Searching for Scooby-Doo, a gnome and the Eiffel Tower were part of the fun Friday afternoon for those residing in the East Haven/West Haven subdivisions.
“It is nice break for the day,” resident Pam Propp said as she and her husband Ryan, along with children Kendall and Aubrie walked through the neighborhood, keeping a distance from other neighbors. “The girls are really enjoying it.”
Last week, Gov. Tony Evers declared a “safer at home” policy in an effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Children have not been in school for weeks and families have been asked to stay at home and keep a distance of six feet from other people.
In the wake of the COVID-19 restraints, Colleen Good planned a neighborhood social distancing scavenger hunt for Friday afternoon. Several residents flocked to the streets, pushing strollers, riding bikes, and walking their dogs.
“At least we are getting a break and are outside,” resident Denise Pettite said as she and her family started on the hunt.
It looked like Halloween as residents walked the streets going from door to door, but keeping a safe distance, in search of the scavenger items.
Good said the neighborhood has a Facebook group and that is how she communicated her idea with neighbors.
Good, who is a teacher, was on Facebook seeking support from other teachers when she discovered the idea.
“I used an app to create the online scavenger hunt,” Good said. “Families in the neighborhood could choose what to put in their window or on their porch for the hunt,” she said.
One family decided to go all in and use the Disney theme with a big Mickey Mouse on the front porch and Disney characters in the windows of the home. To get a point in the hunt, Good said participates were asked to sing a Disney song in the front yard of the home.
“We are trying to do a bunch of fun things and still teach kids about social distancing,” Good said. Families and friends were asked to participate in groups of five or less.
Once an item was found, hunters had to take a photo of a group member with the item and send to the app.
There was no age requirement as families with young children in strollers to older youth on bikes were seen scouring the neighborhoods for the items.
“It is a fun activity to encourage children to get outside.” The idea was to make the activity last about an hour. Good said it takes about 20 minutes to walk through the neighborhood.
The neighborhood has been a close-knit community, the organizer said. “It started last year with a block party. We watch out for each other and now is a time when people who are cooped up inside need to get outside and wave to each other from across the street.”
As of earlier in the week, at least 13 families had signed-up to participate in the scavenger hunt.
In the end, there were prizes in the form of gift cards, donated by area businesses.
“The hope is that families decide to get takeout or delivery and put the money back into a community business,” Good said.