How to Plan and Organize a Family Reunion

Updated on February 20, 2018
ripplemaker profile image

I joyfully strive to create ripples of inspiration to empower people to be winners of life through writing, life coaching, and healing.

Family reunions are a source of joy, especially when you come from a huge clan like I do. Although we have small gatherings every now and then, the Chua Clan decided to organize our very first "large" reunion in June 2007. Attended by around 160 persons, the affair was a success; it paved the way for better relations, as we came to know relatives we didn't see often or hadn't actually met yet.

Assign or Form Working Committees

We were fortunate to have many people willing to provide input and be part of a committee. Good planning was the foundation for the success of the affair. Whether you have a small or large group, planning is the first step to having an organized event.

Planning and Steering Committee: Oversaw the entire proceedings. Made sure all souvenir items were ordered and delivered on time. Coordinated with the resort (the venue) on the accommodations and all logistical arrangements.

Program Committee: Planned the activities and games. Coordinated with the performers (for our talent show) and assigned emcees/game masters.

Communications Committee: Made sure everyone was informed of the latest developments of the planning.

Finance Committee: Coordinated with the steering committee to know the expenses and funds to be collected.

Registration Committee: Took care of the IDs, checking in, and collecting information for the Chua Clan directory.

Memories Committee: Conducted the logo-slogan contest, created the family tree; collected photos and saved them on DVDs.

Transportation Committee: Made sure relatives were properly transported to and from each venue.

The winning logo
The winning logo
Bowling
Bowling
Olanggo Island trip
Olanggo Island trip

Pre-Reunion Activities

Before the actual reunion date, we had several pre-reunion activities. I hope these ideas may trigger your creative juices to come up with activities that suit your group's idea of fun.

A. Weight Loss Contest: Since contestants were scattered across the globe, we had to ask everyone to be honest in reporting their weights. Achieving a certain percentage (as agreed) from the person's original weight would be the basis for the winner. Prices were donated from various relatives. Those who didn't win also had to contribute a certain amount to pay the winner.

B. Logo-Slogan Contest: We appointed a person to be the coordinator of this contest. He chose the judges and made them anonymous until the revelation of the winner. The logo and slogan that was chosen was printed on our souvenir shirts, keychains and bags.

C. Trips and Outings: We organized a few trips around town (city tour, island hopping), sports activities like bowling, and eating in native restaurants for the out-of-town guests.

Program of Activities

As the one in charge of the Program Committee, I had to come up with a detailed schedule of activities ahead of time. On the day itself, we posted and distributed the schedule to everyone.

Activities were grouped into:

A. General Assembly: During the General Assembly, we were able to do the following:

  • Prayer
  • Games
  • Introducing our ancestors and each family
  • Awarding of the winners of the contests
  • Talent show
  • Raffles
  • Acknowledging the sponsors and committees

B. Break Out Sessions: Small groupings for sharing and getting-to-know-you activities. We also had optional morning exercises by the beachfront.

C. Fellowship: Meals and snacks were a time to mingle and chat with each other.

D. Free Time: We also had time where the people could swim, play, or simply laze around.

Other Important Things

A. Reunion Rules: The committee came up with certain rules for everyone to follow. The rules included:

  • Be time-conscious
  • Don't leave small children and minors unattended
  • Be safe
  • No wandering from the group without permission
  • Report illness promptly
  • Smile and enjoy the activities
  • Nobody is allowed to leave the venue for the three day, two night reunion schedule

B. Filling up of information/data sheets: All participants were asked to fill out the forms (vital information included contact numbers, birthdays, and addresses).

C. Medical Team: We rounded up the dentists and doctors in the family and made sure everybody knew them. They prepared first aid kits as well as medicines for emergency use.

D. Sgt. At Arms and Group Coordinators: We also assigned several people to make sure the rules were being followed. Group coordinators made sure their team members were all present for each activity. They also reminded their team of the schedule.

E. Memories Committee: Photographs or video coverage, souvenir items, collection of photos stored on DVDs, or quarterly newsletter to keep each other updated.

My Reflection

The success depended on several factors... from the planning to taking action, to the cooperation and participation of everyone else. What was truly important was the love and friendship that we shared. A well-organized reunion may be empty without the love that brightened it and made it meaningful.

The Chua Clan Singles
The Chua Clan Singles

Questions & Answers

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      • Trsmd profile image

        Trsmd 6 years ago from India

        These type o topic and reunion has never been heard here in India. Reason. Here the entire family lives jointly they never got separated ..anytime they wish they are available. So nothing needed for ReUnion. Thanks for SHARING:)

      • htodd profile image

        htodd 6 years ago from United States

        This is really a great reunion...Thanks for that

      • ripplemaker profile image
        Author

        Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Hi prasetio, planning is indeed necessary if you want an organized event. It is very, very, very important. Hahaha Esp. if it is a big group. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • prasetio30 profile image

        prasetio30 9 years ago from malang-indonesia

        Reunion is the best way to meet our family who never meet, or because far distance. planning is the best to make great reunion. nice hub.

      • ripplemaker profile image
        Author

        Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        It was a great reunion and we want to do again--maybe in a couple of years time. Thanks Dottie! :-)

      • Dottie1 profile image

        Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

        Hi Michelle, I really love the logo slogan idea printed on your t-shirts. I see you there in the front with your family tree t-shirt and earrings. I love your hub :)

      • ripplemaker profile image
        Author

        Michelle Simtoco 9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Hi Dottie, in the photo (topmost), I am the one on the right side. In the last photo, I'm the one in front row- middle wearing black jogging pants and earrings. LOL And yes, I was assigned in the programs committee. :-) Thanks for reading this hub Sis.

      • Dottie1 profile image

        Dottie1 9 years ago from MA, USA

        Just heard you may be taking a trip to visit family for a reunion before years end. Just wondering if you are assigned to any of the working committees. I might add it looks like great fun dancing in the road with the Chua clan. Are you in that photo? Greatly enjoyed your hub.

      • ripplemaker profile image
        Author

        Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Hi Zsuzsy and Kenny! Thanks for the feedback. Being in hubpages feels like having a family too. Maybe someday the hubbers could have a reunion?! hahaha Wouldn't that be great?

      • Kenny Wordsmith profile image

        Ashok Rajagopalan 10 years ago from Chennai

        We are a large family scattered all over and we usually reunite in weddings or someone's 60th birthday. I appreciate your more organized efforts and sharing your advice with those who want to do it.

        May all families reunite and share their love! God bless you, Michelle!

      • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

        Zsuzsy Bee 10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

        Ripplemaker! I always wanted to be a part of an enormous family just to be able to do reunions like the one you described.

        great Hub

        regards Zsuzsy

      • ripplemaker profile image
        Author

        Michelle Simtoco 10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

        Your Welcome :-) It is large! Do you know I have an aunt who is 2 years old? My grandma's youngest brother just had another daughter 2 years ago. From weddings to funerals to reunions, we are always quite a large number. Writing this one made me realize the beauty of having a large family. :-)

      • MrMarmalade profile image

        MrMarmalade 10 years ago from Sydney

        This is great.

        This is offbeat, I recently attended two funerals in the one week.

        The first person had 185 people attend their funeral and the second person had three others apart from me.

        They were almost the same age. I had known one for 60 years and the other 40 years,

        in theory they would have known many people in common to each other

        I thank you for sharing your large extended family

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