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August 24, 2009

What I would do differently at a Family Reunion

Well the Family Fun Fest (aka Family Reunion) is over. We held it Sunday at our place and thankfully the rain held off until all the games were played.

The Scavenger Hunt went well except we had a problem with people getting stung by bees over near the red barn! Unfortunately the nest was around the back and we had no idea it was there. I suppose that's one of the challenges of an outdoor family reunion in the country, but I still felt bad that it happened to my family and friends.

Even though my brother was savvy enough to read my Sunday morning blog post to get clues ahead of time, his daughter and her husband, plus my 4 year old grandson, won! Little Colby knows our property very well and he knew where a lot of the items (chicken eggs, carrot for a bunny, oak leaf, a letter in the mailbox) were.

The victory photo of the winners was amusing as Colby did his Dr. Evil impersonation and held it for all the shots.

After the Scavenger Hunt we had to scramble as it started to rain. Just a light drizzle at first so everyone moved under the awnings (until we ran out of room). But just as the meal was almost ready, corn was boiling over our outdoor firepit, and food was being placed on the tables on the front verandah, it began to pour.

I had no backup plan (note to self: create a Plan B next time for eating!) and had a moment's panic trying to think where 38 people would sit in my house to eat a very messy meal! But everyone was very good natured and they either sat outside under the awnings or made do with whatever little space they could find to park themselves inside. Luckily the food was fine as our front veranda is 40 feet long with a roof.

The most correct answers to the Family Trivia Game was won by my oldest son (go figure!!) and his prize was the McGinnis Family Book I created.

What would I do differently next year?

1. I would have name tags - and I'd ask each "guest" to put their name AND their relationship to me or to my husband. That would not only be kind of fun for distant cousins to figure out their relationship, but it would also help people to know who everyone is. There are complex relationships with today's blended families and sometimes Person A can't figure out how Person B fits into the family.

2. I'd shorten the Family Trivia Game, and I would have it a bit more structured. I'd have a set time where everyone who wants to play is given the sheet of questions and a pencil, then given a set amount of time to finish the task. I thought it would be more fun if they had all afternoon and could ask other family members for help, but that just resulted in confusion and people losing interest in the game.

3. I would put up a more prominent family chart - a simple pedigree chart - and make sure everyone knew where it was for viewing

It was a lot of fun and I can't wait til the next one!


BDM said...

Good to get those thoughts down so soon after! The bees must have been an unforeseeable accident but Plan B for bad weather is a must. At the only family reunion I ever had (also at a farm) I hung up this HUMUNGOUS chart so the hitherto unknown relatives could fill in their own details. We had people from all over I'd never met before except by correspondence and kids of their kids, etc. Don't ask where I got the incredibly large paper cuz I don't remember. I haven't investigated your game yet but the whole idea sounds like a winner.

Dave said...

regarding no 1. I use Legacy for my family tree and one of the features is a name tag generator. What is nice, though, is that you can set it up so that the name tags show not only the person's name, but where he/she fits into the family tree.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Great ideas! Brenda, your BIG chart idea is perfect. I wanted to use TheChartChick and have one done but simply ran out of time.

Dave, thanks for that tip about Legacy. I've never used it so had no idea it could generate name tags with relationships. I'm going to check that out.