by Jennifer Schueller, Family Reunion Expert
How nice is it when we meet an old friend or family member by chance? Of course we'd all love to stay connected but it can prove to be humanly impossible. Family reunions are an excellent way to strengthen these bonds. And unfortunately, reunions just don't plan themselves. Someone has to put it all together and this "someone" may be you. To help you nail down the major elements of your event and free your mind to be creative about ways to achieve the real goal, we've put together a nuts-and-bolts guide to planning a family reunion. We'll focus on big questions that will help you know you are on the right track and free up time to plan for the more meaningful aspects of the event.
SET THE TONE FOR YOUR REUNION.
Planning a successful family reunion can be overwhelming, so go easy on yourself and remember the key elements that will make your family reunion successful. Everyone will have a different picture of the ideal event in their mind. Most would agree that a successful reunion brings family together and allows them to reconnect, share stories and experiences, and strengthen their understanding and love of their heritage.
Pick leaders from different family groups to form a committee or alternate families. Start by organizing date and place. Make sure there are plenty of options for accommodations, dining, and activities. At Odyssey Resorts, we host dozens of reunions each year and have a wide variety of activity and schedule ideas. We even go one step further and offer a free planning kit that covers every step of the process.
DON'T DO IT ALONE. RECRUIT!
This is, after all, a family reunion. Involve family from the start. This will also aid in attendance. Having a wider range of people at your call can make it more interesting and a true reunion. Survey the group's skills and talents and ask for volunteers. And count on the experts at Odyssey to play a part in this as well.
OFFER A WIDE RANGE OF ACTIVITIES.
At Caribou Highlands Lodge we often host guests who enjoy catching up on cooking, being in the outdoors, outdoor sports and activities, games, and swimming. We also have a "program sharing" option where guests at our resort can do day trips up and down the shore and enjoy activities at our other resorts. We have kayaking, canoeing, bikes, kid's programs, and more. Looking for more ideas? Sharing family photos, dining in a restaurant, church services, and sightseeing are all great group activities.
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