How do you celebrate Labor Day? For so many of us, it’s a seasonal marker — the end of the long, hot days of summer, back to school for students and back to work for Congress. But is there something more to it?
Labor Day was created as a day to commemorate the social and economic achievements of workers here in the U.S. For some workers, it’s a day off to remember how hard we work all the other days, a nice long weekend before we start our fall routines.
This year, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls created a Labor Day Scavenger Hunt
to help us get the most out of this “day off” and honor those who work hard for us all year. Our family was excited to get out and mark of *most* of the activities over the course of the weekend.
Friday night we took the PioneerKids night swimming in the backyard. It was supposed to be bedtime, but we had an end-of-summer surprise and spent an hour splashing and laughing together under the stars. It was the perfect start to our holiday weekend, and a great way to check off #3 on the scavenger hunt: “Get your hair wet! Get all the way into a body of water!”
Monday morning we really went to work on the hunt. We decided to start with #1 on the list: “Not everyone gets a day off for Labor Day. Find someone working and give them a thank you card!”
We decided to take cards and donuts to our local firehouse and thank the firefighters who keep us safe. Kids got out crayons and paper and made pictures and cards for the firefighters and paramedics. We remembered watching them come to the rescue recently when we saw the immediate aftermath of a car accident.
Last week on the way home from school, we stopped at an intersection and saw a horrible car accident a few feet up the road on the cross street. We got there right after it happened, just before the first firetruck arrived. Two sedans and a pickup truck were involved, and one of the cars somehow ended up on top of the other. We prayed that everyone would be taken care of and that any children involved would be comforted.
Today when we decided to go over and thank the firefighters and paramedics, the kids remembered what they had seen and how a kid involved in that accident might have felt.
“I would have been scared when that happened, and probably hurt if I was in the bottom car. But when the firetruck pulled up, I would feel better because I know they are there to help me and I will be okay.”
It was a great experience to be able to go thank them in person and let them know that we appreciate the work they do for our community.
Next we decided to indulge and work on #2 on the list: “Support your community. Eat at a locally owned establishment!” We headed straight over to Joyride Taco House for tacos and quesadillas and burritos, and fun.
Joyride is in the Gilbert Heritage District, which is one of our favorite places to hang out. We ride our bikes to this historical strip during the fall and winter. We can be found at the Gilbert Farmers Market here almost every Saturday morning, and at the splashpad under the water tower during the summers. So it was easy to choose Water Tower Plaza, a symbol of our town and this great neighborhood, as the answer to #7: “Everyone has a favorite spot in their city/town/village. Show us yours!”
We found ourselves with a few ideas and options for #5: “Find a statue of someone and tell us about that person.” Since we are a bunch of PioneerGirls, we considered going to Pioneer Park in next town over and taking a photograph of the pioneers there, the people who came to settle Lehi and Mesa, Arizona. Our own Pioneer Girl Emma Higbee is one of those pioneers! But we decided to try to keep it local and stay in our town, so we headed to the new Gilbert Arizona Temple and chose the Angel Moroni who is on the top of the spire.
Moroni is found on top of many Mormon temples around the world. He represents the Angel spoken of in the book of Revelation: “I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).
On our way home we grabbed a photo for #9 on the list: “Show us street art!” This mural is painted across the street from a school in our community. It was recently updated as an Eagle Scout project and we love seeing it when we pass by.
We got home for the afternoon and took another dip in the pool. Labor Day might mark the unofficial end of summer other places in the country, but we’re still in the heart of 100-degree weather. We’ll swim through October!
A few hours later as the sun began to set, we decided to head out to accomplish the last two items we’d be able to do this weekend. First, #10: “Be an explorer! Head out to a local hiking and biking trail and show us something unfamiliar to you.” We got the bikes out, dusted them, aired up the tires, and set out to explore. It was a little late in the day to find something new, but we did find something we love: an Arizona sunset. We rode through our neighborhood to a little lake and watched the ducks swim for a few minutes.
Then we hopped back on the bikes and headed back to the Heritage District for #8: “Summer is almost over. Womp womp. Keep it alive by showing us your favorite summer treat!” We headed straight to Dairy Queen for a traditional family favorite, dipped cones!
We had a great weekend remembering those in our community who help make it great, and enjoying a day off as a family. I think we’ll make this Labor Day Scavenger Hunt a Pioneer Family tradition!