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Old 12-29-2002, 08:12 PM
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Lightbulb Need ideas

I am co-coordinator for my families reunion this coming year. I have hosted this event in the past, but would like to do some special things to make this one memorable. I am collecting recipes and hope to put together a simple, inexpensive recipe book to give out. Any more ideas? I am also giving my kids stuffed autograph dogs to go around and have their relatives to sign...to encourage the kids to talk to these older "aunts, uncles and cousins".
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Old 12-30-2002, 04:16 AM
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Something fun that was done at my last family reuinion was: we are scattered all over the country, Siblings, cousins, etc) so we were all asked to bring an item that was unique to our part of the country. We were asked to bring something appropriate for an adult as well as child. We then wrapped them, tagged with adult or child and placed them in a big pile. Everyone filled out a slip of paper with their name then a couple of us took turns drawing names. That person was then given a gift from the pile. We saw things from soda (Cheerwine, a North Carolina beverage. I took it and a cousin who had attended college here and was familiar with it was the recipient!) to baking items from a mill local to the person providing it. There were all kinds of neat items brought for the exchange. I don't recall most of them now but everyone used a lot of imagination in choosing items unique to their area of the country. It was fun too!

As for food, if you don't do a pot luck I highly recommend either catered or deli trays. A couple of my nephews organized our last reunion (55th wedding anniversary for m parents) and they bought food prepared so that we could all enjoy ourselves with a lot less work involved. A donation was accepted towards the cost.

Above all have fun and accept help!
Jayne
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Old 12-30-2002, 05:06 AM
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thanks! if you think of anything else, let me know. i love the idea of bringing things native from their areas. we are doing potluck. and i hope to find an outdoor location to do it in. it will be this coming september.
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Old 01-10-2003, 04:38 PM
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Robin I just looked at your name and see you're in Springdale. Have we talked about this before? The family reunion we attended was in Rogers, out on Beaver Shores to be exact. A good location to hold yours would be Prairie Creek if that isn't tooooo far for you. It has nice swimming areas and boating activities.

Jayne
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Old 01-15-2003, 12:06 PM
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reunion ideas

On my mother's side of the family, her sister (my Aunt Pat) has organized with a lot of help the Barr - Morrison - Brown Family Reunion in Mt. Shasta, California. The reunion takes place Friday - Sunday, with the main get-together on Sunday afternoon.

A few things we do include having the food catered (the "main meal") on Sunday as well as asking those who are able to do so to contribute nibbles (veggies, chips / crackers, dip, deli meats, salads, a dessert or two, etc.).

Another family member has organized Games for Kids of All Ages (water-filled balloon toss, relay races, other kid-friendly games).

There are organized trips to the Fish Hatchery and local Mt. Shasta Museum where various family members before us have contributed their time and talents.

You could also have a photo display and written oral history recollections of family members as well as what genealogy material(s) you have gathered. This has been an interesting subject for our families. Could include a family Bible or Torah or other religious information.

Well, you get the idea -- ! Have fun!

Julie
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:17 PM
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Thumbs up Ideas

I prefer having my events at a common area that is not mine or another friend /family members home. With that said, when I host with my chapter I choose a sight local to a majority of the folks coming and which is easy access for handicap-able people to move about. I also bring a main desert, a few munchies, and something hot to drink (including accessories).

When I attend our family reunion, it has been planned out months in advanced, usually at a nearby park for families with small children to play, and local enough to shops /stores for those who forgot to bring something, or window shop, and it is usually held over a summer weekend - near the end.
Each family brings a favorite dish - fruit, salad, snacks, beans, vegetables, meat(s), etc to share with everyone else with a BYOB (bring your own beverage) which you don't have to share, but some do anyway.

Everyone who shows up early assists with setting up food and dining tables, everyone who stays later helps with clean-up.

Our family Matriarch and her children have gotten into a habit of bringing scrap books from days gone by - when all of our families use to attend at the very same park we have been going back to for the past few years now (1950's - late 1970's, and again since 2008). Their books contain family who have not been with us since at least 1998, and newer members (marriages and births). The books are laid out with one on each table, passed around, while "oohs, ah's, and I remembers" are mentioned as fingers point to something or someone on the pages. I can't say anyone young nor old has gotten tired of this yet, but then again, at one time I had four Great Uncles, and three Great Aunts, plus my grandparents were still alive (and most of their families were still local) when a lot of these pictures were taken... Many are not in color either.

As for what the kids can do, the same thing adults have done for years...yard games - horse shoes / coin toss, badminton, croquet, volley ball, soccer, tag / touch football, and play on the playground (if one is provided). If you have accessible water source and the day is warm - occupy it! The place we go to use to not have a playground because it is on the water front. Over the years the community decided a playground was a necessity due to "red-tides" - one was built, and it includes water sprayers... more like misters, but the children enjoy them anyway. There is also a bathroom house with water fountains outside, so there is little excuse about no where to change clothes, or accessible water on hot days.

Rent camp ground spots and have a family reunion that way - with same set up as above, everyone brings something to the camp ground, and everyone cleans it up.

Visit a zoo / aquarium / or other educational site of interest and have everyone "chip" in for the fee in and meals.
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:55 AM
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Family Reunion

We are having our family reunion this coming September but what I did in the past was made a "questioner" form for everyone to fill out...name, birth date, place of birth, marriage(s) children, grands....etc and those that were not able to attend, I sent them a copy to fill out...some responded while others didn't however, I will take those questioners back this year to have them maybe add anything new that happened since the last reunion plus have extra's on hand that maybe didn't attend the last time and never filled one out. These are especially most important for the genealogy "album" that I have started. Good luck
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Old 08-20-2011, 07:11 AM
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I have been in charge of many family reunions Ours usually only total 75 relatives or so. One thing I did that resulted in a lot of fun was...before the picnic, I bought some large bristol boards, and on them I called them Team #1, Team #2 etc. I filled them in with each person's name, so they became a team for the day, and I made sure we put equal amounts of older people, kids, and so on. This made a really good way for some of the children to see who their relatives were. Make sure you have games for older folk, such as pie eating with oven mitts and a blindfold on. Every thing that anyone did that day was recorded on their team board. You could get a recorder that couldn't participate, such as a pregnant cousin, a person with a disability, etc.
Eveyone was so anxious to see what totals their team got, that they waited around until the picnic was over. We made sure we had REALLY good prizes for the winning team.
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Old 07-16-2012, 03:55 PM
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there's some really good ideas here. I'm surprised I haven't seen this thread before and replied to it, anyway I've found it now... LOL
I'm usually the one to organize our family reunions around here-on my Dad's side anyway. I have a couple of cousins' who organize several surname reunions on my Mom's side-I actually got to attend one of those this summer.
Anyway, we usually try to have our reunions at the local park in the county next door. They have a large play area for the kids and I try to reserve the pavilion next to it. The first year was really successful- I thought, but it hasn't been as successful in the next couple of times.
The first year I contacted a lot of family members-mostly online and some I never met. I got a good response from just about every one and was really looking forward to meeting some new family members. We did potluck, with bring your own drinks. Provided charcoal for those who wanted to grill out. I asked a cousin to organize games for the kids and she did a great job, even providing small prizes for each child.
In contacting people online I asked them to provide email addresses and snail mail addresses for other family members who may or may not be interested in attending a reunion. I sent actual invites through the mail to those not reachable through email. At the reunion I had a form to be filled out with basic info and if they'd be interested in another reunion and or getting a newsletter if we were able to start one (which we haven't started to date). Everyone met cousins they didn't know, worried about an older couple who were supposed to be there (from about 4 hours away) their kids made it but they didn't-still don't know why they didn't show, but found out they were OK at least..
The third year we decided to do the reunion in our county and we included the other side of the family (mostly we were inviting my grandfather's family, this time we included my grandmother's family). We decided to do it inside at the park building, there was plenty of play equipment for the kids and the adults could play shuffle board and a couple other games too. It was a washout. We did potluck and had more than enough food but we didn't really get many people to attend-from either side of the family.
Last year we did a mini reunion with my cousin and her son and my family. Hoping next year to get more people involved and interested for at least a one day reunion.
I also like to take all my genealogical info and ask everyone to bring pictures and info to exchange.
One reunion I attended had a pirates chest and hunt for pirates treasure. The child finding the treasure got the chest, of course there were prizes for almost everyone there too..
Robin, Jayne and anyone else doing reunions-how have your reunions turned out and did you use any ideas here? What other ideas have you come up with and are you still doing your reunions??
have fun, Pam
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