I feel like for some people, a family reunion can induce a lot of stress and eye rolling. The complete opposite is true for me – I look forward to our annual family reunion every single year. I have been going for 25 years (I was three months old for my first one and have never missed one yet!). I even wrote my college essay on this particular event and what it means to me.
Family has always been extremely prominent and important in my life, and I love that our whole family feels that way too. We have a HUGE, widespread family, but every year for the third weekend in July we all come together to celebrate how lucky we are to have one another to call family. An average size year means about 130 people show up. We camp in a giant field (all forms of camping – RV’s, pop-up campers, and good old fashioned tents) and spend the weekend making music, playing games, and in general enjoying each others company. How fabulous is that?
Having such a large gathering takes a lot of work and coordination. We have officers in our family (President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer) who each have designated jobs that keep the reunion running smoothly. We have games for the kids with prizes, and we also run a raffle and 50/50 raffle to raise money for further family reunions. I’ve been the family secretary for the past two years, which means I’m in charge of keeping everyone’s addresses up to date, and helping out the President in sending out updates, etc. I love it, and hope to ‘stay in office’ for years to come!
This year one of my cousins organized a special raffle. She had been in Peru volunteering at a girls orphanage and wanted to raise money to send back to them. She was raffling some of her gorgeous photographs and two beautiful handmade cups that the girls in the orphanage had made! I very much wanted one of the cups, and I got it. I literally jumped out of my chair when they called my ticket number! All in all, our family raised $270 to send to the orphanage – not too shabby if you ask me.
My family is also incredibly musically talented. Saturday night is the designated evening for entertainment and it never disappoints. A full band gets up and plays under the tarp, and then later we all move around the big campfire and sing/play guitar acoustic style until the wee hours of the morning. My little miss fell asleep in her camp chair cozied up by the fire listening to the sounds of her cousins singing. Those are the memories I want her to have growing up.
My childhood memories are bursting with different recollections of the reunion, and I can’t wait for my baby girl to be ecstatic about going too. I just love my family!
See you next time!