Can you image seeing your entire extended family of nearly 100 people every other year, for 50 years? We can…because the Jorgensens have been hosting their family reunions at Estes Park Center for 50 years!
At the YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park Center, we love family reunions! We love them so much, it inspired us to create GIANT cabins specifically for family reunions. The Jorgensens have been booking the Barclay cabin, our biggest cabin that sleeps up to 82 people! When we learned the Jorgensen family was back visiting Estes Park Center for their 50th family reunion this year, we asked if we could talk to them about how they create a successful family reunion. What we learned was way more than we had ever expected! Not to mention, we’re now considered part of the family…. after all, what’s one more person when you’ve already got 100?
After spending the weekend with the Jorgensen family, we’ve compiled a list of the best family reunion practices to consider when planning your reunion.
This is a roll that a few members of the family must do in order to maintain everyone’s sanity. From cooking the food to washing dishes, even scheduling photo time, there’s a lot that goes into planning and successfully running a great family reunion. Pick someone who enjoys organizing; it can be a big task!
If you can walk and talk, then you’ve got a role to play in the family reunion, according to the Jorgensen family. The Jorgensens believe it’s important that everyone plays a part in the family reunion process, and we agree! Chore lists are made and everyone is encouraged to work together to maintain a healthy balance throughout the whole family. Plus, it’s nice to feel needed!
It’s important to cherish memories with the family, especially when there’s four generations of living family members. Make sure to preserve your family memories and history. The Jorgensens have handmade books, photo albums, antiques and collectables that they bring to their family reunions so everyone can take part in learning and sharing the memories. It’s a great way for the young ones to see and touch the family’s history too!
When your family is close to 100 people, from all over the world, there’s lots to update each other on. And knowing what the plan is on Saturday for your big family can be hard to communicate – especially when you stay at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. With over 800 acres of hiking, biking, horseback riding and a plethora of other activities, the family has a lot to choose from and there’s always a lot to do! Make signs, checklists, time slots, chore lists and daily planners that you can post up throughout your cabin to guide people to what the family has planned for the day.
What better way to watch the kids grow than host a talent show every year! The Jorgensens encourage the family to get onto the (homemade) stage and share their talents! From singing family songs to comedy sketches, allow a creative outlet that will let all the family members shine.
We absolutely love family time at YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park. We encourage you to relax, sit on the porch of the administration building, go for a hike up Bible point, play a few rounds of mini golf – all for free when you stay at our Estes Park Center. Best time of year to see elk – EVERY SEASON. The wildlife are always in abundance at Estes Park.
Plan ahead! You can book your reunion up to two years in advance, and we recommend booking sooner rather than later–our family reunion cabins book quickly for summer dates. To learn more about hosting your family reunion here, visit coloradoconferencecenters.com or give one of our family reunion reservationists a call at 800-777-9622.