EL DORADO, Ark. (03/27/20) — Neighborhoods all across Union County and other areas are participating in a viral activity that has families coming together for some much needed humor to cope with the Coronavirus.
The activity is called “bear hunting” but they’re not searching for actual bears. They’re searching for teddy bears or other stuffed animals.
“We rode for about an hour and a half all over the area and ending up finding 127,” Mandy Montgomery said.
Montgomery is a mother of two boys and lives in Taylor. She heard of the activity through a mutual friend who posted it on Facebook.
It was a fun way to get the kids out of the house and into their communities while still practicing social distancing guidelines with those that came in contact with.
Montgomery found herself relaxing from her nursing duties just seeing her kids happy and socializing with others. They all rode bikes around the neighborhoods while on their bear search.
“They’ve not left the town of Taylor in weeks so for them to get to actually see other people even if it was just a wave,” she said. “It meant a lot to them.”
Communities all over south Arkansas and even the nation have participated in the fun. Jessica Moore, assistant principal at Yocum Elementary, also saw a post on Facebook.
She tagged neighbors and friends and within minutes the response was “pretty rapid” which took her by surprise.
“Within 30 minutes there was at least 50 people who had commented with different streets that they were going to put their bears on,” Moore said.
There are over 150 bears around El Dorado/Union County. Poeple have the bears in their windows and lawns. Businesses have even participated.
Jana Ponder and her daughter Jada Myles drew a picture of a bear on their fence. Moore said no matter the age, it’s been a sight to see.
“I had an elderly couple I’m going to say in their 80’s and they had their windows down and they were driving real slow and they were actually looking for bears,” Moore said. “They stopped and chatted for awhile and they said they had had fun out doing this.”
Moore took her 2-year-old and 10-year-old daughters. Her youngest wasn’t all that impressed but instead of making the activity just a ride a long to find the bears, the two made it into a competition.
“She won,” Moore said.
Brandi Camp has a daughter in college and a young grandson. Although they’re not at home with her, she still put stuffed animals on her porch just to support.
“I still wanted to participate for the people driving by our neighborhood just so they can see some cheerful things,” she said.
The activity has brought smiles to many faces and most importantly, brought communities and their families together.
“Although we used Facebook to kind of get this going I think it’s important that families engage and play and stay together during this time and find some happiness,” she said.
If you’re in Union County, you can check out their Bear/Egg Hunt Facebook page
If you’re in Camden, you can check out this Facebook page to learn more information
If you’re in Magnolia, you can check out their bear hunt locations on this link.