Planning a Successful Family Reunion

a sunset over a body of water

Summer is a great opportunity for family to get together and reconnect.  Kids are off for a long summer vacation making this a great time to plan a family reunion.  Whether it has only been a year or 5 or 10, it is important that families make the opportunity to get together.  In the past, most families lived very close to one another.  But in today’s age, families have begun to spread out not only throughout the country but the world.  It is not only a great opportunity for people to reconnect with loved ones but also for their children to see where they come from and meet long lost cousins, aunts and uncles.  Planning a family reunion isn’t as daunting as it seems.  Yes, trying to make a large group of people happy can be a bit challenging. But follow these steps and you will have a successful family reunion on your hands.

Plan far in advance. Trying to coordinate schedules as well as gathering everyone’s information, especially that long lost cousin that only Aunt Mildred speaks to, can be difficult.  Working out at least a year in advance will give you enough time to set a date and gather everyone’s information.  Make it easier by creating a Facebook page for your reunion.  This is easier to communicate.  Just make sure the 21stcentury challenged folks are still informed about the reunion. 

Nail a location. Location can be hard, especially if everyone lives so far from each other.  Consider what there is to do in that location and if it is a place that the majority are willing to travel to.  You are always going to have that few that say it won’t work for them and you will drive yourself insane trying to make everyone happy.  It’s best to just go with the majority and those who weren’t too keen on the location can decide whether or not to suck it up or disappoint Grammie.   Keep in mind the ages of children who are going and the types of kid’s activities there. No one wants to try to come up with activities to entertain a bunch of kids all day.  Make sure your location is kid friendly.  Sure, hosting your family reunion on a canyon in front of a raging river seems beautiful and relaxing.  But every year, a toddler falls into the river and drowns.  Make sure you pick a place, especially when you kids are attending, where there are no immediate hazards that they can get into.

Delegate.  As much as we would love to do everything on our own, make sure you delegate tasks.  Not only will it relieve some of the stress on you but it also gets everyone excited and feel responsibility to help make sure that this family reunion goes off without a hitch.  This should not only fall squarely on your shoulders.  With a large family, those are lots of connections and skills you can use. Maybe someone owns a printing business or knowns someone who owns a printing business to help print family reunion signs.  Delegate food so that everyone brings something to pass around and share.  The more food the better! 

Plan activities and games. Much like planning the location, you want to make sure whatever activities and games you plan, you should be taking consideration of your crowd.  Lawn games are great activities to have readily available to everyone to play. Bring your Rollors set!  It is a great game because everyone at any age can play.  It is easy to learn and while still holding a conversation to catch up with those long lost family members.  For extended family members, plan a “getting to know you” type of game.  If your family is more athletically inclined, have some fun active sports and if your family is more scholarly driven, be sure to include some fun trivia.

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