Do you have a family reunion coming up this summer? Reunions can be plenty of fun, but unfortunately, they often turn into events half of the family dreads. Here are seven things to do at a family reunion to prevent boredom, encourage family interaction, and make your next reunion an event to remember.
#1: Meet someone new.
See someone you don’t recognize? Instead of avoiding eye contact and skirting by them, offer a handshake and introduce yourself. You might make a new friend or at least have an interesting conversation. (And if you see someone you do recognize but you can’t remember his or her name, shake off your embarrassment and reintroduce yourself. Chances are he or she doesn’t remember your name either.)
#2: Gather contact information.
That new person you just met? Don’t forget to ask for an email address or phone number. Someone in your family needs to be the gatherer of important information – why not let that person be you? Once you start collecting contact information, don’t forget to store it somewhere safe. Adding this new person and contact info to your FamilyArc account might be the perfect way to ensure you can contact him or her again if you need to.
#3: Ask a question.
Family reunions provide a great time to start an impromptu interview with an older relative. Now is the time to ask Grandpa about his war experiences or Aunt Ethel about her heyday in the ‘60s. The interview doesn’t have to be formal – in fact, you’ll probably capture better stories if you view it as a simple conversation. But you may want to have a video camera or audio recorder on hand in case the stories get interesting.
#4: Snap a photo.
This one will probably come naturally. But in addition to the traditional photo of the whole family, take some candid snapshots throughout the day. These will make great additions to your scrapbook or to a story on your FamilyArc Storyline later.
#5: Take a video.
The same logic behind taking photos applies to taking videos. Capture a few seconds of the family volleyball match or conversation around the dinner table. And if you do any interviews with family members, don’t forget to film those! All of these videos will make great additions to the slideshows and stories you create later.
#6: Collect family recipes.
Find a new favorite dish at the dinner table? Ask for the recipe. The chef will be delighted, and you will have a new family recipe to pass down to your kids. If you want to go a little deeper with this idea, send a quick email to family members beforehand, asking them for their favorite family recipes. You can easily gather these recipes together into a small gift to help family members remember the reunion.
#7: Create a time capsule.
This could be a great way to capture a slice of time for future generations to remember! Ask every family member to donate something to the capsule. Ideas could include a letter, a joke, an inspirational or funny quote, a photo, or some other item that will remind family members of the special day. (As much as possible, encourage donation of items that can be digitized. That way the memories can be stored in a permanent, central location for future generations.)
Want a little help gathering stories, photos, and videos at your next reunion? We would love to help! Contact us to set up a live demo or to learn about our membership packages.