We’re back around to Grammie Camp time at Bear Lake.. For those who missed it last year, here is a little background info and a short explanation of what Grammie Camp is all about. .
Once a year we have a chance to have our children and grandchildren together at Bear Lake. This year, because our children have been scattered from Hawaii to London and many places in-between it is purely heaven to have all 41 of us coming and going in July.
Thirty three years ago we built lia little A-frame cabin near my childhood home on the shores of the lake. We’ve added more facilities since then that make it possible for all the moms to come for most of July with the kids and the dads and singles join us on weekends when they can. , For four days during the month, we all gather together for the official reunion. No one complains about the close quarters, avalanche of food preparation, utter chaos and sewer back-ups, (except Grandfather just a little) because some child threw a grundel of wet-wipes in one of the toilets.
One of my favorite activities durning the month is Grammie Camp, a tradition I started as our oldest grandchildren started turning five. This summer we have four groups, divided according to age and as it has turned out, some by gender.
It’s my chance to really interact and have fun with our grandchildren in small groups. When there are 23 children in a clump, it’s hard to feel that I know them or that they know me! We start Grammie Camp n the afternoon and go until after breakfast the next morning.
I want these darling kids to know about the three things that are very important to me and hopefully will be important to them as they grow up: 1) Work! I present each kid with a pair of work gloves as we start and they start pulling weeds (there are always plenty) to earn some money for some fun later. This year the little kids got paid 2 cents a weed and after they have earned about $4-5, they put in their pocket to buy something at the dollar store in Montpelier later in the day. The 6-8 year olds sometimes have a hard time keeping track of their numbers and it’s pretty funny to listen to them counting under their breath while they work. 2) Ancestors! We dive into ancestor stories including pictures from family histories and albums and then we go on a scavenger hunts to find graves at the cemetery where my ancestors are buried across the lake in nearby Bloomington. I took our oldest group to Logan this year to visit Richard’s mom, our “Grandma Great” who has lost all memory of who they are but who was nevertheless thrilled to see them and hear the stories of their lives, and 3) Scriptures! I give a nice reward for memorizing my favorite scriptures each year….word perfect. My hope is that those powerful words will be rattling around in their minds for the rest of their lives.
We have a Grammie Camp song as well a talent show which is always a favorite of the “giirl dancers” and we always go to a delightful melodrama about “El Bandito” at the Pickleville Playhouse on the other side of the lake with the older kids. Here are a few pictures to show the fun:
It’s the most fun I have with grandchildren all year! Besides learning what their “highs and lows” were for the year and what their favorite foods are, I learn from the teenagers about EFY (the Especially for Youth program almost 14 year-old Elle has just experienced) and Volley Ball camp that 15 year-old Max has just completed. I also loved learning about Instagram and am excited to be linked in to Elle’s account this year.
I have to say that I look forward to Grammie Camp all year!