A group of pre-school age children wearing hardhats and holding shovels turn the first shovelfuls of dirt at a ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on a new Head Start Center on the Spirit Lake Reservation in North Dakota. Colorful balloons and ribbons surround the children.

Celebrate each step of the project, even the boring ones

I have so many stories from the amazing communities in Washington and Idaho that I toured and supported last month. People are doing heroic work to make their communities better.

A new recreation area and ballfield is in process in Deary, Idaho. The next step is to install a culvert across part of it. Inspired by the Idea Friendly Method, Shane said once the culvert was done, they could mow the field and hold a community softball game. The field wouldn’t be finished, but it would be good enough for a gathering and celebration of progress. I love it! And I want to add to it.

Right now, as soon as possible, let’s have a ceremonial groundbreaking for the culvert. You know the type, where officials in hardhats use golden shovels to move the first shovelfuls of dirt. But instead of just officials, involve the kids who will use the future ballfield. And instead of matching golden shovels, have everyone bring their own shovels.

When we toured Orofino, Idaho, they were about ready to start on downtown street improvements. And Pullman, Washington, will start on new sidewalks soon. Let’s do a ceremonial groundbreaking for those, too.

Celebrate every single step of progress, even the mundane. And involve everyone you can in the celebrations in small but meaningful ways.

Keep shaping the future of your town,


PS – The recording for the Rural Collaboration Webinar is now available. You can still sign up if you missed the live event.