNIC!

GET THERE BY CAR OR BUS, ABOUT AN HOUR OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK CITY (in MONROE, NY 10950)

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

Time: 2- 10 p.m.

Place: Rosmarins Cottages, 12 School Road, Monroe, NY 10950

Directions by car (and pix of the place!): Bungalowsummer.com.

By bus: Take the Short Line bus from Port Authority to Monroe, NY at 1:15 or 3:10 (an hour and 20 min ride). We’ll pick you up from the bus (a 5 min ride).

Bring: Something yummy and bathingsuits!

RSVP and questions: heylenore3@gmail.com

*    *

TACOMA, WASHINGTON

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

Time: 2 ‚Äď 5 p.m.

Place: Titlow Beach

Bring: A dish to share, shoes and towels for the kids who go crabbing on the rocky beach.

RSVP: soulemarilyn@yahoo.com

*  *

SAMMAMISH, WASHINGTON

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

Time: 11 a.m . ‚Äď 1 p.m.

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.

Hosts: Adam and Melanie

RSVP and questions: adamel@comcast.net

Official online invite, click here.

*  *

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND

Date: SUNDAY ‚ÄĒ NOT SATURDAY!! ‚ÄĒ JUNE 24
Time: 1 p.m.
Place: Montrose Park (Corner of Rollins Ave and Congressional Ln)
Host: Anna
RSVP: asjuha@hotmail.com (and if you are a Free-Range family who wants to meet up but can’t make it that day, please email anyway and we’ll meet!)
Note: Party is on as soon as at least one other family RSVPs!
*  *
ALAMEDA, CA
A Free-Range, old-fashioned, play outside block party!
DATE: Sat., June 23
PLACE:  Laurel Street between Clinton and Powell
TIME: Anytime after 3 p.m. and stay for the potluck.
BRING: Food and other balls and game equipment. Also, your own eating-ware (plates, utensils), as this will be a no-waste event, too. Here’s the Facebook page. (5 families already coming!)
*  *
NW OHIO ‚Äď REQUEST FOR PICNIC
Maggie in Eastern Lucas County would like to co-host a picnic.  If you’re interested, here is her email: spitlermaggie@yahoo.com
* *
PHOENIX, AZ
Date: Sat., June 23 (rain date? This is Phoenix! If it rains, we’ll dance in it and enjoy every moment!)
Time: 4:30 ‚Äď dark
Place: Country Gables Park, 85053
Bring: A dish to share. I’ll bring paper plates, utensils, drinks and also some food to share, of course!
RSVP: Jenna  jboettgerboring@gmail.com . (Please do RSVP so we know someone’s coming and won’t be sitting out there, all by our lonesome!)
HAVE FUN!!!!
NEW NEW NEW NEW NEW!!
BERKELEY, CA
Please join us for the first annual Free Range Kids picnic!
Where: Cedar-Rose park (between the playgrounds) in Berkeley
When: Saturday June 23 between 11 am and 2 pm
Who: I’m Andi Jones, mother of Kyle who just finished 2nd grade at Washington. I also have a three year old daughter and would love to meet other Free-Range (or similarly-minded) parents/families in the community.¬†Learn more about Free-Range Kids here:¬†https://freerangekids.wordpress.com/
What to bring: a picnic lunch for your family and any park games or balls, etc. that you may want to bring
UPDATE: CAMP-OUT  IN ST LOUIS!
DATE: June 23
DETAILS: We belong to an nonprofit athletic/social club that offers kids, adults and families a variety of classes and activities at a ridiculously low cost.   It is a very Free-Range organization and the members all keep an eye out for each other and the kids too!  Thanks for posting the details for our Campout!Come one come all!

Concordia Turners is hosting a Campout on Saturday, June 23 as part of the Great American Backyard Campout. $10 per tent. Each family receives a plot of land and a table. Activities include swimming, campfire and stargazing. Families must supply their own food.¬† Quiet hours from 11pm to 7am so we don’t make our neighbors angry.¬† Please bring some donuts to share for breakfast.¬† You do not need to be a member to attend but you might like it so much that you join before you leave!

We will host two more campouts in the city this summer:
July 21st
and
August TBA

You can use the map below to help locate our building near the intersection of Gravois & Holly Hills in South Saint Louis, MO.  If you need detailed driving directions, click the link below and you will be taken to a Google page where you can get driving directions.

Concordia Turners
6432 Gravois
Saint Louis, MO  63116

Get Directions

Find Concordia Turners on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Concordia-Turners/150649161668931

http://www.concordiaturners.org/
The purpose of our organization is to promote the health and well-being of our members and our society.  While we have a strong emphasis on gymnastics, we also support a wide variety of athletic and social activities to meet the changing needs of our members.Concordia is a member of a national organization called the American Turners.  It is composed of similar organizations located throughout the United States.  The first Turner societies in the United States were organized toward the close of the year 1848.  Trace the history of physical education in the United States and you trace the history of the American Turners.  The American Turners spent much of the first half of the 20th Century promoting the addition of physical education to U.S. schools.  They also created the first College of Physical Education.  The school still operates today as a division of the Indiana University in Indianapolis.  The American Turners is among the oldest continuously operating athletic organizations in the world.

Best Regards,
Deborah Rose

Come to My Free-Range Picnic, Sat., June 23 — Or One of These!

Hi Folks! In the interest of us starting to find each other AND have fun, Sat., June 23 is Free-Range Picnic Day! I’m hosting one in Monroe, New York (an hour and 20 mins from the city — reachable by car or bus), and some of YOU are hosting picnics, too! Below are the invites so far. If you would like to organize a picnic in YOUR neck of the woods — great. Just put the info in a comment, below. In a few days I’ll post about this again, with all the latest parties. Welcome summer!

LENORE’S POTLUCK PICNIC: MONROE, NY 10950

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

Time: 2- 10 p.m.

Place: Rosmarins Cottages, 12 School Road, Monroe, NY 10950

Directions by car (and pix of the place!): Bungalowsummer.com.

By bus: Take the Short Line bus from Port Authority to Monroe, NY at 1:15 or 3:10 (an hour and 20 min ride). We’ll pick you up from the bus (a 5 min ride).

Bring: Something yummy and bathingsuits!

RSVP and questions: heylenore3@gmail.com

*    *

TACOMA, WASHINGTON

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

Time: 2 – 5 p.m.

Place: Titlow Beach

Bring: A dish to share, shoes and towels for the kids who go crabbing on the rocky beach.

RSVP: soulemarilyn@yahoo.com

*  *

SAMMAMISH, WASHINGTON

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

Time: 11 a.m . – 1 p.m.

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.

Hosts: Adam and Melanie

RSVP and questions: adamel@comcast.net

Official online invite, click here.

*  *

ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND

Date: SUNDAY — NOT SATURDAY!! — JUNE 24
Time: 1 p.m.
Place: Montrose Park (Corner of Rollins Ave and Congressional Ln)
Host: Anna
RSVP: asjuha@hotmail.com (and if you are a Free-Range family who wants to meet up but can’t make it that day, please email anyway and we’ll meet!)
Note: Party is on as soon as at least one other family RSVPs!
*  *
ALAMEDA, CA
A Free-Range, old-fashioned, play outside block party!
DATE: Sat., June 23
PLACE:  Laurel Street between Clinton and Powell
TIME: Anytime after 3 p.m. and stay for the potluck.
BRING: Food and other balls and game equipment.¬†Also, your own eating-ware (plates, utensils), as this will be a no-waste event, too. Here’s the Facebook page. (5 families already coming!)
*  *
NW OHIO – REQUEST FOR PICNIC
Maggie in Eastern Lucas County would like to co-host a picnic. ¬†If you’re interested, tell us in the comments, below, and I’ll forward her your note and email.
* *
PHOENIX, AZ
Date: Sat., June 23 (rain date? This is Phoenix! If it rains, we’ll dance in it and enjoy every moment!)
Time: 4:30 – dark
Place: Country Gables Park, 85053
Bring: A dish to share. I’ll bring paper plates, utensils, drinks and also some food to share, of course!
RSVP: Jenna ¬†jboettgerboring@gmail.com . (Please do RSVP so we know someone’s coming and won’t be sitting out there, all by our lonesome!)
* *
LOGAN SQUARE, CHICAGO
Christina in Logan Square would love to co-host a picnic there. ¬†If you’re interested, tell us in the comments, below, and I’ll forward her your note and email.
**
YOUR PICNIC HERE!
Jump in! Put your Free-Range potluck picnic invite in the comments and I’ll do a new post of all of them in a few days! – L.

Hopefully your picnic will be a little more action-packed!

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 heylenore3@gmail.com . 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 —

COME TO MINE!

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.

RSVP: heylenore3@gmail.com

ROSMARINS INFO: bungalowsummer.com. 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!