Please mark August 17 - 21, 2009 on your calander! I have booked rooms and a meeting hall at Fort Warden State Park in WA. This is an old Army Fort on the Straight of San Juan De Fuca - Beaches, Barracks and Fun!
5/4/09 Update - Planed Reunion Cancelled
Fort Warden is a wonderful place, but it does cost money to rent their facilities. Based on the responses to my recent mailing, we just don't have the headcount to justify renting these facilities. I cancelled the reservation today. Sorry we couldn't make this work, it would have been fun.
4/26 Update - Added Photos
Having just spent 7 months on the road, I wasn't really planning to take on another family reunion in 2008. It would be good to plan one for 2009 however and keep the good vibes going after visiting so many cool folks during our trip!
Normally this would seem too far out to start planning something like this - However, I've learned that Fort Warden is already filling up for 2009 - Yes, it's that popular!
I visited Fort Warden to check it out and now believe this could be the most awesome get together we've ever had! However because we will be in nicer accomidations, it will cost more than just renting a campground. Also, I need to get a commitment from a minimum of 32 people to qualify as a 'conference' for these facilities.
Here is a link to where you can get more information about Fort Warden and the facilities:
About Fort Warden
NEW - Schedule: August 17 - 21, 2009
..... Note: this is one week earlier then previously set!!!
Cost: Will be approximately $150 to $200 per person for all four nights, excluding transportation of course. This is based on the total estimated cost of about $5,400 divided by estimated # of people (32-39). Range depends on the total number of people. We have to rent complete buildings so the better job we do of filling them up - the lower the average cost per person! These numbers only cover one meal per day, so food costs may increase this somewhat, depending on how we decide to approach meals.
Payments will be due to me by May 15, 2009 (by then we should have the final price set). (They require one conference coordinator, me, to handle the arrangements, including payments, keys, communications, etc.).
I've reserved the following facilities, which will accomodate as many as 39 people. If we need more, I have some options. Although there are some advantages/disadvantages to the duplexes vs the large bldg, I recommend we split the cost evenly between all participants regardless of which building they stay in. It would keep things simple and make it easier to allocate people where space is available. Most likely, large family units should have one of the duplexes (Becky's in one and Uncle Bob's in the other?), but if they don't have enough people to fill it, it would be good to be able to flex a little. Also, some people may prefer one vs the other? (I like the idea of being in the big bldg with more people personally).
Officers Row, 6E and 6W - These are duplexes with 4 bedrooms each. Three rooms have queen beds, one room has only a twin size bed. One additional rollaway is also available, so they list the total capacity of each unit as 8 people, or 16 for both units. (The cost per bedroom is actually cheaper for these duplexes then the NCO houses or barracks!). Each duplex has a Kitchen, Dining Room and Living Room. There is a nice view of the Straight of San Juan De Fuca from the porch.
Personal observations - these are considered the nicer accomidations on Fort Warden as they were refurbished a few years back. I don't think they're as nice as some hotels, but they are pretty decent. They have more character then a hotel, as the buildings date from the early 1900's. All bedrooms are up a flight of stairs
Madrona Vista - A Separate building with 11 bedrooms, 10 have queen size beds and 1 has three twin beds. There is a large kitchen, dining room (or ???), a ping pong table, fussball, and a couple of living rooms. There four baths with two showers each, one for each group of 3 bedrooms. Total capacity is 23 people. There is a nice view of the Straight of San Juan De Fuca from the building.
Personal observations - all 11 bedrooms are in a single, two store building. This is considered more rustic and less luxury than the officers quarters, but I found it to be adequate. The bedrooms don't have desks, but do have bedside tables (lamp stands?), closets and a dresser. I also think having separate rooms in a single building will be fun, lots of places and opportunities to network & visit. While there are rooms on both the first and second floor, there is also a steep climb up to the building, so none of the facilities I've rented so far are ADA compliant. If stairs/climbing is out of the question, please let me know ASAP as I will need to reserve different qtrs.
The Old Chapel - This is used now as one of the rental halls. I've rented this for four days (M-Th), it has a stage area that can be used for presentations, a talent show (or no-talent as the case may be). We can also use this as a staging area since we can get it as of 8:30 AM on Monday, but won't be getting the keys to the other buildings until Monday afternoon. This is also the first building you come to when you arrive at Fort Warden, so is the perfect place to set up as our reunion HQ.
These shots are of the tennis courts, the 'commons', where the food service is located and the lighthouse, which is down near the Marine Science Center. The Port Townsend School of Woodworking is located on Fort Warden and welcomes drop in visitors or would be happy to schedule visitors for classes of course.
Risks: In order to qualify as a 'conference', we must have at least 32 warm bodies show up for this! If I can't commit to this by this August, 2008, I can cancel ($100 penalty). So if it looks like there aren't enough people interested, we'll incur the penalty and just schedule the get together at my house (Fun, but not nearly as nice - especially if more than 20 people show up. Plan on tenting...)
Food: A little confusing, but I'll take a stab at explaining. There is a food service on Fort Warden (in the old mess hall of all places). It is possible to eat three meals a day there - but not cheap ($10 - 15/meal). They do have vegan and vegetarian options. Each of the living quarters we are renting also has kitchens and dining areas - however, the contract for holding a conference at Fort Warden requires that we commit to spending a minimum of $11/day/person with their food services. We have a great deal of flexibility as to how we want to do this - as long as we spend the minimum amount. We could do all one big, fancy meal at the end, some people may prefer to eat all or none of their meals in the cafeterea (commons)? I am open to your suggestions.
Activities: While it's too early to nail this down a lot, here are some things to consider. This is a great place for bicycles. There are very nice tennis courts (recently resurfaced). The parade ground is great for flying kites, playing softball (or whiffle ball?) or other open field activities. There are two miles of beaches, both sandy beaches and rocky beaches. There are a lot of hiking trails available. etc., etc., etc. Of course, the Fort also has a museum, a lighthouse, Marine Science Center, the Port Townsend School of Woodworking, a Yoga/Fitness business ($12 per drop in) and old concrete fortifications.
Since we've got a hall available for the duration (the Old Chapel), we might want to put up tables where people can display a craft or hobby?
Uncle Bob has done a lot of work on our family's genealogy. I'm trying to add a bit here and there, including quite a few old family photo's. Between us, I'll commit to having a pretty good presentation ready for the reunion as well as copies people can take home.
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