Prince Georgeâ€™s County, Maryland Conference & Visitors Bureau ReunionCapitalUSA.com
Bringing families and friends together is something we all can relate to. That’s why my family and I whole-heartedly support the Prince George’s County Conference & Visitors Bureau’s ReunionCapitalUSA. What makes the Reunions so important? Simply stated, it’s a unique opportunity for all ages to celebrate our past, present, and future. At a time when families and friends are pulled in so many directions, no occasion better represents (and fortifies) the love, traditions, and bonds that make us who we are. It’s never too late to reunite, rediscover and honor your family and friends – while creating memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you’re an area resident or valued visitor, we invite every reunion to call Prince George’s County home. Prince George’s expertise in organizing memorable gatherings, close proximity to our nation’s capital, and historical ties to joyful reunions are the reasons “Where Families & Friends Come Together” resonates so strongly with so many. Please enjoy these valuable tips and resources in planning your next reunion celebration. Best reunion wishes from the place where families and friends (just like yours) come together. Sincerely, Rushern L. Baker, III County Executive Prince George’s County, Maryland
Reunion Planning 101 Planning a Reunion Reunion Timetable Finding Your Family History County Accommodations Reserved Picnic Areas | Park Permits National Parks State Parks County Parks Municipal Parks Family and Group Outing Ideas Transportation | Tours
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Prince George’s County... Minutes from Washington, DC There’s an old saying, “the family is our refuge, our springboard...our link to the past, our bridge to the future.” No other event represents this better than a Reunion. Reunions are special occasions that fortify the love, traditions, and bonds that make us all whole. Here in Prince George’s County, we understand and appreciate the value of such gatherings and we invite every reunion to call our County home. Whether you’re planning an event for 5 or 500, there’s a place for you in Prince George’s County. Your family and friends will find and experience outstanding accommodations, attractions, restaurants, meeting and banquet facilities, and award-winning parks and recreation. There is always something to see, do, and discover here...just minutes from Washington, DC. Prince George’s County is home to National Harbor, Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center, Bowie State University, University of Maryland at College Park, the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Baysox Minor League Baseball, FedEx Field and the Washington Redskins, the National Wildlife Visitor Center, wonderful historic sites and museums, and reunion-oriented events. Prince George’s is also home to the Washington, DC metropolitan area’s only theme park – Six Flags America®. It’s easy for everyone to reach your reunion. As part of Washington DC’s vibrant metropolitan corridor, Prince George’s County is just minutes to everything. The County is within easy access of all major amenities and attractions, most major cities, three major airports, Amtrak, MARC, Metrorail, and Greyhound bus service. Need Help? The Prince George’s County Conference and Visitors Bureau can assist you in planning an enjoyable reunion event. Whether you need to book hotel rooms or find attractions, special events, and dining options, the CVB staff has the resources and experience to help you. Available services include: • Pre-reunion planning assistance • Assistance in attaining hotel accommodations • Suggestions for picnic and banquet facilities • Suggestions for area attractions and parks • Providing welcome bags and visitor publications To learn more, contact the Prince George’s County Conference and Visitors Bureau at 301-925-8300 or email us at email@example.com. Please visit our websites to learn more:
ReunionCapitalUSA.com VisitPrinceGeorges.com • HistoricPrinceGeorges.com
Planning a Reunion
Reunions take organization, time, commitment, and planning. To get started, form a committee. It can be as small as 3-4 people. Include all age groups when possible. Decide how often the committee will meet and consider the following items: • Date • Invitations • Location • Travel and Lodging • Facilities • Food • Mailing List • Program and Format • Finances • Local Transportation • Communications • Souvenirs
Facilities & Food
Finances and expenses may dictate the search for the right facility, but often a reunion is perceived as a time for a vacation and members want a nice place. If there is a particular purpose for the reunion, bringing people together primarily to get to know each other, a more isolated area may be more desirable. On the other hand, if participants have said they want to spend time on their own, look for a facility that provides plenty of amusements.
Frequent communication with family and friends helps to generate information and maintain interest over the months of planning for the reunion. A computer makes it easier to handle all of your communications. Compile the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of as many potential attendees as you can find through your network. The first communication may just be a notice that the reunion is being planned and invite suggestions. When the location, date, and facility have been confirmed send another notice, including the cost. This should go out at least 4-6 months before the reunion. If the facility has some particularly attractive features, include this information to keep reunion participants interested and engaged.
You may wish to send out a survey soliciting the kinds of activities everyone would like to have. Or your survey may be sent to gather information about each person to be included in a keepsake directory.
In addition to hotels, consider conference centers, state parks with housing facilities, resorts, and college campuses (University of Maryland, Bowie State University). All of the activities do not have to be held where people are housed. Picnics may be held in a park or banquets may be held at a local museum.
Set a definite date for registration and payment. It is necessary to know who will be coming so that arrangements regarding food, trips, tours, and lodging may be finalized. Be prepared to mail a follow-up letter closer to the due date. Don’t forget to include a map and directions. Set up a telephone chain to contact people who haven’t responded.
Eating is always an important event at a reunion. People like to have plenty of good food. The choice of a facility sometimes dictates the food arrangements. Some require you to use their food service; others offer a meal plan. Confirm all arrangements in your negotiations with hotels and in the information package you send to your reunion attendees.
Everyone looks forward to reuniting and having fun together The range of possible activities is limitless. The more reunion members who are involved in carrying out the activities, the more likely their participation over time. Talents among family and friends have an opportunity to shine. Use people’s abilities and interests and consider the array of possibilities available to your group, be it family, sorority sisters, church friends, or military comrades.
Reunions do cost money, but with careful planning every family and group can afford to have one. The cost of organizing includes expenses such as postage, duplication, stationary, and telephone. These costs may be passed on to reunion members as part of their registration fee. The planning committee should be aware that deposits might also be needed for the sites, souvenirs, and the like. Consider a fundraising event during the year to offset these expenses. Fundraisers may include dinner dances and parties, raffles, casinos or theater trips, card parties, flea markets, and any other way that works for your group.
Sharing history has become a major activity at reunions. Many reunion groups have found interesting ways to tell their stories. For family reunions, genealogical societies, genealogists, and other resources exist to help persons trace their roots. Be sure to interview family elders and tape what they say. Remember that family reunions offer a chance to collect history in the making. Videotape your reunion activities and record information for the sake of future generations.
After the Reunion • Talent shows • Family story telling • Choir singing • Recognition ceremonies • Arts and crafts exhibits • Fashion shows • Music and poetry • Sports, Games, and Competitions • Military Memorials Members may lead workshops in topics such as social media, economic development, investing, education, parenting skills, political action, sports trivia, or ballroom dancing. Remember to include activities for all ages, including youth and the elderly.
After the reunion, evaluate how it went. Accentuate the positive and celebrate your successes. Iron out the rough spots. Encourage ongoing gatherings and reunions. You’ll find that it gets easier to organize and even more fun as time goes on.
Text reprinted by permission of The Family Reunion Institute School of Social Administration Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 215-204-6244 www.temple.edu/fri/familyreunion
It Takes Time to Plan a Reunion One of the keys to staging a successful reunion is giving yourself adequate TIME. You’ll need at least 4 months (and as many as 18 months) to get everything done. Give yourself enough time to plan, execute, and follow-up. Here’s a timetable with specific tasks to insure a successful and enjoyable reunion for you and your guests: 12 to 18 Months Before
• Complete address/memory book. • Draft checklist for reunion tasks. • Coordinate volunteers and designate their assignments. • Confirm understanding of assignments, logistics and security.
11-12 Months Before
2 Weeks and Counting
• Form reunion committee(s) and establish responsibilities and schedules. • Create a budget/bookkeeping system. Keep records of everything you do that relates to the reunion. • Site Visit – scout potential locations and facilities (if needed). • Set the date. • Select the location. • 1st Mailing - Send out a reunion announcement w/ tentative reunion date, schedule and plans. • Arrange or hire caterer, photographer, etc.
6 to 9 Months and Counting
• Finalize reunion date and location. • 2nd Mailing - Send out reunion invitation. • Reserve block of hotel rooms. • Begin list of attendees.
5 Months and Counting
• Confirm reservations, photographer, entertainment, caterer (if used). • Finalize menu.
6-8 Weeks and Counting
• Create a database of family names, addresses, phone numbers, and email. • Determine interest and estimate number of people that may attend. • Assemble a list of people who will help organize the event.
• Purchase last minute decorations and supplies. • Confirm eating, lodging and meeting arrangements. • Review final checklist.
One Day and Counting
• Solve or resolve any last-minute problems. • Walk through all final details.
The Big Day — The Reunion is Here!
• Get to the reunion site early. • Coordinate day-of details, meet with volunteers, etc. • Decorate reunion area. • Set up displays, rental equipment, registration table.
Done — Now What?
• Evaluate – What worked? What didn’t? • Thank everyone who helped. • Settle all accounts; finalize bookkeeping. • Set a date to plan for the next reunion.
Finding Your Family History or Group’s History Your reunion is a great time to learn more about yourself, your family, and your friends. For a full list of resources, visit ReunionCapitalUSA.com. Discovering this history will take time, patience, and diligence, but it will be one of the most rewarding adventures you can undertake. Everyone can get involved. Start by making important notes and keeping records about every reunion member you know, meet, or discover. In addition, there is an abundance of genealogical web sites and resources available to assist you as you uncover the history behind your reunion connections. We’ve outlined a number of free sites to get you started:
The Library of Congress, Local History and Genealogy Reading Room contains one of the world’s premier collections of U.S. and foreign genealogical and local historical publications. The Library’s genealogy collection began as early as 1815 with the purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s library.
The National Archives offers insight into the lives of people, their families and our history. Because the records at the National Archives come from every branch of the Federal government, almost all Americans can find themselves, their ancestors in the archives. Knowing how a person interacted with the government is key to a successful search.
The USGenWeb Project consist of a group of volunteers working together to provide free genealogy websites for genealogical research in every county and every state of the United States.This Project is non-commercial.
The Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Inc. strives to preserve Africanancestored family history, genealogy, and cultural diversity by teaching research techniques and disseminating information. (Prince George’s County Chapter)
The American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island allows visitors to explore the extraordinary collection of immigrant arrival records stored in the Ellis Island archives.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch hosts a free web site that contains the largest collection of family history, tree, and genealogy records in the world.
The DAR Library in Washington, DC is the home of the Genealogical Research Center. The library contains a wealth of unique materials.
Accommodations—Hotels In addition to being a great destination, Prince George’s County has a wide variety of wonderful accommodations, restaurants, caterers, reunion resources, and party services suited for your family and friends’ reunion enjoyment. For all there is to see, do, and experience in Prince George’s County, please visit one or all of our websites: ReunionCapitalUSA.com VisitPrinceGeorges.com HistoricPrinceGeorges.com Be sure to click on the OneNews link for 24/7 up-to-the-second Deals and Happenings that never end!
North County LAUREL
Holiday Inn Laurel West 15101 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, MD 20707 301-776-5300 / 800-972-3159 www.hilaurelwest.com Quality Inn & Suites One Second Street, Laurel, MD 20707 301-725-8800 / 877-424-6423 www.qualityinnlaurel.com
North County BELTSVILLE & CALVERTON
Comfort Inn Capital Beltway/I-95 North 4050 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD 20705 301-572-7100 / 877-424-6423 www.comfortinn.com/hotel-beltsvillemaryland-MD614 Greenbelt Marriott 6400 Ivy Lane, Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-441-3700 / 800-228-9290 www.marriottgreenbelt.com
SheratonWashington North Hotel 4095 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD 20705 301-937-4422 / 800-325-3535 www.sheratonwashingtonnorth.com
North County COLLEGE PARK & UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Clarion Inn & Fundome 8601 Baltimore Blvd, College Park, MD 20740 301-474-2800 / 800-442-1644 www.collegeparkinn.com Comfort Inn & Suites 9020 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740 301-441-8110 / 800-228-5150 www.comfortinncollegepark.com
Hampton Inn College Park 9670 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740 301-345-2200 / 800-426-7866 www.hamptoninn.com Holiday Inn Washington-College Park (I-95) 10000 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740 301-345-6700 / 800-455-4329 www.holiday-inn.com/was-collegepk
Hilton Garden Inn Washington DC /Greenbelt 7810 Walker Drive Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-474-7400 / 877-782-9444 www.washingtondcgreenbelt.stayhgi.com Holiday Inn Greenbelt/ NASA Goddard 7200 Hanover Drive Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-982-7000 / 888-465-4329 www.holidayinn.com/greenbelt
Residence Inn Greenbelt 6320 Golden Triangle Drive Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-982-1600 / 800-331-3131 www.residenceinn.com Quality Inn & Suites 7200 Baltimore Blvd.,College Park, MD 20740 301-864-5820 / 800-228-5151 www.qualityinncollegepark.com Marriott Inn & Conference Center UMUC University of Maryland University College 3501 University Blvd. East Adelphi, Maryland 20783 301-985-7300 / 888-236-2427 www.marriott.com/wasum
North County GREENBELT Courtyard by Marriott 6301 Golden Triangle Drive Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-441-3311 / 800-321-2211 www.marriott.com/wasgr
Central County BOWIE
Comfort Inn & Conference Center 4500 Crain Highway, Bowie, MD 20716 301-464-0089 / 800-228-5150 www.pmchotels.com Hampton Inn Bowie 15202 Major Lansdale Blvd. Bowie, MD 20716 301-809-1800 / 800-426-7866 www.hamptoninn.com
Central County CAPITOL HEIGHTS
Country Inn & Suites 8850 Hampton Mall Drive N. Capitol Heights, MD 20743 301-350-8088 / 1-800-596-2375 www.countryinns.com/capitolheightsmd
Central County - CHEVERLY
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites I-95 Capital Beltway 9101 Basil Court, Largo, MD 20774 301-636-6090 / 888-465-4329 www.holidayinnexpress.com
Central County - LANDOVER, LANHAM & NEW CARROLLTON
Radisson Hotel Largo Washington DC 9100 Basil Court, Largo, MD 20774 301-773-0700 / 800-333-3333 www.radisson.com/largomd
Howard Johnson Inn 5811 Annapolis Rd., Cheverly, MD 20784 301-779-7700 / 800-274-4938 www.hojo.com
Courtyard by Marriott 8330 Corporate Drive, Landover, MD 20785 301-577-3373 / 800-321-2211 www.marriott.com/wasld
Central County LANDOVER HILLS Holiday Inn Express Washington DC/BW Parkway 6205 Annapolis Road, Hyattsville, MD 20784 301-322-6000 / 800-228-5150 www.hyattsvillemdhotel.com
Central County LANHAM & NEW CARROLLTON
Best Western Capital Beltway 5910 Princess Garden Parkway Lanham, MD 20706 301-459-1000 / 800-866-4458 www.bestwesterndc.com/hotels/bestwestern-capital-beltway
Central County LANDOVER, LARGO & UPPER MARLBORO Hampton Inn Washington I-95 9421 West Largo Drive Largo, MD 20774 301-499-4600 / 800-426-7866 www.hamptoninndc.com
South County CAMP SPRINGS & ANDREWS AFB Country Inn & Suites by Carlson 4950 Mercedes Blvd Camp Springs, MD 20746 240-492-1070 / 888-201-1746 www.countryinns.com/templehillsmd
Holiday Inn Express Andrews AFB 5001 Mercedes Boulevard Camp Springs, MD 20746 301-423-2323 / 888-465-4329 http://hiexpress.com/campspringsmd Quality Inn at Andrews AFB 4783 Allentown Road Camp Springs, MD 20746 301-420-2800 www.qualityaafb.com
South County - CLINTON & ANDREWS AFB
Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center 201 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745 301-965-2000 www.gaylordnational.com
Colony South Hotel 7401 Surratts Road, Clinton, MD 20735 301-856-4500 / 800-537-1147 www.colonysouth.com
Hampton Inn & Suites National Harbor 250 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745 301-567-3531 / 800-426-7866 www.hamptoninn.com
Marriott TownePlace Suites Clinton @ Andrews AFB 7800 Ferry Avenue, Clinton, MD 20735 301-856-2266 / 877-331-2266 www.marriott.com/wasaf
Residence Inn National Harbor 192 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745 301-749-4755 / 800-331-3131 www.residenceinnnationalharbor.com
South County OXON HILL & NATIONAL HARBOR
South County UPPER MARLBORO VICINITY
Comfort Inn @ Andrews AFB 7979 Malcolm Road, Clinton, MD 20735 301-856-5200 / 866-284-7891 www.comfortinnclinton.com
Aloft Washington National Harbor 156 Waterfront Street National Harbor, MD 20745 301-749-9000 / 1-877-GO-ALOFT www.aloftnationalharbor.com Comfort Inn Oxon Hill 6363 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745 301-839-0001 / 877-424-6423 www.comfortinn.com Clarion Hotel at Oxon Hill 6400 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745 301-749-9400 / 888-209-2770 www.clarionhotel.com
Executive Inn & Suites 2901 Crain Highway Upper Marlboro, MD 20774 301-627-3969 executiveinnandsuitesmd.com
Accommodations— Private Campgrounds Cherry Hill Park 9800 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 301-937-7116 / 800-801-6449 www.cherryhillpark.com
Accommodations— Bed & Breakfast Private Stay by Madly Living Bed & Breakfast Fort Washington, MD 301-292-9008 www.madlyliving.com Butterfly Fields Bed & Breakfast Just Outside of Upper Marlboro 320 Frank Moreland Place Lothian, MD 20711 1-410-271-1433 www.butterfly-fields.com
Park Permits — Reserved Picnic Areas National Parks Fort Washington National Park 13551 Fort Washington Road Fort Washington, MD 20744 301-763-4600 www.nps.gov/fowa/ Greenbelt National Park 6565 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, MD 301-344-3948 www.nps.gov/gree Oxon Cove Park / Oxon Hill Farm US National Park Service 6411 Oxon Hill Road, Oxon Hill, MD 20745 301-839-1176 • www.nps.gov/oxhi
State Parks Cedarville State Forest Cedarville Rd., off Rt. 301, Brandywine, MD 301-888-1410 | 800-784-5380 www.dnr.state.md.us Rosaryville State Park c/o Mount Airy Mansion 8714 Rosaryville Rd Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 301-856-9656 • www.dnr.state.md.us
County Parks Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Park Permits Office 4325 Forbes Boulevard -Suite A Lanham, MD 20706 301-918-8111 www.pgparks.com Cosca Regional Park 11000 Thrift Road, Clinton, MD 20735 301-868-1397 / 301-918-8111 (reservations) www.pgparks.com Patuxent River Park 16000 Croom Airport Road Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 301-627-6074 www.pgparks.com Walker Mill Regional Park 8840 Walker Mill Road District Heights, MD 20747 301-699-2407; 301-918-8111 (reservations) www.pgparks.com
Watkins Regional Park 301 Watkins Park Rd. Upper Marlboro, MD 20774 301-249-6900; 301-918-8111 (reservations) www.pgparks.com
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742 301-405-ARTS www.claricesmithcenter.umd.edu
Allen Pond Park—Bowie 3330 Northview Drive Bowie, MD 20715 301-809-3011 • www.cityofbowie.org
Baysox Minor League Baseball 4101 NE Crain Hwy., Bowie, MD 20716 301-805-6000 www.baysox.com
Whitemarsh Park—Bowie Route 3 South, Bowie, MD 20715 301-809-3011 • www.cityofbowie.org
Rosecroft Raceway 6336 Rosecroft Dr., Ft. Washington, MD 20744 301-567-4000 • www.rosecroft.com
Buddy Attick Park—Greenbelt 555 Crescent Road Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-397-2200 www.greenbeltmd.gov
Six Flags America P.O. Box 4210, Largo, MD 20775 301-249-1500 www.sixflags.com/america
Schrom Hills Park—Greenbelt 6915 Hanover Pkwy Greenbelt, MD 20770 301-397-2200 www.greenbeltmd.gov
Beltway Transportation 8016 Marlboro Pike, Forestville, MD 20747 301-420-3101 www.beltwaytransportation.com
Magruder Park—Hyattsville 3911 Hamilton Street Hyattsville, MD 20781 301-985-5045 www.hyattsville.org Granville Gude Park—Laurel 8300 Mulberry Street Laurel, MD 20707 301-725-5300 x317 www.cityoflaurel.org/ facilities/granville-gude-park-lakehouse
Exquisite Limousine Service 7700 Old Branch Ave., Ste. D106 Clinton, MD 20735 301-877-7731 www.exquisitelimousineserviceco.com First Priority Trailways, Inc. 4203 Forestville Rd. District Heights, MD 20747 301-568-3500 • www.firstprioritytours.com Martz Gold Line/Gray Line 5500 Tuxedo Rd., Tuxedo, MD 20781 301-386-8300 www.graylinedc.com
Prince George’s County, Maryland Conference & Visitors Bureau 9200 Basil Court, Suite 101, Largo, MD 20774 • 301-925-8300 Prince George’s County, Maryland Conference & Visitors Bureau ReunionCapitalUSA.com www.WhereFamiliesComeTogether.com VisitPrinceGeorges.com • HistoricPrinceGeorges.com www.visitprincegeorges.com
Guide for Family Reunions and other reunions