Family Reunion Fund

Fund Raisers:

We have done all of these in the past. The one that was the most fun was bringing heirlooms that people were willing to part with. My sister brought my mom’s recipe box with her recipe cards in it. My daughter was highest bidder and copied off the favorite recipes for anyone who didn’t have them already. She treasures that box, but my sister was having to downsize things in her house and needed it to go to someone who would cherish it.

Silent Auction

Everyone brings something–anything–to sell. People write notes with a bid and name on them. The bids are visible so you know if you need to up your bid. The judge figures them all up and top bidder gets the it. These can be hand me down toys, dishes you don’t need, anything a garage sale might have.

Scherenschnitte by Lelia

Heirloom dishes; a copy of only existing photo of the Old Home Place; a copy of the scherenschnitte profile of Grandma done by her talented friend; photo of Grandfather’s name written in axle-grease on a rock wall on the trail he traveled hauling from the railroad in Price to Vernal, Utah; A color copy of the scherenschnitte (freehand scissor cutouts) scene done by Grandma’s friend

Family Heirloom Sale

This Fund Raiser for Family Reunion Account requires that people bring something from their own cache of family objects to sell with a price already marked on them. While one might have several of Grandma’s Hankies and be willing to sell some to others. It might be a recipe of Grandma’s that you can color copy to get all the stains and handwriting on the recipe. Any extra doilies, or tools, or thread or thimbles. This might be a good time to get Aunt Bess who has all the family pictures to have the family albums copied and make money for the family fund.

Homemade Sale

People bring something they have made, sewn, baked, crafted, carved, stirred, built, or painted to auction off at the Family Reunion. Silent or with an Auctioneer.

Family Reunion Classes

Set Up Some Mini-Classes &

Learn From Each Other

All families have people that are really good at one thing or another. A fun idea is to ask family members in advance to teach a Class Activity and share their talents and break the group into classes. The possibilities are endless–look around your family and figure out who could teach what. After dinner, some could show what they’ve learned, like the dancing, acting, or rhythm, etc.

Here are some of our ideas:

Crafts–Have the crafty cousin bring supplies for a mosaic craft or some other trendy craft that people can sign up to do. This is one of the options my niece is going to have us do at our next reunion.

Family Trip--Provo River

Alisha’s Craft

Here is a craft that looks so perfect for a family reunion! Check it out at Saving with Sarah blog.


Another variation of this is found on Ginger Snaps blogab187fa0761aebb84d36a6d26a5630b4You can order supplies for these pendants at Photo Making Jewelry

Cake Decorating–I have two daughter-in-laws who decorate cakes. Either one could teach marshmallow fondant, or using tips at a family reunion. One year I made cupcakes and frosting ahead of time, and we had “Cupcake Wars” with the family divided into three teams. The cupcake flavors were Applesauce, Red Velvet, Chocolate, made before the event started. Everyone adults and kids participated and had a great time.

Grandma's Camp Wonderland

Quilting–In our family, a good class to teach would be the basics of patchwork. (Sewing machines are portable these days and can be transported to the reunion.) Our daughter learned quilting from her grandmother, and now teaches. Grandma tried to teach all of her granddaughters quilting and held Quilting Camp at her house for a couple of years.

Nina Quilting and Sewing

Grandma Nina was a professional quilter. Top Row L-teaching her granddaughters to put a quilt on frames and tie it. R-The girls finished quilt tops. The rest are Nina Grimes quilts. Bottom R-teaching a granddaughter.

Embroidery–Our  Grandma taught ribbon embroidery and traditional embroidery to one of our daughters. It would be a great class to teach something relating to an ancestor at a family reunions.  Quilting or Embroidery would be a great way to honor her in our family.

Self Defense or Personal Safety–Get some tips from someone in your family that is in law enforcement or has taken these kinds of classes.

Dance –Have the dancer in your family choreograph a simple dance.– Our daughter-in-law taught teenagers and younger kids a Stomp.

Music or Rhythm –Our grandson gave everyone some type of percussion instrument–look around there are all sorts of house hold things that can double as percussion instruments. He started a beat and we all followed it and the person next to him would start with another beat; you could follow or keep the same beat going. The longer it went, the more fun it was!

Act It Out

We’ve done this in so many different ways. You just need a director.

  • I had condensed “Joseph’s Technicolored Dream Coat,” and had some simple costumes for the main characters. We watched parts of the movie, and then rehearsed, giving tips on what their character needed to portray.
Grandma's Camp Wonderland1

All dressed up and ready to play their part. These guys write their own plays.

  • My mother had simple costumes and put together a reader’s theater about a Court Case of Thomas Hawkins–one of our ancestors, and they rehearsed it briefly and and put it on for the crowd.
  • Another time my mother dressed pioneer clothes and did a one woman show of her great-grandmother crossing the plains and mountains with seven children and a handcart. She had collected her history from family members as well as first hand accounts from her grandfather. Everyone loved it and learned so much about this ancestor.

Archery–Have the archer in your family bring some bows, arrows and targets and teach the basics of archery. We bought some inexpensive homemade bows that worked well for little kids, and a couple of adults had their own bows to share.

Grandmas Camp Medeival 2013

This archery event happened at Grandma’s Medieval Camp.

Shooting–Choose someone in your family that can teach gun safety if you are in areas where you can have target practice with guns, or maybe you are close enough to a shooting range. We live in a rural area, so its not hard to set up a shooting range in our 10 acres or go to North Springs Shooting Range near Price, Utah.


Headed out to teach gun safety and target practice at our Cowboy Camp.



Themed Family Reunions

I know one family that always has a theme for their reunion, and everyone adult and child dress up for it. We have had a few themed reunions because my family is so large that I can’t get the children together on a separate date from the adults, so often I incorporate the theme of Grandma Dottie’s Camp into the reunion for that year. And I often need the help now, from the adults in the family.

Theme Reunions: Medieval Time

Last year Grandma’s Camp was Medieval Times. My daughters made the costumes for the girls. We all attended the Midsummer’s Renaissance Faire in Cedar City, where our reunion was held. Many of them played the game “Off With Their Heads” which is a bean bag toss game–very fun. We spent the afternoon there and then all went to the Green Show on SUU campus that is free and held before the Shakespearean play each night.

The men helped with the making of shields, and made their own as well. The guys all administered the oath of chivalry. The men and oldest boys were dragons that the younger children had to slay in order to get to the challis. And everyone participated in archery, crusades, and physical training

Theme Reunions: Medieval Times–Renaissance Faire, Archery,

Theme Reunions: Pioneer Trek

Theme Reunion: Boot Camp

Theme Reunions: Secret Garden–visit Garden, plant a container, bucket fillers

Theme Reunions: Harry Potter

Destination Reunions



Destinations–Provo River

Rafting/Tubing Down The Provo River 

High Country River Rafting is the company I called for reservations. Rafting down the Provo river takes about two hours. There is very little white water, so it is mostly lazy floating. We reserved two rafts and 11 tubes. All the kids over 14 and some adults wanted their own tube. The rest of us got into rafts. They provided life jackets, and shuttled us up to the starting point in the river. Provo River Trip It was exciting and a new adventure for most of us. We did the self-guided float. The cost was $10.00 a person whether they were in the raft or had their own tube. Everyone had a great time! Provo River Trip1 The only negative was the the kids in tubes got abrasion rashes on their arms. They need to wear long sleeved T-shirts next time. We took lunch with us and had a picnic in the canyon. We had reserved rooms for each family at the Fairfield Inn in Provo to spend the night together. Went to dinner and a movie and back to swim in the pool. Provo River Trip2 Very fun time! Can’t wait to go again.

Destination: Goblin Valley and the Reef

Sensational Geology!

Goblin Valley      San Rafael Reef      Little Wild Horse Canyon

Goblin Valley State Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon are two natural playgrounds for kids! The geologic formation of these places set imagination spinning.  The San Rafael Reef in the same area is also an amazing rock wall tilted to almost vertical position!

Family Trip--Little Wildhorse Canyon1

Top Row: Hoodoos (geologic term) found in Goblin Valley State Park
Bottom Row: Uplifted rock to almost vertical position is called San Rafael REEF, near Goblin Valley.

We have had a great time at Goblin Valley with the kids by dividing into two groups and playing hide and seek, using two way radios to give clues as to where you are hiding, because it is a large are full of funny-looking formations. It’s also fun to look at the hoodoos and tell what they look like to each person. We’ve found turtles, horses, elephants, etc. Fun!

Goblin Valley is a campground with restrooms and campsites with fire pits, etc.  It’s not easy to get a spot there, however. Behind the San Rafael Reef, close by Goblin Valley are many good primitive camp spots. We camped up against the hill. In this same area is a narrow slot canyon named Little Wild Horse Canyon that is a super fun place to explore!

Family Trip--Little Wildhorse Canyon

All photos are different areas of Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon.

It is a fairly easy hike, even tiny kids can do it (see bottom right photos–she’s two and a half. The canyon is full of pockets, holes, and twists and turns. It’s like exploring a basement hallway in the San Rafael Swell. Crazy fun! The spring a this year–a few weeks ago–there was knee deep water in part of it that you had to wade through. That was even more fun!


Destination: Moab and Arches

Sego Canyon and Arches

We actually started this family gathering in Green River and stayed in a motel there. It is an hour away from Moab. The first day we hiked to some Native American Rock Art sites in Sego Canyon near Green River. Dinner, of course, was a burger at the famous Ray’s Tavern.

Sego Canyon

Sego Canyon is filled with many types of rock art. On top of a rock are footprints (top left); Grinding stone grooves  in the rock that was once lying flat (top right); Petroglyphs and Pictographs; and a ghost town as well.

The next morning we drove to Moab. Some of the family went  on some trails with ATVs. The rest of us shopped and went sight-seeing, and visited all of the art galleries. In the afternoon we visited Arches National Park.

Family Trip--Arches1

Top Row L-A small arch in the park; C-Hiking up the solid rock; R-Hiking to Delicate Arch. Bottom Row–Hiking to Delicate Arch–a pretty long hike, but so worth it!. R-Our ballerina daughter-in-law did some poses for me under the arch.

There are several arches to see, and we love to hike, so we trekked  to the farthest, and most famous–Delicate Arch. Everyone in the world should see this national park! Amazing formations, and amazing views!!

Destinations: Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula

Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula

My parents went on an LDS mission to the Olympic Peninsula, and while they were there, each of their kids’ families visited them at some point during that year. We all loved the area! So with a daughter living in Bothell, Washington, she and her husband planned a family reunion to their home for a few days, and then we went to the Peninsula and visited the two areas where my parents/their grandparents lived as they served their mission–now some 20 years later..

Family Trip--Seattle 06_21

Seattle: Top Row L-Grandma and kids; C-The Troll Under the Bridge; Ballard Locks. Bottom Row L-Pike Place; C- Street Musician at Pike Place; The Space Needle from the Ferry.

We stayed in Bothell at my daughter’s house. We had beds all over the floors upstairs and down, but our family is accustomed to chaos, and we deal well with it. She had scheduled so many great activities, that we had fun every second of the trip. Many of the family had never been to Seattle, so we visited Pike Place Market and watched the fish-throwers, ate food from other countries, bought souvenirs and enjoyed the street musicians. We made a stop at the Troll who lives under a bridge. He has a Volkswagon bug in his hand, which is a real car. We visited the Locks in Ballard and watched the boats come into the locks, be raised up to a higher level and sail out on new waters. It always fascinates me, and they have a Salmon Fish Ladder there as well, where you can watch the fish. We rode up to the top of the Space Needle and had our picture taken. We have had dinner at the Space Needle and it is wonderful. You a very slow 360 degree turn as you eat dinner and see every part of the city and Sound. But its too price to take all of us there, so we settled for an elevator ride to the observation deck.

The highlight of Seattle was probably the bike ride!

Family Reunion--seattle 06 5

Iron Horse Trail: Top Row L-Getting ready. (Some brought their own bikes and assembled them there); C-Breaking for lunch; R- Just out of the Tunnel; Bottom Row L- Gorgeous Scenery; C-Trailer with two little ones in it. R-Wild Foxgloves along the trail.

 We rented bikes for everyone with trailers for babies, and seats for little kids, so everyone in our group went on this bike ride, even though I had not ridden for years. Our daughter had reserved all of the bikes, helmets, trailers, etc. ahead of time, and it all went very smoothly! We biked along the Iron Horse Trail which is an old railroad grade. There is a tw0-mile long tunnel that you ride through which adds excitement to the event.   It is a long, long trail, but we just went the 17 miles. We stopped along the way at a picnic grounds to eat our lunch that we had taken in back packs. Every bit of it was delightful!

7 (76)-001

Historic Port Townsend, Washington

The next five days were spent on the Olympic Peninsula. Our first destination was the old Victorian town of Port Townsend, where my mom and dad first lived as they served their mission. There is an old army base there that is now Fort Worden State Park. We rented two of the Officer’s Homes. The homes are duplexes, so we rented one full house/two units. (In 2013, we went again. There were fewer of us, so we rented just one duplex. One four bedroom duplex/house for two nights was $715.00.) While there we explored that lovely town, went kayaking, explored the old bunkers that date back to 1800s. The parade green in front of the Officers’ Row is perfect for ball games, Frisbee, or Kubb (Viking Bowling).

Family Trip--Seattle 06_1

The Olympic Peninsula: Top Row L- Ferrying out to the Peninsula; C-Officer’s Housing–a Duplex; R- Officer’s Row in the evening; Middle Row L-Exploring one of the old bunkers; C-Kayaking in the ocean; R-Walking on the trail to 3rd Beach; Bottom Row L-Third Beach; C-Buried in the sand; R- Our family walking along the beach with Sea Stacks in the background.

After two nights in Port Townsend, we moved to the next place my mom and dad had lived–Forks, Washington. We rented four two bedroom apartments for our group in Forks for two nights, and spent the next day at 3rd Beach. The Quiliute Tribe owns the property where three fabulous beaches are located. First Beach is right at their town of La Push. Second Beach and Third Beach are also considered LaPush,  but you have to hike through the gorgeous rain forest to get to the beachs, about a half mile. The beaches are fabulous. Everyone wanted to revisit this vacation in the future, and so we have.

 The next day we split up because we couldn’t do everything we wanted to, so we had to make a choice. Some hiked up to Sol Duc Falls, and others drove to  Hurricane Ridge for the spectacular view of the Olympic Mountains.  We always stop at the gorgeous Lake Crescent when we go to the peninsula. The sights to see and places to play are endless in this area. Best of all reunions EVER!


This is the website for the Quiliute Nation. When we went there, they had a sign up that said, “Go Away!” But since the Twilight Book Series made them famous, the sign now says “Welcome.” And they have a tourist website now. We had not heard about Twilight until we were walking to 3rd Beach and some of our family passed Stephanie Meyer and a group of young people and overheard her talking about a book and mentioned vampires.  A few months later we heard about the book and read it. La Push is 12 miles from Forks.

Destination: Gooseberry Creek

Gooseberry Creek  Forest Rangers Administration Site

We rented the whole Forest Ranger Administration Site, that is now rented out to groups. It has three sleeping barracks/cabins and one kitchen cabin, a meeting cabin with just chairs in it, and a cabin that is bathroom and showers.

Gooseberry Admin site

I held Cowboy and Outlaw Camp for the kids, so we did lots of activities with that. We divided into two teams and had water guns. One team was the outlaw group, the other were the Sheriff Posse. There are plenty of Hiking Trails.

Cowboys and Outlaws

Top Row shows the big lawn in front of the cabins…Middle Row–They have just discovered gold and are each getting their share allotted out.We herded pigs–the kids drew pig faces on the balloons, and divided into two teams. Each kid had a fly swatter and had to herd them into a corral made of chairs. Balloons are as uncooperative as pigs.

There is the big green area in front for frisbee, etc. It is close to the creek and several lakes and hiking trails.

Grandma's Camp Cowboys and Outlaws1

Top row: Two of my little outlaws–a three year old and five year old. The three year old would not even take his mask off to eat. He stayed in character the whole first day. Middle Row: We are all reading the same book. Our talents show was so cute!

We played games, and read books (we were all reading the same popular book, at the time.)  There is a fire pit with lots of benches around it. We had a talent show near the fire after the sun went down. The kids came up with cute and funny things.

To rent the whole place is $300/night which is a fabulous deal because it has 50 beds. Cabins are rustic with lots of beds in each one. There are three barrack cabins. But plenty of space for tents and trailers. You have to bring your sleeping bags–no bedding.

Destination: Duck Creek

Duck Creek Village and Cedar Mountain

We rented a 6 bedroom cabin and stayed at Duck Creek Village. Fishing, hiking, mountain atmosphere!

Family Trip Duck Creek1

Top L-Skating in the Ice Cave; R-Fishing in a lake; Middle L- Trail to Crystal Falls; R-Crystal Falls; Bottom L and R–Evening Family Entertainment, playing a tune on desk bells, and dancing queens.

While at Duck Creek we took some side trips. There is an Ice Cave nearby, on Cedar Mountain, and a Bristle Cone Pine Trail–Bristle Cone Pines are thought to be one of the oldest living things on the earth, some of them are 5,000 years old! Navajo Lake was close by and good fishing. Crystal Falls is a really great hike!  We traveled from Cedar City up Cedar Mountain, past Navajo Lake to Duck Creek. The side trips were in that same area.

You can rent a cabin 3-6 bedrooms for $175-350/night. See the link at the top of this post. Sometimes cabins have a two or three day minimum stay. This in between Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park and Cedar Breaks National Monument just 42 miles away.


Destination: Black Dragon

Black Dragon Canyon– Camping/Hiking

We have been hiking and camping in the San Rafael Swell so many times and have seen so many parts of it, that I would say we have seen about all of it, except that is impossible to do in one lifetime! We had hiked the canyon rocks before, but an old timer told us there was a cave up behind the boulders, so we went searching. My husband and I found it, but it was so full of soft dirt and dust that we thought when we brought our whole family back, we needed to put masks on them (middle right).

Family Trip--Black Dragon1

The cave is exciting to find. It takes some searching. There is only a small opening that you have to stoop to fit into (bottom right looking from the bottom of the cave up to the opening). The cave is so deep and dark that we all had headlamps (bottom left).   The ceiling and floor are lit up by the flash, and you can get the perspective. There is plenty of other wonderful sites to see in this high rock walled canyon (top left) like pictographs (top right). The Black Dragon pictograph here has been enhanced. It is very faded. It is a fun place to go, and there are lots of camping sites close by, and many other sites–see Goblin Valley and the Reef