Life in Community

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Life in Community

“What Do You Guys Do for Fun?”

May 21, 2018 by

“What does your young adult group do for fun?” It’s one of the most common questions I hear from Bruderhof for a Day visitors, but it doesn’t usually take too long for them to discover the answer themselves: we have a lot of fun together. Typically, our young adult group gets together for activities twice a week – below is a list of our top five for the summer.

Games
On many summer evenings, pick-up games call us outside. Volleyball is a perennial favorite; if you join us for a Bruderhof for a Day, chances are you’ll get to show off your spiking skills – although if volleyball isn’t your thing, there are a lot of other options. Myself a Frisbee fanatic, I always push for Ultimate or KanJam, but we also play softball, soccer, prisoner’s base (a team tag game), speedball (like Ultimate, but with a soccer ball), and other outdoor games.

young people playing volleyball

Work Projects
I know, I know, does this really count as fun? But honestly, it’s always a good time, whether we’re weeding spinach, filling in potholes in the driveway, making pizza for a community dinner, or insulating pipes in a new house.

people working in a garden

Community Events
Besides preparing decorations and performances for annual celebrations like Easter, Christmas, and New Year’s, we’re always hatching ideas for other events. Last summer we spent a lot of our free time memorizing lines, sewing costumes, and rehearsing scenes for a performance of a classic fairytale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” which we presented for a fiftieth wedding anniversary. In February, when winter had turned into an endless blur of sub-freezing drizzly days, we invited everyone sixty and up to an “Escape to the Bahamas”-themed banquet, where Hawaiian costumes, corny jokes, a tropical menu, and intergenerational fellowship revived all our spirits. Soon we’ll be preparing for the annual kids summer festival, where Fox Hill transforms into a fairground of sorts for a day, with home-built dunk tank, water slide, bike obstacle course, and food galore.

kid on a water slide

Hikes
We live in the Hudson Valley. ’Nuff said.

people hiking in the woods

Singing or Dancing
After community dinner on Saturday evenings, we’ll often build a campfire, roast s’mores, and talk or sing. Accompanied by guitars or other instruments, we’ll sing folk songs about nature, justice, and peace, well-known hymns, spirituals, or evening songs. Or if spring fever strikes, we might spend an evening folk dancing; our repertoire includes dances from Israel, Jamaica, England, Korea, Hungary, Ireland, Russia, Germany, Iraq, and America.

people dancing

The next time you drop in for a visit, don’t be surprised if you get a completely different list of favorite activities. From boating to bird-watching, card games to camping, everyone has a different idea of what constitutes a good time, and we sometimes argue about how best to spend our free time. But because we enjoy spending time together, it doesn’t really matter what we’re doing: even if someone’s ideas seem zany, I’m learning that if I’m flexible and forget myself and my own agendas, we can build on each other’s inspirations and turn anything into a good time.

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About the author

Shana

Shana Burleson

Shana Burleson works as an editor for the Bruderhof’s publishing house, Plough, and lives at the Fox Hill Community.

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  • Today, we live in a world where fast and convenient has captivated society. However, old traditional values and people gathering to enjoy, and practice life's natural process is not as prevalent, as in the past. I reached-out to your community in the past in reference to information regarding your community-living on the east coast (N.Y.). God Bless!

    Malachi
  • We were lucky, in years 70s, we did not have computer games or cell phones to play games. We were playing soccer, volleyball on the streets. We all were together. Rich or poor children altogether. We had blood-brotherhood. We shared everything we had. The simple games and peacefull. Today children and youth people spend most of the time with electronic games. They do not know the street and nature. They do not know how and where to vegetables and fruits grown. They do not know real friendship and brotherhood. They are grown up non-social and without real friends. I pray God that help our children to know the peace and brotherhood. Thank you sister Shana.

    METİN ERDEM