Secret Shoaler

Number of people: 2-3

In 1987 the tradition of the Secret Shoaler was invented. It has traditionally been a “secret friend” concept wherein a person receives little gifts and clues from their Secret Shoaler and by week's end the Secret Shoaler’s identity is guessed or revealed. In order to have a Secret Shoaler you must be one.

It will be your job to make sure that every child/adult who signs up for a Secret Shoaler will get one. You should try to match younger kids up with adults or teens. You should not match adult with adult. A master list is essential in case there is a child whose Secret Shoaler drops the ball.

Consider submitting a brief and welcoming description of this activity for inclusion in the Dockside Post so everyone, especially our New Shoalers, will feel enticed to join in. At Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch make a brief announcement to explain what this is all about – feel free to dress up to attract attention. Describe the purpose of the Secret Shoaler, i.e.. to secretly leave little gifts for the assigned person. They can be poems, stones, treats at the snack bar, feathers, etc. The gift shop has some $1 - $2 items for sale too.

Have printed sign-up sheets so that every child or adult that wants to participate can put their name, room number and some other piece of information (such as favorite color) on a slip of paper. Six-twelve slips of paper (sign up sheets) should be available at every table, usually on Sunday evening or Monday. The slips should be collected mid-meal by the Secret Shoaler coordinators. Once the names have all been collected, the Secret Shoaler coordinators should write down all the names and then at the next meal go through the dining room and give everyone the name and room number of their Secret Shoaler. Be sure to emphasize that the idea is not to spend a lot of money buying things for your Secret Shoaler. You may want to set a limit on the amount spent (i.e. $5.00 to $7.00 for the entire week). A postcard with a nice note, a gift certificate for an ice cream at the snack bar or other thoughtful gestures are ideal SS gifts. Encourage people to give something small every day.

Give out Secret Shoaler assignments on Monday evening. Make sure you know who has whom, as there can be hurt feelings if a Shoaler doesn't get anything from their Secret Shoaler. You may end up with a few slips of paper left in which case you need to recruit someone. On Friday be sure to announce to everyone to reveal themselves to their secret shoalers.

Last reviewed by Kathy West - June 2018