One of the most wonderful things that happens every year at Bear Lake is Grammie Camp. (And another favorite thing is Grandfather's Secrets - but I'll write about that in a different post.)
Before and after our official family reunion days at Bear Lake, one age group at a time, my mom takes all the grandkids who are over 5 years old away for about 24 hours. She tells them stories about their ancestors. She has them work hard on a project (usually pulling weeds). She makes great food with them. She takes them on a little outing - sometimes to a play, sometimes out to dinner. She has them memorize a scripture. They sleep over at my parents' cabin up on the hill and have a special breakfast together. And they all sing the Grammie Camp song.
Then they headed over to Logan and talked about their Great Aunt May Swenson, my grandma's sister who was a famous poet. Every year they focus on a different ancestor and this year it was May. Plus they got to visit my sweet Grandma in Logan and visit Grandpa Dean's grave.
Here they are at a monument overlooking Bear Lake that has a poem by May on it.
And here's my grandpa's grave nearby. I can't wait to meet him some day. He died when my dad was just 15 and we love hearing stories about him.
Here they are with their oldest living relative, the wonderful Grandma Great.
Then they went to a fun melodrama play - El Bantito - they've gone every year for three years now - it's at the Pickleville Playhouse on the other side of the lake. They quote likes from it and sing songs from it all year long - provides plenty of fun inside jokes.
And Grammie made them all photo albums containing all the photos their parents sent to her when the were little kids (back in the day when we actually developed photos and sent them in the mail - before blogs came along). SUCH a nice gift.
It's killing me - and Ashton - that Ashton is at scout camp this week and had to miss Grammie Camp for the first time. With these kids getting older and having all these different summer camps, my mom had to schedule Grammie Camp for the time when at least 5 of the 6 members of the group could be there...
Here they are at the Bloomington Cemetery. Hazel and Claire (who's middle name is Hazel) especially love visiting my mom's mom's grave and learning more and more about her since they're both named after her.
The twins and their cousins Camden, McKay and Charlie also got a Grammie Camp session. Their session involved some writing, some shorter ancestor stories, some great food and lots of hilarious interchanges that tickled my mom. These boys have ENERGY and SPUNK and wore my mom out just a tad bit more than the other groups but she had so much fun with them and they with her.
I'm so grateful my mom takes the time to do such wonderful stuff with our kids and shows each of them so much love and concern. She respects and knows them all so well. And as a result, the kids think Grammie is about the best thing ever and have so much respect for her. All we have to do is say, "Grammie really wishes the downstairs was cleaner" and the kids hop right to it -5 minutes later, the crazy-messy basement is all tidied up.
Long live Grammie Camp!