Planning a family reunion is a daunting task all on its own, but when that reunion is also a camping trip, the job takes on a whole new level of complexity. But with a little advance preparation, you can pull it off and make sure that your camping reunion trip is a fantastic experience for the whole family.
Plan, Plan, Plan!
The first thing you need to figure out is your date and your group size. Plan as far in advance as possible, because campgrounds fill up fast in the summer, and holiday weeks can be booked a year in advance. Once you have a tentative date, get a firm confirmation from guests that they are coming.
You’ll want to know how many campsites you’ll need, how many people will be in each campsite, what type of equipment they’re using (tent, pop up camper, travel trailer, motorhome, etc.) and whether they’ll need hookups (50 amp or 30 amp) or if they’ll be boondocking using solar panels or a generator (find out the park’s generator rules ahead of time).
You should also know if any guests will be bringing animals, and what the pet policies of the campground are.
Pavilions And Shelters
If pavilions or shelters are available to rent, you should definitely consider renting at least one. They tend to hold a lot more people than pop up shelters, often have concrete floors and picnic tables, and will offer much more reliable shelter in bad weather.
Make sure you pay for the reservation and bring proof along if you don’t, chances are someone else will show up with a permit instead, and your group will have to leave the pavilion.
Don’t take on the burden of all the planning yourself. You’ll drive yourself crazy and make everyone miserable. Consider having everyone commit to bringing a certain food item to the event, potluck style.
You can also have different people take care of the barbecuing, serving, trash collection, wrangling toddlers, organizing games, clean up, etc.
Print up a packing list of everything you’ll need for the event. Pack as much as you can ahead of time. If you’re camping in a tent or a pop up camper, space is at a premium, so many campers utilize hanging shoe pocket organizers or plastic drawer units to organize their camp kitchens or the family clothing.
If you have first-time campers going on the trip, email them a generic packing list so they can get ideas of their own. You may also want to send reminder emails or texts to people who have agreed to bring certain items for the party.
Plan for activities that will keep the whole family busy. Depending on the facilities available, this could include softball, swimming, a scavenger hunt, races, contests and more. Be sure everyone brings along rainy day activities and toys, especially for little ones, in case of bad weather.
Sanitation And Safety
Be sure to bring along things like plenty of trash bags, paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and other items to keep clean or clean up after yourself. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, extra flashlights and batteries, and first aid items. Leave your campsite and pavilion better than you found them, because you could lose your deposit if you don’t.
With a little planning and delegation, you can make this family reunion camp out an event your family will remember fondly for years to come.