Picnic FAQ


1) Do the students know about the picnic if I don’t invite them?

No. We do not notify or invite the students, so unless the BWF member invites them, the students do not know about the event. If you cannot attend, just don’t mention it to your student(s).

2) If I cannot attend, will BWF arrange for someone else to take my students?

No. We are sorry but we do not have a way to bring students whose BWF Friend Families cannot attend. Just don’t mention the event to your student.

3) Can I bring guests who are not BWF members or who are not my international students?

Yes. You can bring guests as long as you bring enough food for your group and some to share. We encourage you to bring friends and family who may be interested in hosting a student in the future.

4) My students cannot attend. Should my family and I come without our students?

YES!! Please come and meet the other members.

5) How do the students get to the picnic?

You need to pick up and bring your students. There is no bus service to Lake Lemon, and BWF does not van or bus the students to the picnic. We realize some students have cars and may prefer to drive. If they do prefer to drive, please give them directions.

Here is a link to a Google map point for Riddle Point on Lake Lemon that you can use to get directions from your starting location.

6) What time should we arrive? When do we start eating? How long does the picnic usually last?

Please try to arrive by 1:00 p.m. We start eating around 1:30 p.m. All activities are usually finished by 4:00 p.m. This means you will usually have your student(s) back to the university/dorm around 4:30 p.m.

Please note that we do NOT allow people to “eat early” because they or their students need to “get back quickly.” This is a large (75- to 200- person) social gathering, and an opportunity to take a break from studying– in a beautiful natural setting. Please make sure that your students understand that the earliest they can expect to be back at the university is 2:45 and that assumes they “eat and run” and do not take part in the other activities that might be planned such as boat rides, corn hole and other games. Make sure they understand the time commitment involved in accepting your invitation.

7) Is all the food shared?

Yes. Please bring a MAIN dish or a BIG SALAD, PLUS a side dish. It is a pitch-in, pot-luck event. All the food is shared, so bring enough food for your group and some to share. (Think LOTS of food!) It is better to have too much food than to run out.

Please note: When you arrive, we will obtain your dish and place it on the tables for you. There will be signs for BEEF, CHICKEN, FISH, PORK, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN, and DESSERTS.

[Vegan=no dairy, eggs, meat, fish or poultry. Vegetarian=no meat, fish or poultry]

A number of our students and members are Muslims, Hindus, Jews or strict vegetarians or vegans and thus have dietary rules which they must follow for religious, ethical or health reasons; they trust us to ensure that the foods we say are pork-free, meat-free, vegetarian or vegan, really are.

8) Should I ask my international students to bring food?

NO. The BWF Friendship hosts bring the food. The students do not bring food. The students are the GUESTS.

9) What else should I bring?

Please bring serving utensils for your dishes. You may also bring your own eating utensils and plates; there will be plenty of plastic wear and plates provided by BWF, but we like to be as green as possible. Label your dish and utensil(s) with your name, and please remember to take them home with you! Finally, there are picnic tables, but if you prefer your own chairs or blankets to sit on, please bring them.

You may bring games such as board and card games, cornhole, soccer and footballs, frisbees, and etc.

10) Can I bring my pet?

No pets please, as many international students are terrified of dogs and cats.

11) What happens if the weather is bad?

The picnic goes on, rain or shine, hot or cold. There is a nice large dry shelter house that has fireplaces which we light if it is cold.

Any other questions? Please email bloomingtonworldwidefriendship@gmail.com.

See you at the PICNIC!!