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The organizer behind a Castle Rock hiking group that took off in 2016 is back at it in 2018, this time organizing a group for the sole purpose of providing busy mothers an opportunity to get out on the town.
Inger Hiller started her group, Castle Rock Hikes!, in October 2016 to offer free and easy-to-moderate hikes to the local community. Members were often new to Colorado and looking to build new relationships in town, she said.
Then last year, Hiller said she saw need for another type of group — one to provide mothers of any age a network of other moms, and weekly social outings. In November, Hiller organized “Castle Rock Moms Social Group," which can be joined on Facebook. Her hiking group is available on Meetup.
Castle Rock Moms Social Group is open to mothers of any age, including grandmothers, and has members with children as young as infants or old enough that they've left the house. The group plans events on the weekends and weekdays, during the evenings and during the daytime. Some events are just for the women to get together and socialize, and others allow members to bring their children.
It's all in an effort to accommodate each woman and her circumstances, Hiller said.
“I jumped right in because she's so good at planning events,” said Gretchen Marquez, who met Hiller after participating in the hiking group. So far, Marquez has attended get-togethers for drinks and game nights, which connected her with other mothers in town.
The opportunity to meet more people was what first attracted Barbara Brammeier, a mother and grandmother who moved to Sedalia two years ago. Being retired and new to town made it hard to meet new people, she said. Through this group, she ended up meeting a woman who is not only a mother she can relate to, Brammeier said, but also a neighbor.
“It's wonderful,” she said. “Not even realizing you have a neighbor who's looking for the same thing that you are.”
Mary Sieker, a mother of three adult children, said the group helped her find community after moving to town last year.
“Once they're not at home, it's not always easy to find other people who understand what's going on, especially moving to a community with no kids,” she said. “It's nice getting out. New adventures. New friends.”
Marquez, a self-employed mother of two, said finding a group like Hiller's has been important to her as a mother, where life is often focused on taking care of children and family around work. The Castle Rock mom's group, she said, offers an opportunity for mothers to spend time on themselves.
“It's just so important to take care of yourself,” she said, “and to still have your own identity.”
Hiller said there are plenty of groups available to mothers, but many are strictly online forums or more geared toward younger women. She wanted an organization that would be inclusive and bring women together for face-to-face interaction on the local level.
“The gist of my group is,” she said, “to go out and meet in person, to give each other support.”
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