Planning a family reunion can be a daunting task, start with family reunion committees. It can also be a most rewarding and enjoyable one. Careful planning and attention to detail will make a reunion one to remember.
The challenge is to form an effective Planning Committee with one person designated Family Reunion Chairman. The chairman should be someone with good organizational skills and the time and desire to do it. A Reunion Planning Committee can be formed to determine:
- Family Reunion Chairperson
- Budget of the reunion, how to cover costs
- Type of reunion if there is a theme, length of time it will be
- Number of days to be spent together, keeping in mind travel time
- Each committee’s chairman, members, and duties
For families that get together every year, a weekend is probably enough time. For families that don’t get together frequently, spending a few more days together could bring them closer and renew a sense of belonging. Grandparents, especially, relish the time spent together.
For a longer reunion involving many family members, a family member can start contacting as many family members as possible to get input on interest, dates, and locations. If there is a big family wedding or other major family get together, that will have an impact on setting the date. The longer time that is available for planning will give everyone a chance to make preparations. Time off work and school needs to be scheduled, as well as time to make lodging and travel reservations.
The number of sub-committees will depend on an estimate of family members expected to attend. Friends and neighbors are usually not invited unless they are considered family, and are willing to contribute time and funds needed.
For smaller groups, one person could probably handle more than one assignment, while for larger groups the committees should include as many people as possible to share the workload. The more people willing to volunteer and accept responsibility will make the whole process smoother.
Knowing approximately how many people to plan for, their interests, and family budgets will determine the location. Someone’s home might be available for a smaller group. A pavilion in a park may work for the reunion lasting a single day. Reservations will be necessary for this well ahead of time especially in the summer months. Keep in mind that weather can be a factor for outside plans. Rental properties can vary greatly in amenities, expense, and size. Some are available year around for a variety of experiences.
A successful and joyful family experience will take organization regardless of location.
Setting a date at least a year out will promise the best times and locations, and give people time to plan. Nothing will work for everyone, but once it is decided, stay firm.