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Our family doesn’t get together as often as we’d like, but when we do we make sure to spend time together in a memorable way. Growing up, I remember we’d get together for family reunion camping trips. Scores of relatives would come and meet from different provinces to reunite and share memories while having fun. Whether it’s singing songs around the bonfire, catching up with siblings, there are many ways to enjoy plan and enjoy a family reunion camping adventure.
Chose Your Location Wisely
Not everyone enjoys pitching a tent and becoming one with nature. So when you plan to try to think about everyone’s interests and dislikes so everyone can enjoy themselves. Choose a location significant to the family. With larger groups, you’ll need to reserve a large campground area or smaller connected ones. And remember to always book in advance as campsites fill up quickly.
Coordinating Camping Gear
Make sure everyone has the appropriate gear for the trip. You will need a tent, sleeping bags, bedding and supplies. Coordinate with other family members when deciding what to bring by making a family check-list for items such as wood, lanterns, flashlights before you leave. It’s important the right gear is chosen and enough gear is brought for everyone on the trip to be safe and happy.
Don’t Forget to Meal Prep
Feeding a large number of people can be tricky. It will take thoughtful coordination and planning. Here are some ways to handle the food situation:
- Fend for Yourself: Each family brings food for themselves. This is great if allergies are important.
- Rotate Cooking: Each member shares the cooking skills with one family cooking one night, another family next night or rotate meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner each day.
- Family Buffet: Each family makes a dish and brings it to serve potluck-style.
In addition, it’s important to always have a rainy day backup plan just in case you can’t use the grill or stove. Bring extra sandwich fixin’s or quick-serve items in case something unplanned happens.
Make Time for Activities
Once things are figured out, you can start planning the events and activities. Offer several options for all difficulty levels. Plan a kayak trip for those willing and able, as well as a scavenger hunt for those wanting to remain at camp. Assign Uncle Bob the task of teaching the kids the importance of gun safety by doing something they love like plinking with air guns and slingshots. And find a nice trail that Grandma can take the youngsters on an easy nature walk.
A little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Coordinate a game of flag football or whiffle ball. And be sure to plan for a rainy day with activities such as charades, family trivia and board games. Always allow for some downtime to let the group relax, decompress and catch up on each other’s lives.
Finally, avoid disasters by being prepared for anything. Have a large first-aid kit on hand for your family reunion. Teach kids camping safety, like how to properly extinguish the fire each night, and educate everyone how to pack it up and pack it in on the last day. Leave the campsite how you found it.