Scene Setters for Parties and Family Reunions

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How do you turn a forest campground into a ship on a tropical cruise? Scene setters!  I love scene setters- they are inexpensive (each piece is under $20.00 and the add ons are usually about $5.00) and they instantly make your reunion or party theme come alive!

For our “Cruisin’” family reunion we used a cruise ship scene setter to give the allusion of  being in the ocean on a luxury cruise ship.  Scene setters are usually used in a room and applied with some sort of “Sticky Tack” or tape.  Taking scene setters outside is where the real challenge is!

Each roll is usually 30 feet long and 4 feet high and because we were camping for our reunion we had to work around trees, rocks and other obstacles.  Uncle Richard, who works in construction, came to the rescue and very quickly built a background for my scene setter to go on.  Here’s how we did it-

Making Room Scene Setters Work Without a Room

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I didn’t care if the scene setter was 30 feet long or not- I believe ours ended up being 24 feet long.  Uncle Richard used plywood (the quality didn’t matter) and 2×4’s to brace it and hold it up.

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Once the background was up we used spray adhesive to attach the scene setter.  The trick to using spray adhesive is to spray both the plywood AND the scene setter.  It took three of us to keep smooth and straight but it wasn’t hard and it didn’t take long.

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There will be a few creases but it didn’t bother us at all. 

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After putting up the two large sheets of our scene setter we cut out the individual “add on” decorations.  Use your own wall adhesive for hanging or we found that if you get the add on a little wet it will just smooth on and although not permanent, adhered to our scene for the three days of our reunion.  I didn’t use all of the add ons provided- just our favorites.

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The pictures below show how a scene setter works.  This is how the makers of scene setters visualize the finished product.

Cruise Scene Setter

Tropical Cruise Ship Scene Setter

This is the top scene setter.

Ocean and Sky Backdrop

This is the bottom of the scene setter.  Each piece is 4 feet tall by 30 feet long.

Cruise Ship Deck BackdropCruise Ship Deck Backdrop

This is the “add on” we used.  We had to cut out each piece before we applied it to our scene.

Jungle Scene Setter

Other scenes are available like this fun jungle theme.  It is made up a jungle “trees” roll AND a jungle “foliage” roll.

Then you add decorations and animals.

Sports Stadium Scene Setter

I love this sports stadium scene setter.  Imagine holding a sports themed reunion or party and putting this along the walls of your gym or party room.

Sports Stadium Insta Theme

Pirate Design a Room

Design-A-Room Pirate Pack - Party Decorations & Backdrops & Scene Setters

I’ve used scene setters before- just last Christmas I used a brick like scene setter to take Santa pictures with the kids.  We held our party in the church gym and the brick background sure looked nicer than the boring white wall that we would’ve used.

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If you don’t do a 30 foot long scene and a have some pieces of your scene setter left over use on your serving table as a table cloth.

You can purchase all of the items I’ve shown you in the Family Reunion Helper store.  You’ll need some help and good adhesive to put it up but the way it transforms your room or your OUTSIDE party is almost magical.

Planning a Family Reunion- the Basics

I recently received a mailbag question from a visitor to Family Reunion Helper.  They asked,  “How do we plan a family reunion? Please give me specifics? Dates, locations, committees. How do we finance a family reunion?”

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I have a lot of respect for someone who is building a family reunion from scratch.  I did it 25 years ago and although reunions can be a ton of work they are so worth it.

Family Reunion Helper has addressed all the questions asked above in previous blogs so I though it might be a good idea to put all those blogs together to be easily accessed if someone is planning a reunion for the first time.  Just click on the link below each heading to read more “back to the basics” about planning a family reunion.

Three Keys to a Successful Family Reunion

http://familyreunionhelper.com/3_keys_to_a_successful_family_reunion.php

Family Reunion Checklist and Timeline

http://familyreunionhelper.com/reunion_checklist.php

Family Reunion Committees

http://familyreunionhelper.com/committees.php

How to Pay for Your Reunion

http://familyreunionhelper.com/blog/2011/03/planning-to-pay-for-your-family-reunion/

Family Reunion Locations

http://familyreunionhelper.com/blog/2012/04/location-location-whats-your-favorite-family-reunion-location/

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Family Reunion Themes

http://familyreunionhelper.com/blog/2011/05/family-reunion-theme-ideas/

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Aunt MO

Location, Location- What’s Your Favorite Family Reunion Location?

A real estate agent will tell you- location is everything when buying a house and family reunion planners will heartily agree that when planning a reunion- LOCATION is everything!

Tell us about your favorite family reunion location- where is it at and why do you go there?

For many families, returning to a much-loved reunion destination has become an annual tradition.  After several years that location may feel more like home than home itself.

Our Favorite Family Reunion Location

We have the greatest little reunion site It’s called Hansen Park in Elwood Utah.  It has a huge covered bowery with a kitchen, a fire pit, restrooms and even a baseball diamond and small basketball court.

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Someone must have told the good people of Elwood what a treasure they have because they have now made it as difficult as possible to reserve the park and our family has just given up trying to get it- but if you can find a friend that lives in Elwood they may just be able to help you out.

Family Reunion Camping

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In the years before Hansen Park and the years after- we have spent many family reunions in group site C and D in Box Elder Campground.  It’s a little more like “roughing it” then Hansen Park and the kids get dirtier because there is a lot more dirt.  It’s true camping and all of us except the mom’s that have kids that crawl love it.  There are lots of picnic tables, restrooms and beautiful shade trees. Parking can sometimes be a challenge but we’ve learned to adapt.

If you’re looking for a campground you can find a list of campgrounds in the US and make reservations at http://www.reserveamerica.com/

Family Reunion at the Lake

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In the years that we had access to a boat we held our family reunions at Bear Lake.  The water is some of the bluest I’ve ever seen but hold your reunion in June and it will be some of the coldest water you’ve ever jumped in.  You can camp at locations such as Rendezvous Beach or rent a condo close by.

If you’re looking for  a list of lakes in North America you could use http://www.greatlakesnorthamerica.com/ as a resource.

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Of course, if I had unlimited resources I would probably choose a cruise for my favorite family reunion location, but since that isn’t an option, you’ll find my family campin’ out at good ole campsite C and lovin’ every minute of it!

Tell us about your favorite family reunion location

Tell us about your favorite family reunion location- where is it at and why do you go there?  It may feel like you’re giving up your favorite fishin’ hole but please share- what works for your family?

Aunt MO

Location, Location, Location!

It’s official- the Stewart family reunion will be held at Box  Elder Campground! Why is that great news? Well, as far as I’m concerned, finding the location to hold a family reunion is the most difficult part of the planning. Give me responsibility for the food, the games and the decorating but PLEASE don’t make me find a place to hold the family reunion.  That’s just too hard.  That’s why when we find a good family reunion location we keep going there until circumstances change and we have to move on.

Lately, our favorite reunion location has been Hanson Park. It is the dream location. It has a large grassy area for camping and playing games, ball diamond for softball, restrooms, kitchen with large grills and a full size fridge, covered bowery, basketball, swings and lots of parking. The only problem with Hanson Park is that it wasn’t available this year – you snooze you lose. . .

So where to hold your family reunion?  Here’s my list:

Campground, Park, College dormitory, Condominium, Resort, Cruise, Theme Park, Reservoir, Beach, Bed and Breakfast, Grandma’s yard, Hotel, Ranch, Water Park, Hot Springs Resort or an Ancestral Site such as a town where your ancestors’ homesteaded or where they were born or died.  Have I left any place out?

When looking for a family reunion location consider the distance family members will have to travel to the reunion.  Can family members get to your reunion without having to take a lot of vacation from work?  There are some wonderful resort locations near us but the cost is prohibitive.  Consider affordability- will some of your family members be unable to attend the reunion because of the cost?   Determine what features the proposed reunion site offers.  If  you want to have a water reunion then plan your reunion at a water park.  When choosing your location, be sure to ask about facilities such as parking, restrooms and, for outdoor reunions, alternatives in case of rain. Most campgrounds limit how many vehicles you can park at the site. Even group sites will have a limit. One of the campgrounds we have used for our family reunions will allow 100 people in the group camping site but only allows parking for 10 total automobiles. Doesn’t seem to make sense, does it?

Some things the Stewarts consider when selecting a family reunion location is that it is close enough to Grandma and Grandpa’s house so that Grandpa (age 85) can sleep in his own bed. We also want our reunion location to be close enough to motels so that families that don’t care for camping can rent a room for the reunion and we HAVE to have access to restrooms but hot showers and electricity are not necessary.

There have been some years that I thought, “Oh, well, guess we won’t be having a family reunion this year.” But every year we keep  at it and something eventually works out. We have held our family reunion at parks, campgrounds, on the beach, at a condominium, in a backyard, bed and breakfast, at a hot springs resort and Grandma’s front yard.  Each year everyone always says, “this has been the best reunion ever!” and although each site has different things to offer I would consider each of our reunions a success. I guess that just proves that although “where” you have your family reunion is important, “having” a family reunion is the most important thing of all!

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