Today is the official first day of summer! School is out for many and the weather is heating up. It’s time now for barbeques, swimming and hopefully some relaxation.

Don’t let the summer go by without taking full advantage of all the ways you can make friends and learn new skills. The warm months of vacation and outdoor activities are the perfect time to connect with your friends and neighbors. Here are three ways to build your community this summer:

  1. Volunteer: Giving back to your community is a great way to get involved. Link up with a local group that provides food or takes care of the environment. You’ll be able to connect with your neighbors and learn about your common values and interests. Volunteering is great to do as a family, too and teaches your kids the value of helping others.
  2. Join a community group: Your neighborhood or town probably has a wealth of opportunities waiting for you to discover. You can help maintain a community garden, check your local library for book clubs, join a committee to plan fun activities in your neighborhood or workout with an exercise group. Check out your town’s community resources or use a get-together website to find something that looks fun for you and your family!
  3. Learn a new skill: Take time this summer to learn something new by taking a class. Again, your town’s website will probably have lots of resources. Parks and recreation departments often have class catalogs featuring summer activities and classes for all ages. Take a cooking class, practice yoga, learn sign language or take on some craft projects. You can find a class you’ll enjoy and connect with others who enjoy the same activities.

When summer is sadly over, you’ll have had great experiences and earned a deeper appreciation for those around you if you spend just a little time community-building. Tell us about the ways you connect with your community!