Several years ago, Mark and I started hosting “cousins’ weekends” for our grandkids. This is when all the grandkids come to our home for 24 hours to have a fun time with their cousins and we get to enjoy time with all of them. As an added bonus, their parents get a nice break too! In addition, three years ago we started “Cousins Camp.” This is an extended time together that we offer to our older grandchildren. Mark and I love our time together with them!

I’ve had so many people ask about how we do a cousins’ weekend and Cousins Camp that I thought it was time to do a podcast episode about it! So I’ve decided to invite two friends to join in on the conversation: My friend, Julie Pichon, who first introduced me to the idea of a Cousins Camp after hosting her Grammy Camp for years, and Roxy Wiley, the author of the book DIY Camp Grandma: A Handbook to Create an Extraordinary Experience for Grandchildren.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Some great resources to start your own Grandma Camp
  • Unique ways to plan your Grandma Camp activities
  • What to do when grandkids start getting “too old” for Grandma Camp
  • Creative ways to keep Grandma Camp going when family doesn’t live close

I hope this episode sparks ideas for your own intentional time with family!

Julie Pichon’s Grandma Camp

Julie Pichon’s Grandma Camp

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) In the beginning, keep it short and simple. Taking all your grandchildren for a weekend or even just one night takes a lot of energy! If you are starting Grandma Camp for the first time, keep it simple and start small, even if that means you have them for just a couple of hours. Take them to a water park or to a local fair, and then decide how big or small you want to make your Grandma Camp. There is no right or wrong way to do it as it’s all about simply spending some quality time with your grandchildren. (And don’t be afraid to schedule a nap time!)

2) Get creative and have fun. Make sure to pick a fun theme like “Swinging Safari” or the “Wonderful World of Water!” You may decide to make matching t-shirts and give each child a bag of goodies. Whatever you do, make sure that it’s fun. If you have grandchildren that live in different parts of the country, you may want to look into renting a campground in a central location or even doing a “Camp Zoom” where you plan fun activities to do over a video call.

3) Be flexible as your grandchildren get older. There may come an age where your older grandchildren feel too old for Grandma Camp. As your grandchildren get older, consider letting them help plan the schedule or even let them plan it entirely! If you have a mixture of ages, you may need to have special events for the older grandchildren and younger grandchildren or even separate Grandma Camp days. Don’t be afraid to find a solution that works for you and your unique group of grandkids.

About Roxy and Julie:

Roxy Wiley is a retired elementary school teacher and retired Director of Ministry to Women at her church. She has raised two children and now has five amazing grandchildren. Roxy writes a weekly newsletter called Camp Grandma Secrets which contains all sorts of fun ideas, activities, snacks, and resources for a DIY grandma camp! She lives in a barn house in Indiana with her husband, Gerry. Roxy loves organizing, teaching, and helping others have fun!

 

Julie Pichon is a Birth Doula and Lactation Consultant, a former stay-at-home mom, and Grammy to seven grandchildren. She has attended over 500 births in her 18 years as a Doula. Julie started a “grandma camp” in 2007 and will be celebrating the 15th Annual Grammy Camp this summer. Julie raised four children, taught Spanish to elementary school children, and ran a cooking tool consultant business for many years.

 

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