Got an indoor pool?
Then you have the concept behind the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by the Jacksonville Parks and Recreation and the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club. The Underwater Easter Egg Hunt was introduced to the Department in 2009 by previous Boys and Girls Club Director Lori McClain. Because of the increased participation, it has become a yearly tradition. The idea behind the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt is simple. Children ages 5-10 are divided into age groups and a thousand eggs per age group are tossed into the water. Each child is given the opportunity to get as many eggs as possible. Once all of the age groups have completed their “hunt,” the children are allowed to swim in the indoor pool. The duration of the event is 2.5 hours.
The Underwater Easter Egg Hunt was established as a means of providing a fun and exciting twist to a normal Easter Egg Hunt and it provides the community of Jacksonville with a great recreational program. The program serves as a fundraiser for the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club and many community partners are involved in making the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt successful. Some of the community partners involved are Jacksonville Parks and Recreation, Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club board members, Wal-Mart, Pizza Hunt, and Western Sizzlin. Prizes are raffled off for each age group and some of the prizes include Splash Zone passes, memberships to the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club, bikes, towels, Easter baskets, movie passes, and much more. The community needs that are fulfilled through the event include an opportunity to showcase the aquatic program to the community and to provide a way of introducing water programs to children who might not otherwise be involved. The Underwater Easter Egg Hunt provided an avenue for children of all walks of life to be engaged in a recreation program that is not typically offered to all communities.
The operating budget for the Underwater Easter Egg Hunt is $400.00, which covers the eggs. In 2009 we had 97 participants and the participation over the last two years has increased 30%. The Parks and Recreation Department provided 11 paid staff and the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club provided 2 paid staff for the program. 2 volunteers were also available. This program can be adapted to any holiday or special occasion. For example, the Department held a Pumpkin Patch Plunge in October with orange and black eggs. Happy Hunting!