Two cousins and I are preparing for our Rutkowski - Warnken family reunion at the end of May. the last few reunions have seen dwindling attendance and the loss the last two sisters of the family, my great aunts, on the Rutkowski side. In the past, they spent the time after lunch and meeting playing something like BINGO or a number draw to win door prizes brought by various family members. It was well liked by the older generations but as the years went by, they noticed fewer young families coming. Regrettably, I was one that didn't always make it. The traditional activities just don't seem to attract people anymore. Hmmm...
We've been attempting to "reinvent" the gathering by choosing a more interesting venue (from a shelter at a park to a beautiful nature center) and changing up the activities in hopes that we can attract more from the younger generations.
So far we will have lunch, pictures in the gardens of the center, a fishing derby for the kids, and a short meeting. As a genealogist, I like to try to promote our family history in an engaging, 21st Century way that might interest others to learn more about our ancestors. Last year I used Photostory 3 to created a slide show of family pictures set to music. Each family went home with a CD of the slide show. Everyone was so excited to get their own copy.
What should I do this year? We have decided to drop the formal meeting protocol of our parents' generation. (The gavel can stay home this year.) Letters went out but also email. I have beautiful scrapbook paper with a family tree theme for them to write their information on. I have enough pictures for a second slide show.