Last night we helped out with the rec department's haunted house. In no way, shape, or form am I attempting to take credit for what happened; we came in the afternoon with a plate of cookies, helped take money and did a little acting, and cleaned up a little after it was over. Other people had been there all week organizing, planning, decorating... and they returned today to finish cleaning. We were a small part of the night, but the night was absolutely amazing.
There's a long history of the rec department in our small town. Most of the focus is on sports teams, but the current group is working really hard to make it equally about community. One of the neighboring towns had been doing a haunted house event for the last few years, but for some reason they weren't able to do it this year. Our rec department decided we should, and so they did. There was an afternoon session, rated G for all ages, that had some families in attendance for over an hour, talking, laughing, and spending time together. The R showing (for violence, not language or sexual content!) in the evening had many guests screaming-- and coming back for more. More than one person said it was well executed and they hoped to see it again next year.
Seeing all these people-- from our town and neighboring communities-- come together around a non sports related event was magical. It was nice to see people talking to each other, and really nice to see so many young people volunteering their time to help pull off this event. Kids and adults of all ages working together for a common (non sports related) goal... it warmed this educator's heart. This is why I do what I do.
So thanks, rec department, for trying something new, for pulling it off, and for getting all these people together. I'm looking forward to the next one.