We believe reunions have the power to nourish and strengthen families of all races and ethnicities. Reunions can encourage healthy extended family relationships, provide a sense of belonging, restore family pride, nurture and respect all generations, and impart wisdom, knowledge and a shared purpose. Our goal is to strengthen, inspire and support family reunion planning; share useful information and resources; and advocate for the teaching of family and reunion history, values and experiences.
Planning a family reunion? Click below for tips on:
We’re planning our first reunion but having trouble identifying an official name. My great-great-grandfather was a Smith. He married twice. His first wife’s maiden name was Greene, his second wife was a Jones. He had a total of 14 children—six girls and eight boys. Initially we were going to call the reunion the Smith Family Reunion. Then some family members wanted to make it Smith Greene Jones. Now they want to add the last name of the married children. That would make it Smith Greene Jones and six additional names (as there were six daughters). Since we all have the Smith name in common, wouldn’t it be easier and wiser to just leave it at Smith rather than continue to add names? Is there a rule of thumb to follow when selecting a reunion name?
July is best known for family reunions with tug-of-wars, Fourth of July celebrations, barbecues, ice cream, water ice, enjoying the beach, walks on the boardwalk, fireworks, water-and-amusement parks—or whatever your favorite July activity is. Last summer we spent quite a bit of time on lockdown. This year even though covid-19 and its variants are still on the horizon, there are vaccines helping to move us closer to as "normal" a summer as possible. And from the look of things, many of us are doing just that.
In July we greet the heat, hone our culinary skills, savor cool eats, favor the great outdoors, and observe 75+ special days to make great family time out of, including National Air Conditioning Appreciation Days, National Grilling Month, Ice Cream Month, Free Slurpee Day (for a whole month), National Parks and Recreation Month, Clean Beaches Week, Capture the Sunset Week, and so much more. Check them all out in this month’s FAMILY TIME. Nelson Mandela Day is this month and we commemorate him by sharing some of his quotes in WORTH REPEATING. We also have some amusing SUMMERTIME QUOTES to help you pass the time while lounging by the pool. We describe how to make summer education fun in a worth repeating REUNION TIP OF THE MONTH, and in PRACTICAL FAMILY REUNION PLANNING, we explain how family reunions incorporate activities that recognize, celebrate and encourage the educational achievements of their school students.
The anticipation of being face-to-face with family and friends this month is exciting, and we’re hoping you find ways to savor the summer holidays and family gatherings, while staying safe and well. From our family to yours, have a great July.
- Practical Family Reunion Planning
- Reunion Tip of the Month (for Summer)
- Family Time
- Worth Repeating
- Summertime Quotes
LATER THIS MONTH:
- Happy Birthday Dr. Vargus
- Sticky Reunion Situation
- In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)
Many family reunions incorporate activities that recognize, celebrate and encourage the educational achievements of their family school students. These activities include providing rewards for the school-year accomplishments, scholarships, Back2School supplies, book clubs, math clubs, spelling bees, SAT Prep, etc. As our reunions get back to “normal”, and family’s ramp up the planning for their next face-to-face, consider preparing something extra to inspire and motivate school students for the upcoming school year. In addition to the suggestions above, these activities include:
from to -
- encourage students and give them something
to aspire to
- share with the next generation of family
members so they know who went where,
and who can answer questions about
Including an educational component to the family reunion that encourages students to be and do their best, and helps bridge the gap between younger and older family members, is not only practical but beneficial and meaningful to the family-at-large.
It’s Summer. Looking for something for school-aged family members to do to keep them busy, reading and learning? Studies show that students lose as much as 2-3 months of math and reading skills over the summer. Let’s fuel them with something so exciting and fun to do, that they don’t even know they’re learning. Suggested activities include:
Looking for something creative, different, and fun to do with the family this month? Want to spend more time together? Check out our selected list of July observances for your family to celebrate, explore, and enjoy…together!
Our family wants to plan a one-day, in-person reunion this year for anyone who feels comfortable enough to attend, even though Covid isn’t completely over, and we’re not sure how many family members have been vaccinated. What activities would you consider safe enough to enjoy this year?
Nelson Mandela Day: July 18
- “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
- “It always seems impossible until it's done.”
- “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear,
but the triumph over it.”
- “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how
many times I fell down and got back up again.”
- “Everyone can rise above their circumstances and
achieve success if they are dedicated.”
- “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one's
time and energy to helping others without expecting
anything in return.”
- “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without
action is merely daydreaming, but vision with action can
change the world.”
- “No one is born hating another person because of the
color of his skin, or his background, or his religion.
People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate,
they can be taught to love.”
- “Lead from the back and let others believe they are
- “It is easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are
those who make peace and build”.
“Ah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.” – Darrell Hammond
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” – John Lubbock
“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability”.
– Sam Keen
“It’s a sure sign of summer if the chair gets up when you do”. – Walter Winchell
“A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.” – James Dent
An ode to Summer 2020
This Summer is turning out to be far more engaging than Summer 2020. Here's a look down memory lane, at a Summer 2020 meltdown, to help us all appreciate and enjoy this year more: