How to have a Family Event Weekend – Part 1 The Plan

by Kim Calhoun on September 7, 2010

This is the story of the Woodard Women’s Weekend. Many people ask us about how we started, what we do, and why we do it. So I have decided to have a 6 part series dedicated on how to put on your own family event weekend.

The members of the 7th Annual Woodard Women’s Weekend.

How we got started

I did not grow up near any of my cousins. We lived in Mississippi. We had first cousins in South Carolina and North Carolina. Except for weddings, funerals, graduations, and the very rare visit, we did not see any of our extended family. We did not really know each other at all. My cousin Christine vowed to change this. She  sent out an email stating that she would like to see what the interest there was in getting together for weekend.

View from the porch in Dillard, Georgia

The Place

We elected to rent a house and meet in the North Georgia Mountains. It was the most central point for us and a beautiful place to stay. My cousin Christine is a guru with arranging vacation house rentals. She has been in the hospitality industry for years. The first year we stayed in Dillard, Georgia. We have moved around to several different locations in the region including Dillard, Blairsville, and Helen, Georgia. We also had a jaunt one year into Gatlinburg, Tennessee. My best advice is to get online and search the vacation rentals in the area that you would like to go. It certainly doesn’t have to be a house. You could do hotels, b and b’s, or whatever suits your family group best.

The Guest List

Our attendees are just my female cousins including my sister and our moms. We also decided to add Christine’s other aunt whom we have all adopted as our own.   Except for my aunt that married into the family and the adopted aunt, we are all direct descendants of my maternal grandmother, Lucile. She was a Woodard.  We do have one male cousin on that side, but we figure he wouldn’t want to come. We  were so right about that. :) On our 5th anniversary we decided to ask if spouses and the token male cousin wanted to come and a resounding NO was heard. :) But we have had males attend. Christine’s daughter is officially part of the group because she is a girl, but those of us with sons may bring them until they can “go to a public bathroom without their mother.” :) So far, my son is the only male child old enough not to come. He wouldn’t want to though. All of our sons have been to the WWW, as we call it, at one time or another.

When and How Long Is The Event?

We do our “weekend” on the 3rd weekend of August. We may end up changing it because our children are growing up and school is becoming an issue.  Also we are trying to include our male cousin’s daughters and his wife. Their school schedule has never worked out. The first year we got in on a Friday night and stayed until Sunday. We have since added a lot to our “weekend”. Now, we get in on a Wednesday and leave on a Sunday. We enjoyed being together so much we just had to make it longer.

That First Year

Our First Year!

The first year none of us knew what to expect and it is certainly evolved over 7 years. Yes, we just had our 7th Annual Woodard Women’s Weekend. It is not the same event that we started with and every year we’ve added to or taken away things based on what we wanted to do. My suggestion is to just start. Get your group together. Find out what you like to do together. Don’t make it too complicated in the beginning. The idea is just to get together. Make those bonds with your family.  We found out that we like to hang out, talk, laugh, and craft. I’ll talk more in depth about what we do when we get to Part 5- The Events.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Christine September 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

What a wonderful idea! My family is very far away too and my children have only met their cousins twice. Definitely something to think about!
Christine recently posted..Creativity- Inspiration and the Greatest Minds of Our Time

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