High school class reunions in Maine.
How to make attendance higher at Maine high school reunions? This blog post about a recent high school reunion in Maine I attended and reasons why or why not classmates attend one.
For starters, COVID messed up the in person Maine high school class reunions for a few years.
Or you could argue more people could attend a cyber class reunion using ZOOM technology. But we all know online meet ups are just not the same. How do you mingle and move around the room in a ZOOM meeting?
You don’t get to make the rounds to personally see and talk with your high school class group sitting up straight peering into a video camera.
So high school class reunions in Maine. Here are tips to make the attendance the best it can be. What to do and what to avoid to cause great participation at a Maine class reunion.
First, in small Maine towns, lots of the high school classmates still live local for the reunion.
Some of them moved away, climbed up the ladder, joined the service or left for many reasons. Some away classmates relocated and then later in life returned to their small town Maine roots for a simpler lifestyle.
Cheaper Maine real estate and cashing in the chips with high priced urban properties.
Trading it all in for no crime, no traffic the push to return back to small Maine town living.
If you already live local and are in the biggest group, a high school class reunion should be a piece of cake to gain large attendance.
This is the biggest group yet often the hardest to get to attend your class reunion. Why?
Fear of I am not quite successful enough to attend my high school class reunion.
Not wanting to be judged or comfortable with your answers to “what have you been up to since we graduated from a Maine high school?”. Some classmates attended their fifth or tenth class reunion and got a dose of “why did you stay in your home town” questioning. I thought you were smarter than that is the inference from anyone in your class out to impress you with their Worldly success.
Made to feel like a “loser local” or hearing continuously about me me my success in life by just a few not so warm and fuzzy classmates can be disastrous.
For some wanting to see old high school classmates but secretly hoping a few just don’t make it home to attend they view toxic.
Some argue the high school class reunions are not so needed due to social media keeping everyone up to date. Heck, you even get notifications when it is someone’s birthday. People already feel connected and can catch up or get updated online on a regular basis.
Were you active in your high school class or moved away before graduation?
Were there several clicks in your high school or one big happy family with lots of spirit? Let’s face it, some high school classes just were tighter knit and the chemistry more connected.
Small high school class size in Maine towns has something to do with it too. When your graduating class was in the teens or under one hundred, you were closer. No one forgotten or lost in the shuffle. And smaller class size Maine high school graduates I think make a bigger effort to attend.
It is harder to miss who did not come in a small high school class then one from Maine’s handful of city larger class size reunions.
High school class reunions in Maine, it’s a lot like a family reunion too.
The bigger the family, the more like a reunion it feels when more make the effort to show up on the magic day. With all the generations in the family bringing their covered dish or whatever contribution to the family party celebration.
Some families are closer than others just like Maine high school classes. With families, who married into it can be a blessing or cause division. At a class reunion, who they married does not impact the attendance as much. Unless at the last reunion someone drank too much or flirted or just did not like all the old high school information shared with their new spouse.
So, was the high school reunion experience a good one for the classmate?
If yes, why wouldn’t they want to attend each and every reunion? Unless sickness, distance away or timing was an obstacle, some classmates from far away always make the most effort to attend the reunion.
The high school classmates handy to the reunion who do not attend.
Have they forgotten the ones from out of state and feel they get to see everyone local already? Unless you pick up an old high school year book and thumb through the images once in a while, it is easy to lose touch. Until you see or hear about a classmate’s death, and feel we need to have a high school reunion. It’s later than you think and none of us is getting any younger by the day right?
So more tips to improve attendance of your Maine high school class reunion.
Pick a good easy to access high school reunion venue, like Tall Timber Lodge in New Limerick on Drews Lake. There is a cost for the out of town or state classmate to attend. But regardless if local or not, a personal contact by email, snail mail, social media postings have to happen. Watch a video on Drews Lake island property sold a while back but that gives you a feeling of what the Northern Maine waterfront location is like.
If you want to improve attendance, effort to show each and every classmate no one is left behind has to be obvious. The classmates that were in the flock until eighth grade or moved away should be invited to the reunion too. Those that were in one high school but finished the education in another. It can be like a ball player traded mid season and like a man or woman without a country in not feeling like you belong. The class reunion attendance improving approach has to always be “not member left behind”.
“Also, no one let me know until the last minute. “
That’s a huge excuse for why some classmates missed the Maine class reunion. But is it the truth? When high school reunion notices were mailed, emailed, with follow up texts and personal calls. Even getting your family to sound the bugle charge to retreat, return to your class reunion.
Or what if the high school experience was not so much fun or you were not so social, not a scholar or an athlete? For some they ran away from their home town high school or parents relocated, divorced and severed the connection.
Why would you want to go to the expense, take the time to hang out with a group of classmates and a high school you spent years trying to escape?
Is that how you feel about your high school class? Let’s face it, some of us are more social than others. Or high school was a struggle for lots of personal reasons.
Maybe a few in your class are the last people on Earth you would want to spend a few hours with after all these years. Or do you fall in this group “I attended the 10th high school reunion, found little in common with my fellow classmates who I shared those four years of high school. Went to the 20th reunion under pressure from my best friend and it was even worse.”
So now there may be mini high school reunions where a few in your class stay in touch and it is pick and choose. If the “reunion” is a few classmates critique members in a not so favorable way when they do “meet up”, that could be a big reason why so low a turnout to milestone events.
The cost of the reunion, especially in the early class meet ups can be a factor.
Was the event lavish and expensive or simple and low cost to appeal to a larger audience? Did the high school reunion committee work long and hard or was their disention in the planning ranks? Too many, too little planners for the reunion?
The many little reasons that help or hurt attendance means awareness of how people decide should I go or not?
The more reunions you miss, the harder getting classmates to go becomes. Some don’t view high school graduation as that big a deal. Many argue I “peaked” outside of the halls and classrooms of their high school. Done, finished, not going back to their high school reunion.
Or what if your small Maine high school is no longer?
Lost are the game balls in a trophy case, class colors and the gym, classrooms, cafeteria because the school is no longer. Merged with a larger school administration district SAD or RSU.
I’ve been told “you feel out of the loop”. The feeling only intensifies the more reunions you don’t attend. So just go to the next one, l heard someone whisper in the blog post audience. Like a church invitation that is always open for you to attend.
The invite that says “you can always come home”.
All’s forgiven, here’s this week’s program and all the church bulletin happenings to get you up to speed and back in the flock. Many who do attend class reunions is because they sincerely want to reunite and see old friends, recall school stories. These folks wish there were more class reunions.
“I’m over weight, just went through a divorce, or oh, I wasn’t that close to anyone in my class.” Good excuses and how some decide I’m not going to this or any of my class reunions. For some, I could wait to get out of town and after the graduation, I high tailed to the big city lights. Rippe3d off the rear view mirrors and never looked back.
I didn’t graduate from this Maine high school.
Was that the reason not to go or were they even invited to the class reunion? Don’t overlook anyone in your class and make an effort to find their location. In this day and age of Internet connection, it is easier than ever to “Google” someone. To search Facebook, other social media platforms to find your classmate. Without the “return to sender” experience.
Calling other local classmate’s family to get them to help invite the MIA’s is good recruiting too.
You really ought to go to your class reunion Maine high school.
And put an extra emphasis on if you have not been to any class reunion, you especially are missed and classmates so happy to see you. Or your spouse helps push you to the event with or without them.
But what if that spouse views your class reunion as torture being in a room where probably half the attending have no connection to the class. Or maybe they do and married a classmate, someone a couple years older or younger who is anxious to attend.
Time of year, trying to schedule a class reunion for your Maine high school when out of towners are home anyway helps your attendance.
Cost, menu, venue, timing impacts attendance whether everyone has a good time or not.
The program for a Maine high school class reunion, how do you make sure everyone has a good time? The year you graduated music that is like a time machine transporting your class back to high school. Alcohol, can it help or hurt the class reunion. Everyone comes away glad they came and thinking about the next reunion because of the success.
And isn’t the entertainment beside music is good food, the classmates themselves?
Remembering the good times, paying respects for those you lost as the Maine high school class year size of the living shrinks?
Apathy, because of overbooked living or because high school classes differ? Some more rah rah rah school spirit and others “meh”? I know some high school classes that just were tighter, like one big Maine family that stays together closer during and after graduation.
Maine class reunions, the effort to attend important or thinking the high school event has gone the way of the hoola hoop, chia pets, cherry cokes, drive ins, mullets, bobby socks, penny loafers and cracker jacks? What’s your experience with high school class reunions and any tips on how to increase attendance?
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