Dropping one of my volunteering jobs


It is the one thing I always wish I had more of. There never seems to be enough time to get everything – writing, work, volunteering, parenting, housekeeping – done. So, I finally decided to give up one of my volunteer jobs – Activities Committee Chair for our neighborhood.

I am not sure how much time this will free up, and honestly, I am not dropping it because I don’t have time. I am dropping it as my children are getting older and I am tired of not having help with our 3 activities we do each year.

I joined the Activities committee back in 2007 – I think. I am not totally sure how long I have been a member. I do know that I was on the newsletter committee from 2005 to 2015. That is probably how I joined the Activities committee. At the time, I was just one of the members. But as those other members’ children grew older, those members moved on to other things and I took over.

I never really minded. As I always say with groups like this or the PTA, if you have good people there to support you, running these things is no problem. And for many years, I had that group, and the work isn’t hard.

Our most popular pool party game – kids must find the gummy worm hidden in the pile of whip cream with only their mouths.

We currently have just three activities each year – 2 pool parties and a Fall Festival. The pool parties are easy since we use the same formula. We serve popcorn and ice cream sundaes. Sometimes we add in dinner of pizza or hot dogs or even chili dogs. We play at least one game – usually the same one each time. Sometimes we add another game but usually enjoying the pool is enough. And then we give away prizes to the kids – pool/summer toys in June and school related items in August.


Then there is the biggest event (in cost, volunteers, and time) – our Fall Festival. I held my last one yesterday.

Fall Festival 2013

For this event we have 8 games, face painting, prizes, candy, food and for a number of years even balloon animals. We have served dinner (pizza or chili dogs). We have done cotton candy, and yesterday we did snow cones in addition to popcorn. (Popcorn is at all our events as our neighborhood association has a popcorn popper machine.)

While the pool parties are super simple and I could do them probably by myself, the Fall Festival is more work. There are more prizes to buy, cleaning up the games from last year, organizing the door prize drawing, figuring out food, and securing volunteers. That last one is a big one. Volunteers are my biggest problem whether it is for the neighborhood or the PTA. People want events but they don’t want to do the work behind them.

In this case, I am usually looking for teens who need service hours to volunteer. And it is always a scramble to get people to sign up and then actually show up. Every year, I worry about having enough help. Some how it comes together but I sure won’t miss the stress of finding volunteers.

But now that my kids are older (11 and 14), I know it is time to turn over the reins to another mom with kids the age that these events are geared toward. And while I don’t know how much time this will free up, I am definitely looking forward to not being stressed about the Fall Festival next October.

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