21 Apr 2015

Be Our Guest On Nantucket

Walt Disney cornered the market on hospitality when he issued the invitation to the world to “be our guest” at his legendary and renowned Disneyland parks. From the moment guests enter the grounds of any of the Disney properties, they are instantly made to feel welcome and special. With Mickey, Minnie, Pluto and the gang serving as the enthusiastic greeting committee, warm hugs or fist bumps abound as visitors are invited to cast their cares aside and let the Disney family cater to their every whim. No wonder it’s called the “happiest place on earth!”

Nantucket is often referred to as “Disneyland for grown-ups.” From her charming cobblestone streets and quaint New England architecture, to her pristine beaches and beautiful manicured gardens, there are countless reasons why Nantucket brings out the kid in so many. Nantucket is a happy place on her own, but what makes visitors truly relish their experience on Nantucket, is the “be our guest” hospitality exhibited by the island residents. Shop keepers, restaurant staff, camp counselors, hotel personnel and many, many others work tirelessly to ensure Nantucket guests have a five star experience.

While the focus is primarily on the comfort and care of the seasonal guests during the busy summer months, Nantucket people (both year round and seasonal residents) do a great job of looking inward during the off season months to make sure their friends and neighbors also feel valued and special. This past week a local organization called Spiritual Heritage Nantucket launched its first “off season” Nantucket Community Dinner. The purpose of the dinners, which take place the second Tuesday of each month October-May, is to offer local people a night off from their hectic schedules, a FREE meal and some genuine friendship and hospitality. The theme of the dinners, “Devoted to One Another in Love” sums up what the organization and the people of Nantucket are all about.

There are other local organizations that also work hard to make sure the people of Nantucket are well cared for. Meals on Wheels, Nantucket STAR, Nantucket Wheelers, PASCON, A Safe Place and many others are filled with volunteers whose single focus is to do whatever they can to help ensure the needs of their Nantucket friends are met. It’s these behind the scenes efforts that help create a foundation for the island people to extend that same caring and hospitality to its visitors. As one volunteer said so well at the Nantucket Community Dinner, “I do what I do because you do what you do.” We nudge each other on toward excellence.

As you begin making plans for another Nantucket summer, consider joining one of the many local organizations in their volunteer or fundraising efforts. Perhaps lend your talent as an artist, a tech geek or a scholar to mentor some aspiring young people on the island. Do what you do, so they can do what they do.

Devoted to One Another

Shellie Dunlap
Shellie Dunlap - A Nantucket Experience

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