Family Reunion Checklist
Thinking of planning a good’ol family reunion this year? What would be better than bringing everyone together for a nice visit with fun outings?
Memories made a reunions last a lifetime and they’re a great way to introduce your child to the importance of keeping familial relations. A successful family reunion takes effort and begins well before you even get there. Here’s a checklist of things to do before having your reunion:
All that “reunioning” is bound to make people hungry. One of the first things to discuss before a part like this is the food. With the all inclusive food packages available to groups at the Wilderness Edge, all you have to decide as a group is when you’d like to eat. After having the meal just bring your plates to the bin area and you’re done! We take care of the clean up so you can take care of your family. And remember, for longer stays, it’s understandable that all meals don’t have to be with the reunion party.
- Decide your meal times and have the leader enter it into the online booking form.
- Do a survey of the families for food allergies and enter the person’s name and email address into the special food area of the booking form.
While the whole point of a reunion is to play together it’s bound to happen that you’ll want to spend some time away from everyone too! You can have both group activities and down-time so individual families can check out their own interests. And of course be flexible, this is a vacation after all. If you compose yourself as the vacation conductor and people are groaning, it’s time to ease up.
- Research Pinawa and make a list of what you’d like to do
- Have each family make a list of their favourite activities
- Based on preferences, come up with a few activities that work for the group
- Make a loose schedule for the daily activities
- Remember it’s a good idea to book guided tours and adventures a few weeks prior using the online system
Childcare can be a tricky situation. The older children attending attending the family (the one’s who have children of their own) quickly assume that grandparents and other relatives are going to be eager to babysit the little ones but this might not be the case at all! Remember, this is everyone’s vacation not just those who’ve got kids. Their idea of relaxation might not have anything to do with watching your children so what are the options?
Have each family member decide when during the vacation they want a sitter for young kids. Survey the families for interest in a babysitting co-op approach where certain individuals or even whole families will watch all the kids so others can be kid-free for a while. Or decide if you’ll hire a baby sitter for the programs that only include adults.
Speak with the grandparents and other relatives who don’t have small children to confirm if they’d be willing to participate in babysitting or not.
With kids, situations might happen that require discipline. With no two families being alike, even being related, it’s recommended to let the other family members know how the discipline should be done. Decisions like these are best done upfront and before the reunion rather than waiting until the moment arises.
Each family should write down their expectations for how their kids will behave along with the appropriate discipline.
Each Family should decide whether they are comfortable with other family members disciplining their kids or if they’d rather be alerted if any issues arise so they can do it themselves.
Relax and be open to vacation-style kid rules!
You’re obviously going to bring the standard luggage like sunscreen, swimwear, beach hat, etc. But being around extended family means that emotional baggage might come along for the ride as well. We all know visiting family can bring confrontation. Old hurts might arise, clashing personalities will butt heads, and we sometimes visit the old roles we used to play in childhood. Here are five ways to avoid family drama, leaving you free to enjoy the party and your vacation.
A couple of acronyms will help you tremendously.
When you are:
- H – Hungry, having desires, etc.
- A – Angry or emotionally strung out
- L – Lonely
- T – Tire and vulnerable
Then you should:
- R – Read a faith book or other positive material
- C – Call a friend and relate to him/her what you are going through
- M – Meet a friend face to face and do something together
- P – Pray or meditate and get others to pray WITH you…
Go in with a good attitude.
If you arrive thinking, “Mom will probably be nicer to my brother because she always like him better,” then you’re setting your self up for something negative to happen. Be positive!
Limit alcohol consumption.
When the children are sleeping the adults usually want to play. For some that might mean drinking. Cloudy heads can get easily fired up, so keep your drinking in check. Remember: HALT- RCMP!
If conversations are starting to hit a nerve with you acknowledge it to yourself and walk away before the situation gets the better of you. Keep things light hearted. When reminiscing with the family it might be tempting to bring up sensitive issues but resist the temptation. When emotions are running high, bring up the happy times and encourage others to do the same.
If you find yourself in the middle of a family fight you’ve got two options: you can walk away or you can remain in the argument. If you choose to stay, be rational and fight fairly. Above all else; resist making comments that would wound the other person. They’re family and it’s not worth it.