A discussion on community with my walking group

Submitted by Joyful on November 5, 2012 - 10:48pm


Discussing community with my regular walking group.

While living in a small town would seem ideal to having a sense of community, it is hard to break into this small town. One member said that she had moved from BC to this town and in BC she knew her neighbors. She would be able to have a glass of wine with some of them but here she notes she does not even know her neighbors. She was thinking that during the recent wind storm-who would she call on for help? She has only met one of her neighbors.

Attempts at community building have been started by the town. People think events such as community barbeques with small groups are a good idea, but when events have occurred, few make it happen.  There is a shortage of people volunteering to organize these events and few people attend them.

Church and family are big community places where people find social engagement.

Volunteer activities such as a local thrift shop and a non-profit shop are another such place where people can find community. For those working, while their work environment provides community, sometimes their home community is merely a place they sleep. This is what is called "bedroom towns" or communities since you sleep there, but do not know your neighbors or your community. 

The need for a stronger sense of community was felt by all. Volunteer agencies requiring help, work, church, family, the hockey rink tend to be some of the places that the group notes have given a sense of community

Initially when the walking group began by a few friends, it was opened up to the community via the local rag. This did not draw in people rather relationships with each other and personal invitations brought people in. Now there is a devoted group that meets weekly for a walk and of course, coffee. This is how this group builds community.  




Tell me more how the walking group is structured? Is it the same day and time each week? Do you meet indoors to start and then head out? Do you think it will continue through Winter?

How far do you go?

What do you do about people's different walking speeds?

Thanks for the tips,


walking group

This informal group has met for over 6 years now. We meet Sat mornings and walk in a variety of places-town, local woods, sometimes we make a morning adventure out of it going to places like nearby towns. On particularly miserable days we have gone to the indoor track at the community centre.

We tend to walk for 45 min then head to a coffee spot and chat.

Our walking speeds are close but sometimes the long legs go ahead.