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From the wish I had thought of it department:
As reported in The (Philadelphia) Inquirer, “they are becoming a staple of weekends between June and September – taking their place alongside bathing suits, vacations and flip-flops.
“Trunk parties are hot.”
Kristin Holmes reports, “The soirees, named for a piece of luggage once synonymous with packing for college, symbolize the rite of rassage from high school to college.”
The full story may be found at:
In a nutshell, it’s not unlike a bridal or baby shower “where college-bound students invite friends to them (a party of sorts), post pictures of them, and register at stores for them.”
As Holmes reports: “The parties are goodbye gatherings to which guests bring gifts — anything from towels, irons, shower caddies, desk lamps, toilet paper, and notebooks to bedding, mini-refrigerators, and laptops — to help students make the transition from home to college.
“The largesse is often placed in a trunk displayed prominently during the parties.
Bed, Bath & Beyond has had an increasing number of teens using its college gift registry for trunk parties, spokeswoman Jessica Joyce said.
“The gatherings can be small affairs to much larger themed-based parties for more than 100 of your closet family and friends.”
The origins of the events are unclear. Sally Rubenstone, senior adviser to the school admissions website College Confidential, said she first heard of a trunk party 40 years ago from a southern classmate while a student at Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
Between then and now, the parties seemed to fall out of favor, but they have reemerged with a vengeance, said Rubenstone, who is also a college counselor. Longtime wedding planner Vikki Leach of Lansdowne, Pa. attributes the surge to the struggling economy combined with the exorbitant cost of a college education.
Family and friends who gather to celebrate and help buy dorm-ready gifts are “a part of the concept that it takes a village,” Leach said. “This is the village wrapping their arms around the student as they go away from home.”
As The Inquirer reports: ” (Shauntae) Doughty, co-owner of Center Stage Party Planning in Philadelphia, sees the trend as an extension of the emphasis on entertaining that has been the focus of TV shows about weddings and “super Sweet 16s.
“But for Rubenstone, the resurgence may be the product of a generation of parents who habitually reward their children for even the smallest accomplishments, so ‘of course, the whole community will mark’ their departure for college.
“Some postings on the College Confidential site describe the practice as a ‘tacky’ way to get gifts for college.
“Rubenstone understands that view among communities or families where going to college — or going to the snazziest colleges – is routine, and if students have had a graduation party.
“But that argument doesn’t apply to students who perhaps are the first in their families to attend college, or for whom college is a big deal in the family and community, Rubenstone said.
“Davondra Turnell, who will study physical therapy at Manor College, broke down and cried at her party last month when each guest stood and offered words of encouragement.”
So, the choice is yours and your family. Not only is it strategic, it also opens an entirely new cottage industry for public relations majors looking at special events.
Hmm. Wish I had thought of it
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