At the end of June, my family gathered for a four day reunion in Bear Lake. Our reunion began on the 65th anniversary of my grandparent’s wedding day. You would think that was intentional. It wasn’t, but a lovely way to start our gathering nonetheless.
There were a bunch of us – 57 I think – all descendants & spouses of my grandparents. Only six couldn’t be there. It was awesome to be together. When I look at this photo of the great grandchildren I am delighted. What a big bunch of happiness sitting on those steps! My grandparents have 27 great grandchildren (with one due in November and plenty more yet to be). My grandparents died too young. Grandpa only met one of his great grandchildren before his death. Grandma lived several more years. She was able to meet nine of her great grandchildren. I know they would be so proud of this big, rowdy group. In fact, they probably are.
Grandma & Grandpa were blessed with 17 grandchildren. Here are 14 of us – in age order. My two brothers couldn’t attend, one cousin had to leave before we took photos and another cousin is currently serving a mission in Germany. I love my cousins! It was so great to spend four days together.
This year I prepared a book for our family reunion. I geared it towards the great grandchildren, but it turned out to be a hit with everyone. It was a workbook based on several generations of our family. I had a tub with prizes. The first day I told everyone they could earn one prize for completing five items in the book. On the second day they could earn two prizes, five items per prize. The third and fourth days were unlimited prizes, still five items per prize.
It was a hit! At first the kids were participating for prizes. As the days passed many family members were really interested in learning and talking about our family. I loved hearing my cousins and their kids asking the uncles/grand uncles questions from my book. There were some cool discoveries and conversations that helped us all feel a greater connection with our family.
The book has several sections:
- A simple four generation pedigree for names only
- Pages about Grandma & Grandpa with pages for four photos.
- Pages about their four children.
- Pages about their 17 grandchildren.
- Pages about their 27 great grandchildren. The big hit in this section was matching the ggrandkids to their parents.
- Guess the ancestor section with facts and stories about ancestors with a space to write their name.
- A map to color in the countries our ancestors came from with an adjoining page to list our immigrant ancestors by name.
- A puzzle section.
The front and back cover were printed on card stock and the book was bound with a small spiral binding. The book is 42 pages long. You can view an altered pdf version here – booklet pdf . I took out or changed names. The actual book was a bit more clear with full names and names where it now has some blanks. If you are interested in creating your own book for a future reunion here is my word doc – booklet doc. I printed these at home and had them bound at a local print shop. I brought two tubs, one held the books, a bunch of pens, a few glues sticks, and copies of four photos for every book. The second tub had small prizes.
This project was a fabulous way to share my knowledge and love for my ancestors with my family.
I love reunions, my family, and my heritage!
Does your family hold reunions? How do you honor your ancestors at your family gatherings?