The letters of the word “reunion” can be rearranged into one 6-letter word. Can you figure out what it is?
While you puzzle over that mentally stimulating diversion, let’s talk about reunions. School reunions happen yearly after graduation, though most classes choose to celebrate every quinquennial event (that means every 5th year). Whether it’s a first or 40th-year reunion, it’s a chance to travel back to a fond place, relive nostalgic memories, and catch-up with classmates near and far.
If you’ve been tasked with the burden – we mean, the honor of planning a school reunion, don’t fear! Remember that the event mostly runs itself once everyone shows up: people come to socialize, chat, gossip, and jibber-jabber with friends old and new. It’s your job to pick a date, plan the layout and decorate the space, and set up opportunities for socialization. While you’re mostly on your own when it comes to the vibe of the venue, we’ve got a few ideas about how to encourage the meet-and-greet part of the class reunion in unique and clever ways.
Here are four ways to add some mentally stimulating fun to your upcoming reunion.
1. Make a new yearbook!
Unless you were a “yearbook kid,” the way you were portrayed in the yearbook might’ve been entirely out of your control. Making a new yearbook at reunion is a chance to change that!
Step one is to set up a photobooth! Encourage thoughtfulness by asking the guests to write or describe what kind of person they were in school, how they think others perceived them, and how that’s different or the same from who they are today. Then, have attendees take pictures that reflect their current self! Stop by a thrift store in advance to collect sets of clothes that guests can throw over their outfits and silly props that they can hold – Hawaiian shirts, sports gear, graduation gowns, hats, speech bubble signs, Halloween masks, giant glasses… you get the idea. Reunion attendees can take solo pics or gather their clique together for a group shot. Everyone will delight in the chance to be seen the way they want to be viewed – rather than the way the photographer forced them to pose and smile.
Send out the compiled photos as a way to thank attendees for coming, and share a piece of reunion with those who couldn’t make it. This new yearbook is a good chance to thank any sponsors of the reunion, memorialize those who have passed, and give information on how classmates can stay in touch with each other and support the school.
2. Add a service element!
It’s no secret that volunteering doesn’t just help others – it helps the volunteers too! While volunteers give their time and effort, they receive the mentally fortifying gifts of empathy and gratefulness. There are any number of projects you can take on for your school reunion, ranging from the back-breaking to the mind-bending, helping hands to helping heads.
Ideas for those strong in body:
- Painting! Handrails, murals, classrooms, bathroom stalls, whatever needs it
- Building new pathways or ramps to ensure the school is ADA compliant
- Starting a community garden to supplement the biology and ecology curriculum
- Helping teachers organize or reorganize their supply closets
- Picking up trash on campus
- Giving the school janitors a night off by cleaning some or all of the classrooms
Ideas for those strong in mind:
- Tutoring students
- Giving the school receptionist a day off by answering the phones at the front desk
- Writing letters to ask for donations, scholarships, grants
- Coordinating a teacher appreciation potluck
- Brainstorming a unique new curriculum, such as a financial education course
Whatever the project, alumni are sure to love the chance to help their alma mater during reunion. Start by contacting the school to see how you can be helpful, and go from there!
3. Invite attendees to support this generation of students!
Find out if the school is putting on a play or dance recital and make it part of the reunion event. Attendees can get a bit of cultural stimulation all while packing the house with adoring fans for the benefit of the young performers.
Want to add even more mental stimulation to it? Meet as a group before or after the event to discuss the material – if it’s a play based on a novel, have a book club discussion. If there’s a movie adaptation of it, watch it and compare! If it’s a dance, invite the student performers to teach a move or two to the alumni and lead a conversation about why dance matters as a form of expression and how dance as an art form has changed over the years.
4. Play a game of customized trivia!
Trivia is a great way to test attendees’ memories about their school, classmates, former teachers, and what was going on in current events while they were a student. With your help, Sporcle’s qualified team of content writers can come up with questions about any topic of your choosing.
The good news is, it’s a team sport, so attendees will have to mix and mingle to assemble the most competitive trivia team. Schedule the trivia at the start of your event and assign random teams as a way for guests to meet strangers, or put it later in the event and require attendees to create their own teams with a diverse knowledge base. Or play two hour-long rounds separated by a game of musical chairs to switch up the seats and maximize the structured socialization!
Thanks to the game of trivia, even the most shy of alumni will have an easy icebreaker: “Wow, how did you know the answer to number two?” or “I actually have a story that relates to question 5!”
Plus, the trivia can be hosted alongside a playlist of songs that were popular back in the day. Whether it’s the 90’s or the 60’s, your trivia host can pump up the jams and get attendees out of their chairs doing the twist. With Sporcle Live trivia’s unique format, there are ~2 minutes between each question, which is plenty of time for teammates to discuss the answer, turn it in, and still have time to socialize and groove out to the music. It’s like getting a TV game show host combined with a live DJ, all in one!
Interested? Visit sporclelive.com/events to get your reunion planning underway!
And Remember to Have Fun!
It’s easy to get lost in the details of planning a reunion – compiling email lists, managing budgets and bank accounts, stressing over decorations and themes – but it’s important to remember that a class reunion is supposed to be fun! We recommend picking a main activity and building the event around it. Once you’re excited, it’s easier to get others aboard the bandwagon! A new yearbook, a service project, a theater experience, or trivia are just a few ways to light a spark that generates interest, increases RSVPs, and maximizes fun.
Oh, and by the way, the 7 letters of “reunion” can be rearranged to spell “neuron” once you drop the “i.”