Community Spotlight: Brainerd Lakes Area Newcomers Club Is Back
Many parts of the community have come together to help bring the Brainerd Lakes Area Newcomers club back into town.
“We just felt that it was really important that we have a way to welcome new people to our community and try to get them locked into a group of friends. Once we get people here, we want people to stay here,” said Brainerd Lakes Community Foundation Executive Director Karl Samp.
There have been several versions of the group in the past, including when Karl’s in-laws joined back in the 1950s.
“They moved here in 1957 and their whole network of best friends were people they met at the newcomers club for 36 years until they passed away,” Samp said.
Organizers hope the club will stick around, and most importantly, that people will join and say “yes.”
“Any opportunity when you move to a new area, I say “yes” to. I think it is important to get to know others and see different elements of the community and to meet different people. So it has been fun saying “yes” to a lot of different things,” said Paula Chapulis, a new Brainerd area resident.
And saying “yes” to the call of action is the club coordinator, who is excited to start back up the newcomers club.
“I was born and raised here, and I feel like this area hasn’t really been that welcoming. We kind of wanted to get something where people could meet the other newcomers and just feel welcome and more at home,” said Amanda Armstrong, Brainerd Lakes Area Newcomers Club Coordinator.
However, Amanda is not the only local who participates in the club’s gatherings.
“One of the things that I didn’t realize is there is people here who are from the area and also newcomers, Which is a brilliant idea because then you can ask questions about people who are actually from here,” Chapulis said.
The club combines social gatherings, an open community and the “cool” factor in an effort to make newcomers feel welcome and hopefully stay in town.
“Well, it’s really fun for one and I love doing it. I think it’s great to bring people together and let them know you are here to help them,” Armstrong said.
The get-togethers are focused on local opportunities to get newcomers involved.