Wherever you go, go with all your heart. Confucius

Mr. Smith and I spent part of last Saturday in a sporting goods store, perusing the selection of kids’ fishing poles, tackle boxes, and catch and release nets.  This year’s Camp Grandma location includes a catch and release pond so it necessitated searching out equipment.  I will be surprised if any of our grandchildren spend hours sitting on a dock with a fishing pole in their hand, but I can see them all in my mind’s eye, grasping their net and sloshing into the water in pursuit of a terrified fish!

I first introduced you to Camp Grandma in February of 2019.  Since our downsized lifestyle was not conducive to large family gatherings that my heart so desired, I needed to come up with another way to gather all my peeps together. So I decided I would find a rental house big enough for everyone and we would come together for a week every other summer.  Mr. Smith named it Camp Grandma and a tradition was born. 


I am not a scrapbooker, but I am putting together a photo book chronicling all the years of Camp Grandma.  Just as I did when I was a child, our grandkids love pouring over photos of themselves when they were younger.  I want them to know they are a unique and important part of our tribe.  It’s my way of honoring the memories we have made together.


One of our activities will be cake baking and decorating and I’m starting to assemble the necessary tools. Many are fans of Kids Baking Championship and are eager to create their own masterpieces. They are familiar with crumb coats and rosettes, and that’s the boys. I’m wondering if they are also familiar with clean-up!


My absolute favorite part of Camp Grandma 2018 was our book club.  In the evening after dinner, the oldest five grandkids would get to come upstairs to the “grownup” area and I would read to them for about 20 minutes. We read The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner, a big childhood favorite of mine.  We finished the book on Thursday evening and as a reward Friday morning we had an outing to a charming bakery in a nearby lake town for yummy donuts.

This year we’ll be reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by e.l. konigsburg. 

Inspired by Paper & Stitch, I’m preparing kits to make reading crowns for us all using recycled books. I’m going to make them large enough to wear for Book Group and hopefully when we go out for a treat after we complete the book.

Each year when I find myself impatient for our week together to arrive, I try to focus on Mr. Smith’s wise advice.  Savor the anticipation, enjoy the preparation and plan to my heart’s content.  Preparation for Camp Grandma 2020 is now in full swing!

Camp Grandma tells the story of our family.  The need for a larger venue reflects grandchildren being born.  The expanded menu reflects the addition of our beautiful daughter-in-law from Taiwan making her delicious dumplings for her new family, as well as the children’s growing interest in new cuisines.  The different activities, games played and books read reflect the maturing of our grandchildren and echo their current interests.

Not every moment is Instagramable.  I know there will be a squabble or two and probably a few tears along the way.  But in the end my hope is that Camp Grandma gives our grandchildren a sense of belonging and ties to their tribe. And we hope they will keep coming to Camp Grandma wherever and whenever it happens, and they will be there with all their heart.

C’est la vie.

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