If you are part of the committee that is putting together a work party, here are some ideas that might inspire you to create an event that will be both memorable and successful.

Put Out The Word - The key word is EARLY. If your ship is no longer in active duty, that probably means that most who will be participating in your work project are older gentlemen who are retired. For those who were the youngest who were serving on your ship, putting the word out early will allow them enough time to request vacation time.

  • Set a date. Remember that no matter which date you select, there will be conflicts. That's another great reason for putting the date out early.
  • Consider choosing a time in the late spring when weather will be conducive to productive work time.
  • Making your invitations attractive will set the mood for your work reunion. One idea is to have a picture of the ship on the front of the invitation. Another idea is to have a picture taken while you were all in active duty and having that as the front page. If you want something lighter, consider having a cartoon of a bunch of sailors working on your ship.
  • Besides all of the pertinent information, it's a good idea to ask for RSVPs so you'll have an approximate number of those who will be attending. 
  • Think about asking those on your list if they have addresses for those who are missing so they can be reached also.

Plan The Event - Of course the main event will be working on the ship. However, you'll probably want some extra activities, too.

  • Choosing a hotel near the ship's location is a good idea. Not only will it be a good place to have your kick off meeting, but it will be convenient for all of you to be close to each other.
  • While some will have their own cars with them, there may be many who don't. Depending on how many will be attending the military reunion, it is a good idea to reserve taxis or even a bus.
  • Hopefully you will be able to form a committee so you'll have plenty of help. If so, consider having a committee that will formulate work stations. Another committee might be in charge of buying all the materials you'll need for cleaning, painting and repairing the ship.
  • As members sign in at your opening event, it will be a good idea to have them indicate where they will want to work
  • Think about having lunch catered right at the ship's location.

Of course you'll want time for catching up with each other and for going down memory lane. Think about taking a break from cleaning so that you can be tourists in the area where your ship is located. A feast at a banquet hall for the last evening will be a great way to end your event. This is also a great time to schedule your next work party.