How are you going to get all these activities planned and done? Volunteers, of course! Find out who and how to involve volunteers in your planning as well as on reunion day(s). The more the better! Click here for podcast.
The Spaulding Family Reunion organizes many activities for it's very large reunion. This happy group was touring Ashville, North Carolina, at the 32nd family reunion.
All reunions include activities if even just sitting under shade trees catching up. But most, anymore, plan activities for all ages and interests that are at the heart of why members look forward to coming to reunions. Following pages include a plethora of possibilities and should reap something new, something you'd not thought of or a twist on something you already do. Thanks to all the reunion organizers who have so generously shared their stories and ideas. Won't you share yours? Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
activities are from many reunions. Some are links to pdf files. Click in for some great ideas. We invite you to e-mail
us your special reunion activities.
Wondering what to do at your reunion?
And how to present a program?
The Seidemanns line up for their portrait at their 80th annual reunion in Newburg, Wisconsin. Click to enlarge.
The Seideman Family Reunion has a full day of outdoor activities with games and contests listed. An announcer uses a PA system to call participants to the games to stay on schedule and fit everything in. Watch video of portrait preparation:
The Wilson Family prints its daily itinerary on a paper fan so family members can be aware of what's going on while staying comfortable in the July heat.
The 2012 Saffore-Scyffore Family Reunion Program The 2012 80th Wilson Family ReunionProgram The 2011 Moses Family Souvenir Booklet
Thelma Harper Jones, heart and soul of the Banks Hill Outlaw Family Reunion (since day one), shared the program for their 30th anniversary reunion. You go, girl!
The Gottung (Gruny Vetter Eck) Family Reunion in Wausau, Wisconsin, used this program. Thanks to Sandy Smith, West Des Moines, Iowa.
2010 Saffore-Scyffore Family Reunion Celebration Program "We are a family, DRIVEN by Divine Purpose”
Burnette Family Contemplation
Georgia Burnette writes about a questionnaire the Burnette Family Reunion used. After the traditional Candlelight Ceremony (prayers for relatives no longer with us and for family members unable to attend). After this somber and eloquent interlude was a perfect moment to ask each person to reflect in writing on his/her role in family affairs. This was a self-evaluation and answers were not shared or discussed. The exercise was intended to heighten awareness about participation in family matters and to encourage individual pause and consideration about working to move the family forward or sitting back and letting it happen.
Before you check in to your hotel, you will want to have what the professionals call a "pre-con" meeting. See a suggested outline to include everything you should consider for the meeting.
A mystery for reunion entertainment
During the first evening of the Waukegan (Illinois) Township High School (WTHS), Class of 1947 reunion, classmate Pat Booth-Lynch, Lehigh Acres, Florida, announced that she had written a mystery, A Touch of Gold, involving a reunion. She distributed copies to anyone who wished to read it. Since it contained a rather unique surprise ending, she hoped it would stimulate some thought and perhaps inspire a bit of controversy as to the true culprit in the mystery. It wasn't her intention to have class members concoct a solution prior to the end of the gathering. However, the following day there were several stimulating informal discussions about who really killed the villain. Booth-Lynch was amazed to discover that so many attendees had read the script later that evening and formed some fascinating conclusions.
distance planning results in Wheeler Family Reunion success by Nancy Getz
We really liked the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly in Black
Mountain, North Carolina. We rented four cottages (one held 16 people),
all within five minutes of one another. The atmosphere and environment
was very nice and the staff was good to work with. Cottage prices
were very reasonable.
of kids were kept busy with organized activities. It was so nice
at night to hear them singing. Their routine and our activities
never clashed. We had 14 kids between ages 10 and 19. Many activities
were planned for them and they also enjoyed the swimming pool, tennis
courts, baseball and soccer fields. The Alpine Rope Tower was a
highlight either for climbers or cheering climbers! Softballs and
bats, soccer balls and a volleyball were all furnished.
Ridge Assembly has a beautiful outdoor amphitheater where we held
our "Lack of Talent Show." Fireflies (lighting bugs) were
still around to delight the kids!
family is scattered from Alaska to Florida and Hawaii to Pennsylvania!
I live in Anchorage, Alaska. This reunion was for siblings of my
mother and father, our spouses, children and their spouses, their
children, and some of them have spouses and a child or two. A lot
of relatives were meeting for the first time. Others hadn't seen
each other for at least 20 years.
designed matching t-shirts and had them made at a shirt store in
Illinois. We made name tags from a tree branch cut in slices, painted
designs and our names on them and attached plastic lacing to hang
them around our necks. Holes were pre-drilled.
also had "mini-interest" groups. I recruited volunteers
to share hobbies, talents or skills with the rest of us. At the
beginning ... my blind sister, Betty, and her new husband did a
mini-session on "Living Skills for the Blind" which was
very interesting to the whole family and made communicating easier.
Later, I noticed one of the kids talking to her and to show her
something, he nudged her hand with the object. He had just learned
she can see with her hands! We had crafts, a knot tying group and
a campfire lakeside one evening. Music and singing was spread throughout
the week. A family member wrote The Wheeler Theme Song which we
sang often to the tune of There's Nothing Finer Than To Be In Carolina
In The Morning!
made evaluations on my laptop on the last day of the reunion for
everyone to fill out! WOW! We learned so much for our next reunion.
It was definitely a big hit and many said it was way beyond their
expectations. Everyone wanted another reunion, for sure. Most of
the kids wanted another one in one year for a month! I don't think
we sisters would last that long! Adults were about 50/50 wanting
the next one in two or three years and again for one week. About
the author Nancy Getz is married, retired and has lived in Anchorage, Alaska,
for 22 years. She has three daughters and 11 grandchildren who live
in Washington and Arizona. "Staying in touch with family is
very important to me and I finally have "extra" time to
contribute to organizing our family reunions, which I dearly enjoy
and love!" she says.