There is no better way of connecting with the locals, making new friends while on vacation, or bringing families together if you are on the same lake during your cottage rentals. Potlucks are a great beginning. Most people know what they are but for those who do not, it’s pretty simple: plan a meal where everyone who attends and eats brings something to contribute. (And for those people who do not have the time or experience in cooking, bring the drinks!) There is always something you can bring to show contribute.
Historically Potlucks have had a huge significance to our forefathers in creating a sense of kinship at meal times. No matter what the differences may have been, when it comes time to eat, people will put those petty differences aside to enjoy a meal together where the brunt of the prep work has been shared by all who attend.
I always recommend hosting one during your cottage rentals week. It is very easy to plan if you are sharing a cottage with another family or group of friends. Just make a list and pass it around. There should always be one person who takes charge of the list, like a Gatekeeper.
When you are staying at a cottage rental and do not really know anyone, you can always be the first person to wave at a neighbor, local boater, or take a moment to introduce yourself to the local merchant at the General Store. I find that if anything is going on, the local General Store will have the “411” on local activities. Perhaps taking a moment to ask your owner if a Potluck is a good idea, would also be a good help.
A Potluck should be simple and easy, try to stay away from complex items:
>Burgers or Hotdogs (Veggie Skewers are also a good option for Vegans)
>Potato Salad, Coleslaw and/or Macaroni Salad (Vinegar Based is best)
>Baked Potatoes (pre-dressed to keep it easy for all)
>Fresh Fruit Salad
>Chips and Salsa
>Corn on the Cob
>Pop and Beer