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Engage instead of complaining

A common refrain that makes me want to throw things is “there’s nothing for kids to do in Bennington.” Even more maddening, “There’s nothing to do period.” For those of us who literally create “things to do,” this can be disheartening.

“why don’t they”

“They should”


Megan Sherwood wrote a post in the popular Facebook Group, Bennington Blotter on July 3. “Really want to try this at maybe willow park? Would anyone participate if I started it? Or can you think of a safer spot so it doesn’t get ruined!? I think it’s so cute!”

She was referring to a painted rock caterpillar project. We got cyber chatting and she jumped at the offer of sponsored help and a plan was quickly born — not by complaining about what “they” could do, but by seizing on the opportunity to make her idea an instant reality! She will chair the rock painting committee and jointly spearhead the Bennington Rock caterpillar with the Better Bennington Corporation. North Bennington will start one as well and Benny S and Benny N will find each other somewhere in the middle of the new trail.

But first we need the rocks. And the art supplies. Lo and behold, the BBC already had them ordered for the upcoming First Friday without a plan for the completed rocks. A group of responders to Megan’s suggestion formed and now the rock painting project has gone viral in a day. The volunteers will oversee the table for rock painting not only at all the First Fridays but at the Thursday Night Lives, Midnight Madness, Junior Garlic Town, Friday music nights at the museum, and Harvest Fest.

Kids are welcome to gather their own rocks too. If they paint them at home, they can still add to either Benny. Suddenly , just like that, we have something for kids to do — along with the Splash Pad, Lake Paran, free music all around town, the Blueberry Festival at The Apple Barn, the new playground at Willow Park, Sonatina Music Camp, countless programs at the Bennington Free Library and John G. McCullough Library, gaming at Gamers Grotto, and so much more.

Come to Main Street this Friday between 5 and 9. Paint a rock. Get a treat. Buy yourself a present. Listen to free music. Play free games. Pickleball, cornhole, hopscotch, jump rope, hula hoop, work on a puzzle! (If you have other ideas for activities, email Jenny at

At 7:30, please gather around the BBC info table at Putnam Square (Four Corners) to help congratulate the 48 student artists who paintings were chosen for the new street banners out of 121 submissions. They will be presented with their downtown dollars at that time.

It will be easy to find us. We will be right next to the rock painting station. Thanks, Megan, for becoming a “THEY!”

Remember, “It’s not just Downtown, it’s OUR town!”


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