Monday, April 26, 2010

Input Requested: Reunion Ideas!

I'm planning a reunion for my High School graduating class this June and need your ideas!

We have the date, times and places all set. Invitations have been sent out! But, now I want to fine tune some more of the details.

We're having a dinner the first night and a family picnic the next day. During the dinner, I have had a few thoughts - tell me what you think and/or share your own ideas from reunions you may have been to.

* We are also inviting the teachers and staff and I want to include them in a special way. I wondered about having a cardstock piece of paper with each teacher's name on it that we could write a special memory or a thoughtful thank you on.

* To jump start conversation during the dinner - I thought of placing trivia cards on the tables. These could include memories, current life questions, questions about our school, teachers, etc...

* I'm also looking for an ice breaker of some kind for the first half hour as guests are arriving.

So - please share your ideas! And, let me know what you think of the ideas above - workable or cheesy?

19 comments:

Melissa said...

Love the idea of writing thank you messages to all the teachers! That will be very special for them.

Susannah said...

At our (gulp) 20th reunion someone requested old and new pictures be sent to him and he created a power point with them -- it was nice to see everyone. It also had a special section for memorializing the three or four students who had passed since graduation.

Julie said...

I've gone to only one high school reunion, but it was kind of awkward to see people whose appearance had changed a lot since high school. Once I found out who they were, I certainly remembered them, but I didn't recognize them. I know some people do not like to wear nametags, but I would have found it helpful to have nametags (with maiden names, too) and possibly even a yearbook picture.

Mom2Five said...

I too am involved in helping with our reunion upcoming. We hope to have a daytime family gathering at a park so those who would not do a dinner might do a family (less formal) event. It is inexpensive if you find a good park willing to let you use a pavilion. You could just ask each family coming to bring a munchie or no food at all. It's easier to reconnect sometimes when children are involved. You can have a few fun games involving he kids (guess how many jelly beans in jar), Bingo car where you find a name to fill in (Grad with most children there, Grad with youngest child, traveled the fartherest, etc.)
Have a fun time! Looking forward to reading everyone elses' ideas!

Wendi said...

I attended my 20th reunion last fall. The reunion committee asked for pictures from hs and put together a slide show. Not only were there pictures but also trivia questions about our hs years and the answers a few slides later. It played as we entered the room and it was somewhat of an ice breaker as people stopped to watch. I heard many comments about where did they find that picture or I remember that day or that person. It was a great way to break the ice. They also burned copies of the slide show and sold them for $1.00

As we checked in we were given a name tag that had our senior yearbook picture on it. It was fun to see how much everyone had changed and we even had a few good laughs from some '80 hair styles. After we checked in there was a greeter by the door that took a picture of each person and guest as they entered the room. It has been fun to see those pictures on our reunion facebook page.

angie said...

I missed my 20th reunion last year, but I know I would have appreciated any of these touches. It seems that, otherwise, very little mingling goes on.

Nancy Jacobs Basketmaster said...

At my 20th reunion we had been previously sent a questionaire about that included questions about what had been going on in our lives the past 20 years. These were returned ahead of time and then copied and bound with a plastic spiral into books for each of us. We were charged $5 or $10 for the book but I treasure it. I know Staples or Office Max binds books for a couple of dollars. It was just the perfect thing for our reunion. Those unable to attend the reunion were still able to get the books.
Blessings,
Nancy

April said...

I love your ideas, Monica. We had our 15th reunion last year. Our class had about 100 people and most of us had been together since kindergarten, so this may not apply to other, larger schools...

We invited a former high school teacher to be our speaker. She had taught algebra to most of us and was married to a junior high teacher that almost all of us had. She had solicited memories from the other teachers in our district about students (she had provided a list of our names) and she read these memories at the dinner. It was hilarious, poignant and personal. (The reunion organizers had also asked classmates to share a special memory -- funny or touching -- and those were also read.)

After our speaker's presentation, and again because we were so small, we just sat around and listened to stories from each other about our classmates. One of our classmates was a bit of a trouble-maker turned respectable businessman and he was a great storyteller. One of the reunion organizers was smart enough to call him and make sure he was coming and ask him to be thinking about some funny stories he might share.

I still smile thinking about that night. I don't think I'd laughed that hard in years! :)

TeriD said...

On the nametags, add the senior year photo also. And nametags for 'guests' of reunion members too (I'm with "So & So" matching them to a class mate). We scanned in the sr year photos, shrunk them down & made 'face confetti' (about .5" x .5") and had that sprinkled on tables at our dinner. And we put trivial pursuit cards on tables for conversation starters, but if you can come up with questions relating to your class, even better. I'm owrking on a reunion for this summer too!

Tommie Jo said...

OT~It's been a while since I stopped by. You have such an inspiring uplifting blog! cative

Tommie Jo said...

Oh! LOL! I just realized I typed in the "word verification " word in with my comment!!! Ignore!!! hahaha

Shiloh said...

I planned my 10 year reunion two years ago and did kind of the same thing! We had a dinner one night, which kids weren't invited to and then a family event all day. Both Friday and Saturday, we had a table set up of mementos from high school: letter jackets, yearbooks, sr. t-shirt, etc. At the dinner, we just kept it laid back. We just ate, chatted and caught up with each other. The next day, we had a tour of the school and invited the teacher's to a potluck lunch at the school. At the potluck, we had "awards" that we gave out, for certain things, like person with the most kids, person who had traveled the most, etc. As party favors, I had scanned in everyone's senior picture from the yearbook, cut them out and attached them to little cellophane wrapped m&m's that were in our school colors. (I am cheap, so I just bought bags of m&m's and took out the colors we needed, instead of specially ordering them.) We also gave out a list of things on nice cardstock listing prices of things and significant events that occurred during our senior year. Then after lunch, we went to a lake nearby and hung out the rest of the day and grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. Everyone had a blast and said we shouldn't wait another ten years to have another reunion!

Shiloh said...

Oh! and we did have a slide show someone made for us that had pictures of us then and pics of everyone now. We showed that during the potluck.

Rachel said...

I would have a door prize kind of table...

maybe baskets filled with school colored items... or gift cards-
place them on a table with jars for raffle tickets (free of course)-
the reason? so people would mill around the table and maybe strike up conversation.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if this would apply but...
if you have a local scrapbook store they usually carry local area school items such as paper with the school name, stickers, etc.

Maybe get a couple of display boards and decorate them with pictures you have and display them in different areas around the room. A small crowd will usually gather around and conversation will start.

Enjoy the process!
We have chosen not to go to my 20th this summer due to the cost of it and travel and I really wish I could be there!

Jenny Goldsby

...they call me mommy... said...

Sounds like all great ideas to me, Monica! I'm not much help as I went to a small private school and guess how many were in the graduating class of 1998?! :) ONE! ME! HAHA! Now that would be an easy reunion to plan for, huh!? :P :)

Michelle said...

At our family picnic, one of our classmates owns a Marble Slab ice cream shop. He had ice cream brought out with all the fixings! Everyone - especially the kids - loved going through the line and watching them make ice cream sundaes for them for free. Just a thought for something fun for the picnic.

jenithepa said...

I like the idea of having a teacher speak at the reunion and share special memories about the kids (us). =) It might be fun to have everyone write down a special memory, funny memory and read all those.

kym said...

We have a facebook group for our class and it has been fun to reconnect there before our reunion...and they have opened it up to people from graduating classes near ours...we all kindof hung out together and now we have been able to connect in a fun new way...this has given us some time to get to know each other again before the one or two days we see each other! And the pictures can be uploaded right to that group!
Love your blog!