I have organized seven general CTY reunions in Washington, DC, over the past 3 years. Some alumni from the Boston area ran a similar reunion this fall. These reunions are useful and fun for several reasons. First, they allow you to reconnect with friends from CTY who you may not have seen in years. Second, they allow you to meet other CTYers in your area who you may become good friends with. Third, they allow CTYers from different sites, sessions, and years to gather to discuss general CTY issues. Finally, they are a neat way to spend an afternoon. Here are some guidelines on how to organize a general CTY reunion in your area.
- Pick a Date- In general, I have held reunions twice a year... once in the Spring and one in the Summer. The Spring reunions usually draw a smaller crowd than the summer ones, as people tend to be busy or out of town in the Spring. Summer reunions tend to draw a lot more recent CTYers. Try not to hold a reunion while CTY is in session, as then a lot of possible attendees will be at CTY. I have always held my reunions on Saturdays.
- Pick a Time- Usually, I hold reunions from noon until about 5, though an evening reunion would be interesting, depending on the activities planned.
- Pick a Place- I have always had people meet at the Washington Monument, as it is a pretty easy place to find in the District. I would suggest picking a place that someone who is from out of town would not have too much trouble finding. Be very specific... it would suck to have someone be just around the corner and not find you.
- Plan Stuff To Do- Usually, I have kept plans very loose... meeting at the Monument and then heading out for food. Generally, hanging out is enough fun. However, if you have a specific activity in mind, be sure to find out all the necessary information.
- Decide How Responsible You Are Going To Be- Once or twice, I have been approached by the parents of some younger CTY students, trying to make sure that I was a good and responsible person who wasn't going to let their child get into trouble. If minors attend your reunion, as the organizer you are responsible for making sure they don't get hit by cars or arrested or something. If you aren't comfortable with this responsibility, make it clear ahead of time.
- Get the Word Out- I send my reunion notices to about 15 separate CTY mailing lists, as well as my personal friends from CTY. Try to spread the word as far as you can... if you e-mail me the information, I will post it on this page and help send it out to some of the private lists I'm on. Be sure to include all the information related to the reunion... not just when and where, but if money will be needed, should people bring sunscreen (I've been badly burned once or twice because I forgot to put on sunscreen at the outdoor reunions), and anything else you think attendees should know.
- Show Up- Be there early, and make sure you have a good idea of how many people plan on attending so no one gets left behind. Wearing a CTY shirt if you meet in a public place is a good idea, so that people can pick out who is with the reunion. After that, just have fun.
If you have any questions or want better advice, feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com and I'll help out as much as I can. Reunions are easy to plan, and they are fun!