Summer means Camp Grandma at our house. Our chosen theme for this year’s camp was Camp Grandma Zombie Apocalypse. It proved to be more prophetic than I could have imagined.
Planning for Camp Grandma and accepting extra help this year paid off. I’ve always appreciated my teenage grandchildren being “counselors” at camp. But this year I tapped into other family members and a local waterpark to round out our camp activities.
Unknown at our Camp Grandma 2019 planning meeting with my counselors a month before camp started, we were headed for a 4-day camp that would require a LOT of extra hands and hearts.
Because these teenagers had helped plan everything, when crisis intervened during pre-camp, they were ready to jump in and keep the activities going through all of camp.
Here’s why it’s good to be prepared for the unexpected
Very early on the morning pre-camp started, my husband rushed our son, Daniel, to the hospital where he had emergency surgery to have his appendix removed. (Daniel and his young son live with us.)
Although Daniel was sent home later that day to recover, he didn’t get better. He got worse.
So Daniel was in great pain and needing my attention all during the day of pre-camp (when the counselors get everything prepared for camp) and the following three days when the “littles” were at camp, (called the “littles” because these grandchildren campers aren’t teenagers yet).
On the last morning of camp, Tom rushed Daniel back to the hospital where Daniel spent the next few days, recovering from complications of his surgery.
So Camp Grandma 2019 saw Grandma spending her time divided between a son in intense pain and grandchildren expecting to have a blast at camp.
Pre-camp planning the month before and accepting outside helped saved the day!
Here’s what that looked like at Camp Grandma 2019
The counselors did meal and snack prep during pre-camp.
Of course, the most fun was the assembly line to make ice cream sandwiches where any broken creations were immediately consumed.
Since we moved, we no longer have a pool of our own.
So when my cousin, Kate, offered the use of her pool for swim times during Camp Grandma, I said YES!
Again, using what’s available nearby adds to the fun of Camp Grandma. If someone offers help, take it!
An all-day outing to the local waterpark provided Grandma with a place to rest in the shade with a cold drink while the counselors and littles had hours of fun.
Grandpa stayed home to care for Daniel.
Having a counselor teach a nature lesson in a swing added a little variety while waiting for lunch one day.
The obstacle course next door at our daughter’s house was easy to incorporate into our schedule, and it kept the kids active.
Korbin, our only male counselor, planned and led a science experiment.
Avalon taught a Bible lesson about the Word of God feeding our spirits as the “littles” made Indian fry bread to eat.
Old fashion can-phones replaced cell phones for Camp Grandma. A with all our activities, my counselors had planned this as a craft project for the “littles.”
When I was busy caring for Daniel, they were excellent leading activities without me.
My cousin, Pat Loomis, met with the “littles” and Grandpa to make their own rockets. Then they shot their missiles up into the sky in a meadow nearby.
The little boys LOVED this activity. Paisley did too, but I think she was more excited about the pony in the meadow than the rockets.
At the end of each day, everyone was TIRED and ready for songs, storytelling, and s’mores around the campfire. Again, my counselors were a great help in this.
When I met with the counselors, a month before camp, they came up with the camp theme of Camp Grandma Zombie Apocalypse.
Some of our craft activities tied into this theme.
So did the “skit” on the last day of Camp Grandma. (The parents arrived in the evening for a bar-b-que and a fun presentation by all the campers.)
The skit this year was a story written by two counselors. It told how the campers at Camp Grandma had been captured and turned into zombies.
They could only be rescued with a kiss from a parent.
Kara, as a zombie, narrated the story leading up to the part where the parents had to find their children and rescue them.
Upon finding the zombie hideout, the parents discovered that the zombie campers didn’t want to be rescued.
Armed with silly string, they attacked!
The parents lost the war.
The moral of the story and of Camp Grandma 2019?
Prepare for the unexpected, ask for help, and accept any help offered to you.
To see all the Tips and Ideas for a Camp Grandma or Cousin’s Camp posts from 2012 through 2019 click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.