by Rick Weinbrenner, 12-29-2014
Members of our club have hosted Ice Cream Socials over the years, and undoubtedly the party-goers have had fun at every one of them. However, since these events are not necessarily annual, and some have worked out better than others, maybe a summary of what works and what doesn’t would be helpful. There are a number of things we can do, and some that we definitely should not do when considering an ICS. This is a collection of thoughts aimed at giving any future events a greater chance of succeeding while not breaking the club treasury or causing undue hardship on any participating person or couple. It is not the last word and may be edited at any time.
We should wait until someone volunteers to host an ICS and should not try to force one on the schedule every year. Only if someone offers a possible date or two, hopefully nice days in June rather than a hot and muggy ones in August, should we determine suitability and interest level.
Before approaching the membership, it should be determined if adequate parking, space for the necessary tables, chairs, coolers, etc., and an enclosure (tent, shop, garage, etc.) in case of inclement weather will be available. If something must be rented, the host and/or board should decide how the rental cost should be funded.
Once suitability is established, we should ask for a show of hands to determine interest. If the host is satisfied with that approximate number, a sign-up sheet should be circulated. If done far in advance, it would be announced as tentative and edited at subsequent meetings closer to the established date. A map, directions, and/or website link should be provided to help members decide.
Depending on variables, it might be necessary to charge each individual a small fee, as we do with the Doll Lumber cookout. A fee would also help eliminate the continuing problem we have with members signing up but not showing up. Emphasis should be placed on giving the hosts an accurate number.
There should be a small committee to assist and work with the host. The logistics of transporting tables, chairs, coolers of ice, ice cream, soda, and so forth should not fall on one person. Any contests, games, and resulting awards or prizes should be addressed and planned out in advance.
Depending on the anticipated size of the group, and the experience of the host and the committee, a comprehensive list of required items, quantities, and cost should be developed. There is considerable information on the Internet regarding how to plan for an adult ICS. It takes considerable anticipation.
After the list is compiled, nothing should be purchased until the club storage room is searched for leftover supplies from other social events. It may well be that we already own much of what is needed.
Finding good ice cream in container sizes that fit and stay at the right temperature in a cooler is more difficult than it should be. Some of the best local brands are only available in either huge tubs or containers that are too small to be practicable. Polling the membership for ideas can help.
Dry ice packed below the containers allows the top to warm up for scooping, but keeps the bottom frozen. Carry-out ice should not be used for ice cream, but only for water, sodas, juice, etc. Gordon Food Service (GFS) had everything we needed for the June 21, 2014 Conover Ice Cream Social.