Michael Walker’s hands are sore.
Walker and five other volunteers started crafting wooden eggs on Saturday for families to pick up from three different locations within New Territory and decorate however they’d like. Families will then display the newly-decorated eggs somewhere at the front of their property.
Five days and 1,000 eggs later, a new kind of New Territory egg hunt has begun.
“I’ve been here eight years and we see people do egg hunts in the park,” Walker, the executive director of New Territory, said. “We know that’s part of the tradition of the community.”
The egg-hunt tradition was at risk when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines in March recommending people not gather in groups or be within 6 feet of others due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
That’s when Walker got creative.
“I thought, ‘how can we still do something fun for the little ones?’ This was it,” he said.
Think of it like “Where’s Waldo?” except families drive around New Territory’s 42 neighborhoods looking for eggs bedazzled by fellow community members from the safety of their vehicles.
Walker buys the wood and donates it to the volunteer woodworkers, who work the wood into its egg shape. The woodworkers then lay the newly-crafted wood out in the sun and spray it with disinfectant before delivering them to the three drop-off locations within New Territory. Residents can pick up an egg at their leisure – free of charge -- to decorate at their homes. The process is entirely volunteer driven and no New Territory HOA fees are used to purchase wood.
Walker said the activity was created with families in mind.
“This is something the family can sit down together and have fun,” Walker said. “It brings that little bit of normalcy to the week.”
“It’s about getting your mind off everything, and making sure we’re not gonna sit in front of the TV for the next two or three hours, but we’re gonna go paint something and design it.”
Because families can “hunt” for eggs from their vehicles, residents are now able continue the tradition while still maintaining safe social distancing.
“On our Facebook page, people are putting their eggs up and talking about how much fun they had and how excited their kids are and that they’re looking forward to driving around and seeing everyone else’s eggs.”