In E! True Toomerwood Story at the Toomer Family Reunion, the best family story wins. Each person has up to three minutes to tell a g-rated family story, based on a chosen category. Family members then vote on the best stories. The top three or five will go on to the finals, taking place on Reunion Saturday. Each finalist must tell a new story. Following are sample categories: Family Table, Reunions, School, Trips, Big Aunt Ida, Us Against Them, Blueberry Field, Whippins, Brothers & Sisters, New Baby, Christmas, Family, Gatherings, Church and Holidays.
These are other reunion games the Toomers play:
Silent Auction - We have had this prize winner for more than a few reunions. There is a table with auction items. In front of each item is a box. Purchase tickets at $1 each. Place ticket(s) in the box, in front of the item you want to bid on. Winners are drawn from the box and announced during the Saturday program.
Guess Your African Ancestry was an opportunity to guess results of a DNA test — before results were in — and win a prize.
Get To Know Your Family. At registration, forms for this game are handed out. They list family questions. Players had to find family members who match the answers.
One of the stops on the Amazing Race was to see an old switchboard originally owned by ancestors George and Frances (Keller) Malsam, now displayed in Wakeeney, Kansas, History Museum.
Gathering assignments for the Amazing Race. Photo credit Mike Malsam
Making a rubbing on copies of plaques at the Veteran's Cemetery in Wakeeney, Kansas. Photo credit Mike Malsam
Customized Amazing Race
On Saturday afternoon our creative younger generation customized an Amazing Race competition, somewhat like the TV show. Teams of five or six had to assemble a puzzle to get their initial instructions. Then, they had to go to local attractions and family historical spots around town and report back at various points.
Tasks celebrated family history by asking trivia questions about common ancestors, the late George and Frances (Keller) Malsam. The couple owned the local telephone company and their old switchboard is now displayed in Wakeeney's History Museum. Teams were required to find the old switchboard and take a trivia test from family members about where George and Frances were born, the church they attended, their middle names, their hobbies, etc.
Other tasks included taking a picture of a terracing machine (invented and patented by George and Francesí son), making a rub-off picture from a Veteran's Memorial plaque in the cemetery and snapping a picture of an old fighter airplane on display.
Each team was given money to buy food at a local snack shop and deliver it to the food bank at the police department. The teams also had to visit the fair grounds to find out about contest winners.
One of their more odious tasks was eating sardines. One of our grandkids likes sardines and proudly helped his team surge ahead by eating all the sardines.
About the author
Margaret Malsam, Denver, Colorado, is the author of two books and many magazine articles. She loves connecting with friends and family at reunions and has written about several Malsam reunions for Reunions Magazine.
More Family Reunion Jeopardy ideas from One Creative Mommy: