If you follow this blog, you know I have a passion to come alongside people and coach them in how to build a spiritual legacy.
You only have one lifetime to influence your family for Jesus, and I don’t want you to waste even one tiny bit of it. It’s you who can declare God’s power to the generations who follow you.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come (Psalm 71:18 NIV).
So with summer fast approaching, I think it’s time to consider planning a Cousins Camp or a Camp Grandma. It’s the perfect opportunity to impart a little of your faith into the lives of your kids or grandkids.
What’s Camp Grandma or Cousins Camp?
A Camp Grandma or a Cousins Camp is basically the same thing. A Camp Grandma is hosted by grandparents. A Cousins Camp is hosted by parents, aunts, or uncles. If you’re still parenting, it’s a Cousins Camp. If you’ve raised your kids, it’s a Camp Grandma.
A Cousins Camp or Camp Grandma is a focused approach to weaving the love of God into the lives of our cildren or grandchildren.
It brings the kids or grandkids together and gives us a platform where we can be intentionally missional with them.
I model our camp after those I attended growing up, but you can design yours as to what works best for you. If you live in a city, design your camp around visiting some major attractions for the kids and use your home as Base Camp for meals and sleeping. If you like to fish, take them to your favorite fishing hole and make it Grandpa’s Fishing Camp. Be creative!
Your camp can last from one day to a whole week and can include all ages of children or just those over a certain age. What does your energy level and time allow?
Here’s what goes into our Camp Grandma
Every year I check with the parents and have them put our camp dates on their calendar. A few weeks ahead of camp, I send out invitations. A month before camp starts, I plan out the camp schedule by pouring over my Camp Grandma Pinterest board for fun food ideas I’ve collected throughout the year. (See links below for sample schedules and menus.)
My camp counselors:
The grandchildren who are 12 years old or older arrive a day early to help us set up for camp. Then they help throughout the weekend doing crafts, skits, and games. (I host Camp Grandma over a three-day weekend.)
Tom sets up the big tent in the back yard and takes his sleeping bag out there to sleep with the kids. Grandma sleeps in the house with the littlest children.
Crafts and games:
Again, I use Pinterest to come up with unique camp crafts and game ideas.
What’s a camp without swimming? We happen to have a pool, but a nearby beach or public swimming pool will work just fine.
Scripture memory verses:
Every year we have a theme verse for our camp and use creative ways to memorize the verse.
This is usually a “garbage walk” where Tom and the kids grab a few garbage bags and walk along our street picking up trash. It communicates that serving our community is what we do in our family.
Summer and nature seem to be inseparable. Consider a nature themed scavenger hunt or other type of nature walk. Explore a creek bed or discover some local tide pools.
Kids love performing skids for each other or their parents. I use some old ones from my camp days and also look for some new skits on the internet. (Do a Google search for campfire skits.)
Make a movie:
Last summer at camp the children made a movie. The camp counselors wrote the script, directed the acting, and came up with the costumes for their younger cousins. I just filmed and edited the movie … and included the bloopers at the end. They showed it to the parents at our “end of camp bar-b-que.”
Evening campfire time:
In the evenings we have a camp fire in a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and telling our God stories … the stories of how God has worked in our lives. We think through these stories ahead of time so we’re well prepared. After we’ve shared our stories, the kids get inspired and share their God stories.
The last day of camp always ends with the arrival of the parents for a bar-b-que dinner. After dinner the kids present their skits and share about their time at camp. Eventually, they all head home and grandma and grandpa collapse into bed.
Remember to …
- Allow wiggle room in your schedule.
- Take a day or two off after camp to get some needed rest!
- Preserve the memory: Use Shutterfly to create digital scrapbooks of your camp for each child’s Christmas present.
Helpful Links for creating your own Cousins Camp or Camp Grandma
This Camp Grandma Tips and Ideas blog post has photos and explanations for hosting a Camp Grandma. It also includes a printable How to Plan a Camp Grandma PDF with a pre-camp planning timeline, menu, and schedule.
2014 version of Camp Grandma with new tips, ideas and photos, including a movie video the kids made.
Looking for Pinterest ideas? Check out the Camp Grandma board where I put the ideas I steal … I mean collect.
Click here for posts on being intentionally missional with your grandchildren.
Visit this URL to claim your FREE Spiritual Legacy Tool Kit: The Five Tools I Use Everyday to Build My Legacy of Faith.
Let me know how your Camp Grandma or Cousins Camp goes! I’d love to hear about it and share some of your photos on my blog later this summer. (Just email me via my contact page. I’ll get back to you shortly.)
Catch you later,