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Ideas for Camp Grandma

Other Grandparents Have Projects, Philosophies to Share

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When Grandma Camp is on the farm, fun is guaranteed.

When Grandma Camp is on the farm, fun is guaranteed.

Photo © P. Wagner

If you need ideas for Camp Grandma, inspiration is as close as the click of a mouse. In addition, grandparenting books often have ideas for activities that are perfect for your very own camp. For some of them, you may need some help from Grandpa, but he's already the force behind many a Camp Grandma.

Grandma Shelley, the force behind Grandma's Little Pearls, is an experienced Grandma Camper. She and her husband host two grandparent camps each year. Go to her blog and check out the labels on the right. There is one for Christmas Day Camp and one for Grandkids Camp Out. I especially like Grandma Shelley's ideas for Grandkids Camp Out. The tent is put up in the back yard, but the focus is on outdoor activities, including wildlife study and survival skills. Grandma Shelley posts lots of photos, and you'll be further inspired by the shots of her grandchildren gathered around one big table working busily on crafts or eating lunch on cool cafeteria-style trays.

Denise Hooper is a veteran of 10 years of Camp Grandma. She advises having a theme and using grandkids older than 12 as counselors. For more inspiration, view this video showing a number of her themes and props.

Judy Smitley shares her expertise from several years of Camp Grandma on her website, Biblegal.com. Judy and her husband run a week-long day camp, and you can see photos and her schedules of events, as well as get some sage advice. They opted for day camp because it gives them an opportunity to clean up the house and yard as well as rest before the next day. She gives the grandkids a schedule of the day's events at breakfast each morning, and after camp is over she sends them an evaluation sheet to find out what they liked most. Their Christmas gift is a photo album from camp, and she said that all their other gifts must wait until they have looked at every photo.

When you host Grandma Camp, you'll want to make the most of nearby attractions. A swimming hole might not be exciting to you, but it might be a unique experience for city-raised grandchildren. The children who attend this Grandma Camp are lucky enough to get to spend a week on the farm. On the other hand, rural and suburban grandchildren may be equally excited about riding a subway or checking out the view from the top of a skyscraper.

A unique take on Grandma Camp is Grandma Genie Camp, hosted by Ruth Himel. The Genie stands for geneaology, Ruth's passion, which she shares on her Genealogy is Ruthless Without Me blog. At her camp, she taught her grandchildren about their family history. They made maps, went to a geneaology meeting and also took time to go to the beach. Her honest appraisal at the end of her camp was that it was "great, great fun" but that she needs to "either be less extravagant as to my expectations and realistic about my own age and capabilities or recruit more help."

Lots of grandparenting books contain ideas for activities that are suitable for Camp Grandma. Consult Super Granny: Great Stuff to Do With Your Grandkids, The Grandparents Handbook and Grandloving: Making Memories With Your Grandchildren.

Find more ideas for things to do at Grandma Camp.

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