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Family Reunion Forum

Re: What R Roles & duties of the family executive committee

Hi P. Shelton,
Thanks a million for posting these questions and concerns. I will be interested in the responses to your questions as well. Although I've been involved with reunions for nearly 15 years, my family has never created a "family government". I really don't know if this has worked to our advantage or disadvantage.

My main family has had reunions every two years since 1992. The reunion chairperson is decided when someone accepts the "challenge" of planning the next reunion to be held in their city. Typically, this person delegates, as well as asks for volunteers to serve on the planning committee. We've generally generated from 5 to 10 diligent souls to serve on the committee, and they are the ones who layout the plans for the next reunion. To date, that has worked for my family w/ little problems.

About two years ago, I brought up the idea of setting up a "family government"..i.e. bylaws, an executive committee, etc. The idea didn't get too far with my family, as I guess folk were probably saying, "Why try to fix something that ain't broke." But, there may be a point in the future where conflicts may arise, and a set of "family reunion laws" will assist in tackling those challenges more smoothly. Therefore, I am keenly interested in the responses you receive.

Another branch of my family - the descendants of my great-great grandfather's sister - have had annual reunions for 50 years. They have that "family government" structure...bylaws, city chapters, executive president, etc., etc. Like all governments, problems have arisen just because of that "overseeing" structure. After personally witnessing and hearing about the unnecessary "politics" that have occurred in the family over time, and still occurring, it has really deterred me from pushing for that type of "governing body" setup with my main family reunion. Again, like my family subconsciously expressed, "why fix something that ain't broken". Nevertheless, benefits can surely come from an organized body, as long as there are responsible people who take care of their duties, and the "politics" are kept in check, not letting political matters affect the vitality of the reunions.

Ready To Digest More Food For Thought on this Post!

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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