Grandparent Discoveries Blog

Camp Gigi: Reflection

Cheryl Beaudoin

In reflecting back on my experience of putting together a week-long camp for my two oldest grandchildren, there are lots of things to think about. Would I call it a success? For sure! But, would I plan some things differently? Definitely!  Here are some of my learnings and advice.

1. Understand your goal

My goal was to help create a special time for my grands (two cousins) to make connections with each other and with me, and to have a memorable experience that they share. The camp was about them and for them, so I wanted to keep it light and fun.

2. Take cues from them

Even though I put together a full daily schedule with lots of activities, I “read the room” and worked off their energy and interest level. If an activity took longer than expected, we cut out another activity. I took my cues from them and did not try to cram the day.

3. Be flexible

A week is a long time for 3-year-olds to stay engaged. We did a field trip mid-week to break it up and that was perfect. Even still, organized activities fell apart a little by the end of the week and so we mostly did “free play” for much of Friday.

It is important to plan something that works for you and your specific situation with your grandchildren. Overall, I believe my goal of creating memories and connections with and between my grandchildren was met. Their “Pappy” also enjoyed the time with them and I believe he made deeper connections with them as well. Next time, I may plan for more downtime and a less fully scheduled week.

For more on putting together a "camp" for your grands—including ideas, resource links, sample schedule, and book recommendations—see Camp Gigi, Part 1 and Camp Gigi, Part 2

Have you had similar experiences with your grands that you can share? What are some ideas you have to put together a camp for your grandchild(ren)?  What about making this happen for your grandchildren would excite you--or make you nervous?

Please send me your questions, thoughts, and ideas through the comment box below or by email to gpdiscoveries@gmail.com. And, please subscribe to the blog! That way you'll get a notification of new posts, and I'll know that somebody is reading these! You can subscribe here.

Cheryl Beaudoin

Hi, I’m Cheryl: grandmother, retired Kindergarten teacher, longtime friend (and current Board member) of the Discovery Museum—and now, blogger!  As a grandparent, I try to apply what I learned as a teacher about children and their development to strengthen my relationships with my grandchildren and bring them joy. My hope for this blog is to engage with other grandparents in the Museum community to collect and share stories and ideas about the joys—and challenges—of grandparenting, and how we can connect and deepen our relationships with our grandchildren. Please join me in this wonderful journey we are on—I look forward to hearing from you! Use the comment box at the bottom of any blog post or email me at gpdiscoveries@gmail.com.

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