Grandparent Camp – Then and Now
Hosting your very own Grandparent Camp for the grandchildren is a great way to create some wonderful memories.
- I Loved Spending the Summers with My Grandparents
- Hosting Our Own Grandparent Camp
- Why Not Start Your Own Grandparent Camp
- Making Memories Has Never Been Easier
I Loved Spending the Summers with My Grandparents
Since the two sets of grandparents lived in neighboring towns, we would spend one week with one set and the following week with the other set, before returning home.
Since Grandma and Grandpa Carroll lived in the country and Grandma and Grandpa Adolf lived in the center of a small town we had the best of both worlds.
At the Carroll camp, we had fun learning new crafts, going on nature walks and playing board games. We rode bikes and spent hours looking through grandma’s photo albums. We’d go into town to eat lunch occasionally or to meet Grandpa for coffee, the days were adventurous and the evenings were relaxing.
At the Adolf camp, we learned how to crochet and we were close enough to the fair grounds that we were able to walk on over and spend the day looking at all the 4H exhibits. Grandma Adolf loved to cook and even allowed us to help her in the kitchen. We made fresh pies, homemade noodles and behind every recipe it seemed she had a story to tell. Then on Sunday they’d take us to Church with her.
At both camps we were given a set of ground rules. No fighting, no running in the house and no wondering away without asking permission. Our chores were minimal; we helped with the dusting, the dishes and were in charge of picking up after ourselves. In the evening we’d shower, toss our clothes in the laundry and lay in our beds listening to the sound of crickets, before falling fast asleep.
I was fortunate enough to have two sets of grandparents growing up that allowed my siblings and I the opportunity to stay with them during the summer.
Those visits with our grandparents made the summers memorable. We felt secure, loved and pampered and came back with homemade goodies and crafts that we’d made. The time we spent with our grandparents was very rewarding.
Hosting Our Own Grandparent Camp
Now that I’m a grandparent, I wanted to pass down the tradition to our grandchildren and so my husband and I have reintroduced our own version of ‘Grandparent Camp’ to our grandchildren. I took the examples that I had growing up and put them into play.
Our specialty is our weekend camps; each grandchild is invited to attend at least two weekend camps a year. These weekend camps are flexible, sometimes we have just one or two of the grandkids and other times we have as many as eight grandchildren in attendance.
I keep crafts on hand and am always looking for new ideas. We try to plan at least one craft for each day that the grandchildren are with us. Meals are fairly easy and the children either help with creating the meal or in helping us to clean up. We sing songs, talk and even encourage the children to participate in a few skits.
We have the free days to museums listed on our calendar and we watch the newspaper for children’s events throughout the week. Last but not least, we take dozens of photographs for our scrapbooks.
Grandparent Camp is a great way to give parents a break and to spend quality time with the grand children, after all time flies by far too quickly.
Why Not Start Your Own Grandparent Camp
If you have never set up a Grandparent Camp, it is easy. You can start by sending invites to the kids. Your children will love it and the grandchildren will be ecstatic.
We find that it is best to set up an agenda in advance, that away we have enough supplies on hand. We offer each grandchild an annual “two weekend” stay. Those two weekends can be used back to back or they can separate them out, using one weekend during the summer and another during the winter. The only catch is that they have to provide grandma and grandpa with a couple weeks’ notice, to give us time to plan and to pull everything together.
The important thing is not to stress, enjoy the time together. If things don’t go as planned that is fine, the point after all is to use this time to create positive memories together.
So don’t worry if you don’t have enough bedrooms etc., there are several options, you can create a camp area in the family room and have each child bring their own sleeping bag or you can purchase indoor tents and set them up and have the kids bring their flash lights, the ideas of endless.
Just make certain to lay out the rules upfront. It is a good idea to post them on the refrigerator. Speaking of the refrigerator, make certain to have a lot of healthy snacks on hand, avoiding sugary snacks. Kids enjoy simplicity and don’t forget kids need to stay hydrated. We purchase plastic cups and have everyone write their name on their cup, so it can be used over and over.
These camps are meant to be enjoyable, so relax, spend some time with your grandchildren and savor the memories; after all they grow up oh so quickly. My husband and I look forward to these Grandparent Camps and I still treasure all those memories that I have of those summers that I spent with my grandparents.
Making Memories Has Never Been Easier
Cherish the time that we have together, after all they grow up way too quickly! To read more stories on how to set up your own grandparent camp, check out a few of these sites.