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Thurmont to host Swap Events

Hillary Rothrock

(5/1) Help the planet & your wallet

Who doesnít like finding new things to use? Who doesnít have things they could live without? Maybe those planters youíve been saving arenít quite your style anymore. Maybe your kids have outgrown those old cleats, bats, and gloves. Maybe you just donít have the time toÖ you get the idea. Never has their been a more fun way to get rid of your unused stuff while also discovering new and interesting items and socializing with other locals with the same interests.

Thanks to environmentally and socially conscious neighbors, item swaps are becoming the new block party of our time. Leave your cash at home! Swap events are all about getting rid of your unwanted items and finding new (to you) useful things. Whether itís gardening supplies and plants, clothing and formal wear, or sporting goods and outdoor adventure gear there are local swaps happening all around you throughout the year.

Spring happens to be the perfect time to throw swaps for outdoor enthusiasts because of the nice weather. Spring cleaning has everyone ready to purge unnecessary and unwanted items that just didnít fit right, have seen little wear, or just are not used anymore for many reasons. Lots of people donate their items to organizations to be sold. However, a much simpler, fun, and locally beneficial way to dispose of unwanted items is to participate in a swap party! It saves you and your neighborsí money, reuses items, reduces the waste sent to landfills, and recycles items into something useful again.

A lot of people get confused because flea markets are sometimes known as "swap meets", whereas swap events are more like a potluck where everyone brings items they wonít miss and then can freely take items they can use. Often, volunteer organizations arrange a swap event in order to provide the community a much needed free gathering where locals can find useful items instead of them ending up in a landfill. A single person can even arrange swap parties with a goal in mind, such as benefitting a favorite charity.

The best swaps happen when non-profits or individuals team up with local like-minded companies. Area businesses can assist in the marketing and costs of running the event including food, consumables, venue, clean up, and assistants. Not only does this provide an opportunity for area business owners to give back to the people that support them, but also to interact with the community in a positive way.

If you are interested in attending a swap event (I promise youíll be hooked): First, find a local swap party near you. Second, find at least one item in your home that you can donate to the swap and take it to the drop-off point by the required date. Sometimes Swaps have you bring your items just prior to the party and put it in the correct area yourself. Third, show up to the swap ready to take home your newly found treasures! Be sure to set aside enough time to try on clothing, especially at a clothing intensive swap. Most swaps take approximately 1-2 hours depending on quantity of items, level of organization, venue space, and number of participants. The whole point of a Swap is to have fun and reduce, reuse, and recycle.

There are two Swap Events happening in Thurmont this Spring. On May 20th, the Thurmont Green Team is hosting a "Gear Swap" at the Thurmont Community Park in the Large Pavilion from 10-11am. They have teamed up with swap sponsor J. Rothrock Outfitters located at 3 East Main Street in Thurmont to provide tickets and organize the donations by type and cost ahead of time, making it more convenient, faster, and easier to shop for participants. The Green Team secured the venue so that children can attend and play while parents "shop" with their tickets obtained by donating items. Remaining items will be donated to local scouting and sports groups, and if necessary, sold with the proceeds going towards area groups in need.

The swap encourages all sports, dance, and outdoor items. Some examples of potential donations include: folding chairs, picnic blankets, tents, backpacks, camping, fishing, dance shoes, clothing, hats, sunglasses, bats, balls, lacrosse equipment, helmets, etc. There will be a prize drawing for all of those that donate an item! Participants can increase their chances of winning by donating more items or expensive items. Those who would like to participate can drop off donations now through May 15th at the shop. Questions can be directed to or in person at J. Rothrock Outfitters.

For the local plant and garden enthusiasts of all ages, the Thurmont Green Team scheduled a "Plant Swap" for Saturday June 3, coinciding with the first day of the Thurmont Farmers Market. It will take place at the Thurmont Regional Library parking lot from 9:30-11am. Arrive early and bring any unwanted plants, pots, seeds, tools, bulbs, and garden ornaments, etc. Questions regarding the plant swap can be directed to Cindy Poole at

If you are interested in hosting a swap or have questions about swaps in general you can direct them to Hillary Rothrock at Hillary began attending clothing swaps 6 years ago and has enjoyed refreshing her wardrobe twice a year while also taking leftover donations to clothing banks in 2 states and the Dress for Success program. We hope to see you out there! Happy Swapping!

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