We had a blast!
by Mary T
Background: This is year 18 for my mom's paternal line. We started, & for several years, met in a tent on my parents' farm. We then moved to a small church where we had to eat in classrooms - it was awkward but "doable". Three years ago we moved to a church with a fellowship hall so we could all eat together & where there is a family life center building for the kids to play.
Three or 4 years ago, on the Friday evening before the Saturday reunion, we started what I've labeled "Cousin Cookout". If my mother's health permits, we gather at the farm for a cookout & visiting. This gives us more time to catch up & on Sat, to visit with others. THIS year a cousin none of us had seen in 50 years (not a typo) & his wife were able to come. What a blessing!! as he has very limited information on the family. Only my immediate family was told of his plans -- what fun to surprise the other cousins who attend regularly!! Other cousins new-to-reunion attended as well.
On Sat, for the first time, we played Family Bingo after a covered dish noon meal. My sister found Family Bingo Creator during an on-line search. Using names of those who had attended previous reunions, ancestors, & locations no 2 cards (8x11) were alike. Then we played 2 "righty-lefty" stories for door prizes rather than draw as in the past. One story we adapted to fit "our" family. Everyone enjoyed both games immensely. Because we are centrally located, my branch is host family each year. We have already started planing for 2012...earlier than in previous years, but we want to add to/carry on with the Bingo,etc.
I hope this gives someone else some ideas to be added to or adapted into your plans. I'll keep reading other posts for things we can borrow as well. Happy Reunion Day!!