Family Reunion Retreats: Plan Early and Plan with Others Involved
in decades and centuries past, in today's world, extended family
members often live hundreds if not thousands of miles from each
other. People often move to locations where jobs and opportunity
present themselves; or to parts of the country or the world that
suit their preferred lifestyle. Things were much different even
a few decades ago, when 90% of Americans settled within one hundred
miles of the area that they either were born in, or grew up in.
In those times it was common for children to grow up knowing their
extended family members.
Not surprisingly, a distribution of relatives over time has resulted in a drifting of family ties as well. Today children often grow up without really knowing their grandparents or aunts and uncles. And more extended family members are even more separated from each other. One of the simplest and most productive ways to counter this "ancestral drift" is to plan an extended family reunion. A family reunion allows children to connect with their history and with contemporary relatives that might live in a different state, region, or country.
While almost everyone recognizes the advantages that come in attending
a family reunion, few would consider being the instigator of such
an event. Often this comes down to a sense that planning a family
reunion is an enormous task not easily accomplished. While planning
a vacation that includes you, your family, and near and more extended
relatives that may live half way across the world, can be an overwhelming
task- it need not be as complicated or as difficult as you might
Tip #1 - Plan Early: Family Reunion Co-ordination Takes Time:
When it comes to planning a family reunion just a few tips can
help to simplify the task greatly. Tip #1- plan early. In other
words, don't expect to plan a summer family reunion in the previous
spring. Not only does it take a while to find and book a location
and arrange for transportation, but - especially in the case of
family coming from long distances - a lot of notice is essential
in allowing them to incorporate the family reunion into their
plans. So how long is long enough? Well, a year is a good rule-of-thumb.
Planning a year ahead of time guarantees the greatest chance of
success for your reunion.
Tip #2 - Involve Others in the Planning:
A second tip to help you plan a successful family reunion is to involve others in the process. The truth is, no matter how good you are at multi-tasking, planning a family reunion all by yourself is not easy to do. Involving others allows you to actually enjoy your part of the planning process. So remember the rule of thumb in planning any such event- delegate, delegate, delegate! Doing so not only makes your personal burden lighter, but it also creates an ethos in which others begin to take a vested interest in the success of the family reunion as well. And the more people who share this sense of "ownership" the more likely that the event will turn out to be a raging success beyond your wildest dreams.
Beyond these two tips- which are the most essential, the third
key is choosing the right location. Big
Cabins offers the kind of family reunion accommodation that is
both inspiring and functional
. Big Cabins features large,
Tennessee mountain lodge cabins that can comfortably accommodate
up to 58 people. And if you're planning a group retreat that involves
even more people that this- we can always set you up with two
adjacent Smoky Mountain cabins. These striking mountain Smoky Mountain Cabins - Homes
offer ultra-modern facilities in a spacious environment that is
nestled amongst the idyllic splendor of the surrounding Smoky
If you take care of these three aspects: 1.)plan early, 2.) involve
others in the planning process, and 3.) choose an inspirational
and comfortable location/lodging facility while plotting your
family reunion, you're almost guaranteed a successful event. Of
course there are many other things you can do to put your group
gathering even that much more "over the top". The following is
a list of just a few simple ideas to help make you the extended
Extra Tips on Making Your Family Reunion a Hit:
1.) Pass out or email a list of upcoming birthdays and
anniversaries of extended family members to the entire group.
This will foster connections before and after the family retreat.
2.) Ask each family to contribute a short "family history
profile" along with some photos. Later you can make an album up
that includes these stories and photos.
3.) Make up a trivia game that spotlights some of the
elder members of family. This shows honor to the elders and educates
the kids about the family history in a way that is fun and interactive.
4.) Have a contest where the kids all write a short letter
outlining "why family is important". Then have everyone vote on
the best letter after they have all been read out loud at the
family reunion. Have prizes and plaques on hand to celebrate the
5.) Once the reunion is drawing to a close, try and recruit
people to help put together an annual newsletter which outlines
developments in each of the families involved. This keeps everyone
in contact after the event and also makes future family reunion
planning that much easier as well.
These are just a few helpful ideas to make your family reunion
come off without a hitch. Really it doesn't take much to make
your family reunion a success
. All that's really necessary
is a little forethought and some time spent putting together the
details. Remember that when it comes to choosing a location, the
staff of Big Cabins is always on hand to help with every conceivable
detail. We are highly familiar with accommodating the needs of
large groups- whether they are family reunion groups, corporate
retreat groups, church groups, or youth groups. We can supply
almost every form of audio-visual equipment you might need for
presentations, we can help to cater your group meals, and we can
even help to make reservations for you in the dining establishments
and/or recreational establishments of downtown Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg,
and Sevierville - all of which are only minutes away from the
stunning setting of your very own spacious and luxurious Smoky
Mountain group cabin rental.