So, the Havey’s, we are such a big family that when we get together it constitutes a reunion. I guess you could say that about a lot of families in Utah. I come from a smaller tribe, so it’s different for me, but after being in the family for over two decades, it feels like home.
We decided to take a camping trip together this year in order to have some quality time together. We were missing quite a few of our clan because it’s so hard to get 30 plus people all together at once, but we did our best. We had a great time, everybody was safe, and we got to enjoy good company and the serenity of nature for a couple days.
I thought I’d share some of the best pics from our trip and give you the lowdown on a few helpful tips for planning your next camping trip or family get together.
First, I’d say the key is to start planning early. I first brought up this idea a year in advance!
Second, communication is key. Make sure everyone knows about the idea for the reunion, the location, the cost, and what’s expected. That way everyone can decide if it’s something they are able and want to do. Email is a great way to communicate this stuff because people can answer when they have time and they can refer to it later for deets they may have missed.
Give a few possible options for dates and see what works. Don’t put off a family get-together again and again because a few can’t make it. If you get in the habit of getting together, you will do it more often and everyone will get a chance to come at some point.
Pick somebody to be the organizer. It’s important that whomever is the facilitator of the party is just that-make sure you have everybody’s input and ask for ideas so that everyone has fun. Also realize that decisions have to be made a some point or your reunion won’t ever get off the ground. Ask for input, give dates to respond by, and when that date comes, go with what the majority of those who weighed in suggested.
We had each family be in charge of one meal for the trip. They decided what to make and were in charge of meal prep and clean up for whatever meal they were assigned. That way, everyone gets to show off their best camp dish and the work is divided. Teamwork is what makes family reunions a success. Even the planning and anticipation can bring families closer.
Once everyone’s agreed on a date, the meals and activities are planned, and the place is reserved, just give everyone a time to show up and you’ll be on your way to making great family memories.
Make sure you take a lot of pictures of these precious family times and if you wonder whether or not the work was worth it, refer back and remember all the family bonds that grew stronger as a result.
We had a glammed up camping site of course. Check out our cute picnic table complete with lovely linens and a beautiful centerpiece I made of old cans and some spray paint.
And of course, I did version two of the “glam tent” complete with a snack tray just right for a lazy afternoon nibble and nap.
I came up with a cute way to serve a whole plethora of smores makin’ gooddies. If you haven’t roasted a Starburst or shoved a Rollo up into a marshmallow before toasting it, you haven’t lived yet, my friend.
All that is a lot of fun, but the real reward it the time spent with those you care about. Cousins are important to any child’s life and we had a lot of cousin bonding time in those couple of days.
And we had Grandma and Grandpa bonding time too.
It’s hard to think we might have missed out on a picture like this:
So if you have been thinking that you’d like to pursue the seemingly impossible undertaking of gathering your family together for some summer fun next year…I encourage you to do it. You have about 11 months to make it happen before summer’s end next year. You can do it and it will be well worth the work.
Here’s to life, family, love, and knowing there are people in the world that you matter to! Isn’t that what life is all about?