If your family is anything like mine, you have gathered around a bbq, a pool and a cake at some point to celebrate a family reunion. I would be surprised however if you took it to the level that mine did...I mean, did you have family flags and anthems?
What I wouldn't give for a video of my uncles rushing around with me on a 2 x 4 'chariot' as we completed an obstacle course. Or of my Grandmother and her siblings playing in competing for the seniors trophy kitted out in some pretty attractive rain ponchos and what I can only describe as antennas.
Luckily, I have been able to connect with different family members, scan their photos and hear their stories to re-live the memories. Luckier still, at any such party from here on out, we can use Clipsake to capture these moments on film. Now back to memory lane...
From 1987 to 1993, my family, which is spread out all over BC would gather at one home or another to celebrate various anniversaries and birthdays and combine that into one whopper of a family reunion. I was six years old the summer of our very first reunion, timed in conjunction with my Grandparents' 35th wedding anniversary. I can remember the excitement, the crowd of new kids and the fun we all had in the pool.
As an extended family, we bonded over a variety of absolutely wacky games. Each family unit hosted some sort of challenge for which there were prizes. The prize for the main event (a milk-carton based, rubber-band propelled boat, plane or car depending on the year) was a highly sought after golden pegasus trophy.
The following are the recollections of our favourite family games as remembered by my Aunt Lori & my Grandmother Shirley.
For each of these relay type races, each family had to choose a team of 3 to compete. They did this before knowing what each relay entailed to keep things exciting indeed !
The ‘Chariot Race’ relay was our families very first relay and so it is remembered fondly. It required 2 team members to support their third team member on their shoulders with two 2x4’s over their shoulders while completing a variety of tasks like popping water baloons strung up high, jumping through large tyres and the like. Since the teams had no idea what they were doing before they chose their members, the height and weight mismatches were hilarious. One team had a huge advantage with one light woman on top and two strapping young guys of the same height to hold the 2x4s. To everyone's enjoyment, they ended up off course somehow (cheers!) and got entangled in a briar of blackberry vines.
The huge discrepancy in the height of another team left one Aunt clinging on for dear life the entire event. She managed to cling on but the tale goes that she had splinters in her thighs for years afterwards.
A real crowd favourite was the 'bike relay' race. Each family chose 3 members for their team and then they got the instructions...
The first team member would pick up a key with their teeth and pass it to the next member who ran to the vehicles in the front driveway and found the vehicle trunk it belonged to. They would open the trunk and the 3rd person would have to ride whatever was in the trunk across the finish line (There was a pogo stick, a skate board, a very small trike, an old style roller skate, etc). So they all lined up ready to go with the team member who would be picking up the keys in their teeth kneeling on the grass. Then came out the giant bowls of whipped cream! Laughter ensued as one of my full bearded family members ended up looking like a shirtless, summer time Santa!
One match I can remember thinking was hillarious to watch was the Croquet Match. This one is great because you need almost no special set up or purchases to make. Everyone draws a piece of paper out of a hat to see what ‘mallet’ they got to use. You name it, it was there; a newspaper, an old boot, a potato masher, a toilet plunger, a pitch fork, pool cue, etc. Roger, who pulled the boot as a mallet wizened up after a couple of turns of holding his mallet and just slipped it onto his foot to kick the ball around the course! No one can remember who won that game, only that it was a lot of fun. Aunt Betty, who has since passed had a hoot with her toilet plunger!
As the years went on, relays were added, ribbons and trophies re-designed and the boat, car and plane constructions got more and more elaborate.
During the years when we had a pool, we played a very odd game that could very well have been on the Price Is Right. Different items were sunk to the bottom of the deep end of the pool with their prices written on them. Each team had to select enough items with the appropriate amounts to total $1.00 exactly. It was mayhem!!! People diving up and down, items getting pulled up and tossed back. It wasn't the safest of games as a few people recall getting bonked with discarded items as they were searching the water for their item.
We can't mention our family reunions without mentioning the time one of the Aunty's stripped off her top and flashed the entire family.
The Chicken and Egg relay involved one member of each team scaling one of the 5 fruit trees to gather eggs that had been hollowed out (fragile) and hidden in the trees the night before. These eggs were passed to the next team mate who had to race them across the finish line. The person with the most unbroken eggs would win.
Aunty Tracie had on a light summer blouse and decided that she would drop her egg shells down her blouse and carry them over the finish line looking like she had a huge beer belly. She didn’t run halfway to the finish line before she started ripping her blouse off and everything else...it was quite a sight to see! No one was quite sure why, but everyone could see she was taking off her clothes mid-race.
The other competitors didn’t know what she was doing either so they just ran past her, some with eyes wide in horror and others wide for other reasons and crossed the finish line. It turned out that overnight, some small creatures, earwigs, decided they would move into these new homes we placed in the trees for their comfort. With all the jostling around in Tracie’s blouse, they decided to exit their new homes and that was what caused Auntie Tracie to strip down during the race.
So, however you decide to celebrate, we hope that we have inspired, shocked or amused you into creating some new fun family games together.
We also hope that you will include Clipsake to help you capture these memories on film & edit your footage into video keepsakes you can share amongst yourselves for years to come! I mean, only your Aunty Tracie might object! ;)