An Egg Hunt Tradition Has a Very Different Look During the Pandemic
Apr 21, 2021 | by Jennifer Acker
Every year at First United Methodist Church of Hurst there is an Egg Hunt…rain or shine. In 2019, the spring showers forced the Egg Hunt inside the building for the first time almost 10 years. That change brought a slightly new look to the Egg Hunt. With the pandemic being such a new thing in early 2020, the Egg Hunt was canceled. Determined to resurrect the Egg Hunt in 2021 amidst the continued pandemic, creativity was essential.
Instead of the traditional large-scale, thousands of eggs in the grass and hundreds of children to gather them up model, a scavenger hunt/I Spy model seemed to fit better for 2021. The 4th and 5th grade Leadership Team Members drew the designs for the eggs, staff laminated the designs, and hid them around the outside of the church building. Matching designs were compiled on a flyer and families from the community were invited to come and get a flyer and walk around the property and locate the eggs. They checked the eggs off on the flyer as they spotted them and turned in their completed flyer at the end in exchange for a Easter Egg Prize Bag filled with goodies and a pictograph version of the Easter Story as well as an invitation to Easter Sunday Services, Mobile Food Pantry, and the Day School. The bottom of the flyer had a place for name, email, and phone number to enter into a drawing for special Easter Baskets. The advertising on Facebook and NextDoor brought in many people from the surrounding community. Several families reported searching “Contact-free Easter Activities” and found our Egg Hunt listed. Spreading the Egg Hunt over an entire weekend allowed for families to come and participate at their own pace at a time that fit their schedules.
In years past, FUMC Hurst would see 300+ children at the Egg Hunt. Because the Egg Hunt moved at such a fast pace, staff rarely had the chance to visit with members or visiting families. This new Egg Hunt model traded numbers for quality connection, which was a worthwhile trade-off. About 125 children attended the Egg Hunt in 2021 and about 115 children turned in papers with their contact information on it. Just over half of those children were visitors that had never been to the church before. Half of those visitors answered ‘Yes’ to the question asking if they would like more information about future children’s events. Due to the slower pace of the Egg Hunt, FUMC Hurst staff was able to have time to visit with every visiting family.
The slower pace of the scavenger style Egg Hunt allowed FUMC Hurst staff to visit with each family and build more of a connection with them than the old style Egg Hunt ever did. The church members who attended said they prefer this new Scavenger Hunt/I Spy style of Egg Hunt to the older style. It looks like this new Egg Hunt style may be around for a while. Staff has spent Holy Week contacting the visitors and awarding the special prize baskets (which allows an additional opportunity to connect with visiting families). The style/pace of this event is now informing what FUMC Hurst summer events will look like.