• By Kirk Gaw

Hunt For Bear In Windows Cheers Local Kids During COVID-19 Scare

It isn't easy being a kid to begin with. All that growing up and with acceptance. Then, there is the fragile World that children live in. Their delicate minds need positive reinforcement along with productive action. Right now our entire World is in the midst of a pandemic that many do not understand.

Coronavirus involves illness and in many death. It is a source of fear. But, this dark thing hasn't stopped many Walkerton area adults from thinking of the children and certainly, has forced them to be creative with ways to keep the kids in good spirits.

Enter residents like Sheila Gomez, James Cain, Candy Boylan, Kim Pinkert, Shawn Burrell Packer, and Leann Holland! They know about the current trend stemming from the children's book "We're Going On A Bear Hunt" written by Micael Rosen.

Candy Boylan and husband enjoyed knowing the local kids were cheered with the bears in the window hunt during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Brightening the windows started out as a fun activity for parents and kids to get out of their houses during the COVID health crisis after the schools closed. It requires individuals to maintain a 6ft distance from each other for protection from droplets of human fluid. "Bear Hunt" allows neighbors to put those precious stuffed animals in their windows so that the children can spot them from a safe distance outside! I know it brings joy in their young lives!

“As soon as our children got home from their last day at school they dove into our toys and put bears in almost every window,” said one anonymous resident.

What began as a fun educational activity to get outside has now brought the community closer during a time when social distancing is the norm.

“We have seen other families looking on their daily exercise walks and we have seen other families in their yards and of course we’ll speak from our truck but we’re maintaining that safe distance,” said one resident.

Big, little, pink or brown, an assortment of animals is being seen all around.

“We have been probably on five bear hunts and we have seen, I would venture to say, about 12 bears. Seems like our whole community just got involved. It would be nice to see bears in windows of businesses too. For the children. It’s just really neat to see how many people actually got involved.” From Koontz Lake, Walkerton, and North Liberty.

Candy Boylan said, "I saw the idea from southwest Michigan. Families were walking around and giving kids things to point out. It brought smiles and laughter! With all the negatives happening this is a good positive. So, lets get every house and the stores!"

When COVID-19 is long gone, the bear hunting memories will still be there in hearts, minds and in photographs.

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