More Than a Book Club: New and Fun Activities for Chapters

By Sadie Rothman, AHA Field Coordinator

Are you leader or a member of a local humanist group? Are you at a loss for fun events to organize aside from monthly humanist book club? Do you wish you could pick the brains of some of the other 150+ local groups for new and exciting ideas for group activities? Well look no further!

If you’re feeling particularly green in the thumb, do as the Humanists of the Palouse of Moscow, Idaho did and build a garden together. Like this group, you could gift a garden to a local homeless shelter, or to another charitable operation, or simply establish a communal garden for anyone in the group to tend to and make use of.

The Flagstaff Freethinkers of Flagstaff, Arizona recently organized a family dance party. These hip humanists partnered with Café Ole, a local restaurant, which donated not only the refreshments for the event, but the dance floor, as well. With a suggested donation of $10.00 per person or per family, the group raised $800.00 for a local charity, One New Education, and they had a great time doing it. To throw your own fun family dancing fundraiser fiesta, consider teaming up with a local restaurant and charity in your area, or even use the funds you raise for your group to plan more events, bring in speakers, order humanist uniforms, or what have you. So whip up a Facebook event, invite your humanist pals (and everyone else!), and dance the night away.

Picnics are a popular choice for many of the AHA’s chapters and affiliates, but why not make it an international event? Of course, this feat is made a bit easier for the Humanists of North Puget Sound in Mount Vernon, Washington, only about 50 miles south of the Canadian border. These humanists enjoy an annual picnic with the British Columbia Humanists. For your group’s next picnic (or BBQ, wine tasting, potluck, etc.), consider looking up the nearest chapter or affiliate and suggesting your two groups meet halfway for a joint event. What better way to make new connections and new friends than an afternoon of sharing sandwiches on a checkered blanket?

As humanists, it is not the supernatural we revere, but rather the natural that we hold in the highest regard. With this in mind, take a cue from Humanists Doing Good of Grand Junction, Colorado. This group will soon be camping, spreading seed mix and stalking willows along a stream with another group they met at the Colorado Secular Conference. Humanists Doing Good can be an inspiration for your group, even if you’re feeling a little more indoorsy. For example, you, could hold educational humanist discussions, lovingly referred to as “UniversiTea,” by Humanists Doing Good, or consider hosting a humanist movie night.

There’s nothing more fun than being fit and fabulous, so make like the Humanist Forum of Central Kentucky from Lexington, Kentucky, get yourselves some snazzy t-shirts, and form a running club. In Central Kentucky, they meet to run together every week and attend scheduled races together as well. They’ve already snagged the name “Pirate Runners,” but don’t fret. Club names like “Dawkins Dashers,” and “Steinem Sprinters,” are still up for grabs.

If any of these ideas sound like something your local group could enjoy, I encourage you to give it a try! And if your local group does something fun and awesome not listed here, let us know about it in the comments. Perhaps you can inspire other humanists to try to strengthen the community of their local group by having fun together.

Sadie Rothman is the field coordinator for the American Humanist Association.