Summer is upon us once again! Time to break out the flip flops (unless you live in Hawaii- they’re year-round here) and BBQ grills! For many military families, summer is also known as PCS season- the time of year where you’ll find the largest amount of military families moving to new duty stations. Hosting a neighborhood BBQ is the perfect way to combine a seasonal favorite while also getting to know neighbors, new and old!
Although hosting an event for your neighborhood may seem like a daunting task, I’m here to show you that it doesn’t have to be!
Start planning early
I can’t stress this one enough! Getting an early start on planning an event helps it go much more smoothly. I’m a planner by nature, so as soon as the glimmer of an idea enters my mind, I’m sitting at the kitchen island writing down ideas and making lists.
Start coming up with an idea of who will be doing the grilling (is your grill big enough, or will you need a neighbor to help provide another?), what you’ll be providing, where this will take place (someone’s front or back yard, a community center, etc.), and just how much of the neighborhood you’ll be extending invitations to.
Determine what will be served
There are actually a couple of ways that you can do this, so that the entire responsibility doesn’t fall solely on you. The first BBQ I attended in my neighborhood was hosted by the neighbors who graciously provided everything from the meats to side dishes to drinks. You can find heaps of inspiration for summer grilling here!
If this seems like too large of a task to handle or too much of a financial burden, break it down so that attendees can help provide food. You can ask your neighbors to provide their own meats, while you provide the sides (hint: potatoes are always a great inexpensive option), or just simply ask that they bring whatever is it that they’d like to eat.
Invite the neighbors
What’s a neighborhood BBQ without the neighbors, right?! When you sit down to plan, determine how big you want your shindig to be. Just the families in your cul-de-sac, everyone in your quad? The way it would work in my neighborhood, we’d invite the five other families who’s houses face our main road. Just do whatever works for you!
The invites don’t have to be fancy by any means. If your neighbor has it’s own Facebook page, you could post like that. To make it a bit more personal, you could also go door to door to hand out a simple card printed from your computer.
When event day arrives, don’t forget the whole reason for this get together! Introduce yourself to the new families along with the strangers that you’ve been living next to for the past two years! I’m a sucker for ice breakers and team building events. There are SO many fantastic ideas that you can find on Pinterest!
Don’t forget dessert!
As everyone begins to head out on their separate ways, don’t forget to send them off with a sweet treat to cool them off. Individually packaged ice creams such as Klondike, make serving virtually mess-free and so simple. Firecracker Popsicles a favorite patriotic option of mine!
Regardless of how you choose to host your event, know that you’ll be aiding forming life-long connections between many of the military families within your neighborhood.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MSB New Media & Unilever. The opinions and text are all mine.