January 20, 2012

What To Do In Flagstaff

At my church the women have a group called the Activities Committee. Last year I was asked to be on this committee. I helped with putting on a few of these activities and had a lot of fun doing it. Then several months ago, a scary bomb was dropped in my lap.

It wasn't realized by me, or the woman who oversees our little group, but I was called as head of the committee. Which basically means that it's my job to come up with the activities we will be having on most months. This was a relief to the other woman (who still oversees our group and plays a HUGE part), and very exciting and scary to me.

This isn't something I've ever really done before. The thought of coming up with activities for women ages 20's-80's, single/married/widowed, with children and without --- that everybody could enjoy, was a bit well ... daunting. Exciting, but daunting.

On Tuesday, we held one of these activities. I came up with the "brilliant" idea to make binders for the women that were full of every possible thing I could come up with in Flagstaff for family dates, couples dates, and dates with other families. I also wanted this to be a binder people could go to when they have out-of-town guests. How great it would be to put information into a guest's hands and say "Pick what you'd like to see. That's what we'll do." I know that I never know what to suggest. This would make it almost too easy.

I knew this would be a large project, I guess I didn't realize just how much time I would be putting into it. I went all around Flagstaff, made many phone calls, and had fliers and brochures mailed from anyplace I could think of, begged, pleaded, and gathered. We couldn't see or use our dining room table for a week because it was completely covered in organized piles of information. After gathering all of this wonderful information, I had to come up with a way to organize it all into categories that made sense and would be easy to use/find. This took a lot more time than I would have thought.

What I ended up with was 10 piles of information. I had what was in each pile written down on a piece of paper, and then put each of the piles into their own bags. On Sunday evening, I met up with 4 other women from our committee. The 5 of us spent 2 hours filling 35 binders. That was 10 hours of work just to fill the pages!! When we were finished, we had 35 binders with 10 page protectors in each one. Each page protector was filled with the fliers/brochures I had gathered for that category.

So what are these 10 categories? They are ...
(1) Menus: 11 menus from local restaurants.
(2) Museums & Observatory: 3 museums and our local observatory.
(3) Indoor Fun: anything that was held indoors and really physical. And what there weren't fliers for, I typed out the information for it (Like bowling).
(4) Our Public Library: with the bookmobile schedule, calendar of events, hours, services, and anything else you would need to know.
(5) Especially For Kids: This was Story Times, Animal attractions, movies, and kids workshops.
(6) Music & Arts: Our local talents for art, opera, theater, symphony, voice and more.
(7) Monuments and National Parks: Information on 8 different places to visit, plus a booklet on even more.
(8) Miscellaneous Activities: From railroads and haunted houses to cooking classes and Arizona Cardinals training.
(9) Maps and Miscellaneous Information: Visitor Guides, magazines, and city maps. 6 things that really show you Flagstaff and the cool sites not far out of town.
(10) Outdoor Activities: Everything I could find that was outdoors.

I also had 2 other pages printed out. Other Fun Things to Do: which listed all the random things that didn't have fliers or really have a category. And Game Time: lists lots of games for families/couples/friends to play.

I typed out and printed cover pages for each section in the binder that included the category and everything that it contained. I wanted it to be easy to use, and easy to locate the specific things one would be looking for. It also made the binder more appealing to look through. Turning pages full of brochures could be intimidating. This made it fun.

Overall, I had about 60 hours of my time invested in this project. The binders were passed out on Tuesday. I hope and pray that they will be appreciated, used, and loved. I'm also hoping that there was something in there for everybody in all stages of life.

I know that I'll be keeping my binder forever. It's a personal goal of mine now to do everything inside of it. And now I have the perfect place to keep anything else I may discover to do around town. I've already added a section for Sedona, and I know that I'll have other sections for nearby cities added soon as well.

I think these binders turned out pretty well. Not too bad for my first time doing something such as this. =)

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