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Family Reunion University Teaches Family Reunion Planners the Ropes -- For Only $50

Eager family members planning reunions next year may benefit greatly from the expertise of family reunion experts at YMCA of the Rockies. The organization has announced it will be hosting its second annual Family Reunion University on November 12-14 at the YMCA's Estes Park Center and November 19-21 at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Having hosted thousands of family reunions more than 800 in 2004 alone, the staff of the YMCA of the Rockies designed Family Reunion University as a program to help family reunion planners gain the information and experience needed to plan a successful reunion. Besides learning how to connect with family members, reunion planners also get the chance to connect with each other through team-building exercises, ice breakers and idea sharing.

Participants learn how to increase family participation, navigate the process of contracting a reunion facility, explore catering options and choose group activities such as hay rides, rafting, or family photographs.

The facilities at both Estes Park Center and Snow Mountain Ranch come alive as planners stay in one of the many lodges on the sites. Participants learn what to look for in reunion facilities, they meet YCMA staff members, and they enjoy an extensive tour of the grounds. "By the end of last year's event, many of the participants wanted to have a reunion of Family Reunion University students because they had become such great friends," said Laurie Van Horn, marketing director of the YMCA of the Rockies. For a $50 tuition fee, a participant receives two nights lodging, meals, and a weekend filled with helpful and enjoyable activities aimed at helping them make their own family reunion a success.

"It's a great program! If you are planning a reunion, you get just enough information without being overwhelmed,"said Alice Clark, 2003 Family Reunion University graduate. "Plus, you get a really warm feeling in your heart that you really did pick the right spot for your reunion. "I'm actually thinking of going again!"

The mission of the YMCA of the Rockies is to put Christian principles into practice through programs, staff and facilities in an environment that builds healthy spirits, minds and bodies for all. The organization accomplishes this by serving conferences of a religious, educational, or recreational nature, providing unifying experiences for families, offering traditional summer camping experiences for boys and girls, and serving staff with leadership opportunities and productive work experiences.

For more information or to sign up for Family Reunion University, call 1-800-777-YMCA or visit www.ymcarockies.org.

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