Intentional Living

Lessons from Family Camp

Last year our parents celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary. Neither of them wanted a large party or celebration and instead asked that we have an intimate family gathering where everyone could get together and just be with one another. As a group, the four sisters decided to try out what we hoped would turn into a new family tradition—family camp.

Family camp consisted of renting a nearby summer camp complete with an eating and gathering lodge, bathhouse, separate cabins for each family, and lake access. The camp, while dated, had everything we needed, including working AC in all the buildings! The first year was such a success, we went back this year, and it was a blast. The goal of family camp each year rests in spending unscheduled time with each other relaxing, free from the regular distractions of life. As such, other than menus and one special memory craft, we plan nothing. The highlights of this year’s camp included:

  • Old farts on the homemade slip and slide showing the kids how to have fun with water, an innertube, and a piece of industrial plastic.
  • Old farts jumping on the lily pad trying to dunk the teens and kids. Outcome-we weigh more! Victory!
  • Swinging in the hammocks. We increased from one hammock to three this year, as they were such a hit.
  • Building a frog habitat with the wading pool, chunks of wood, and a couple of cinder blocks.
  • Catching 50 plus frogs for the habitat…over four days. They kept escaping?.
  • Teaching the kids to play pinochle. Possible tournament next year—but we aren’t planning anything!

With all the fun and playing, we were still learned a few important things and were reminded of a few others for next year.

  • Apply sunscreen. Liberally. Often.
  • Less is more.
  • Plan even less, “be” even more.
  • We did not invite the army; therefore, we do not need to bring enough food to feed the army.
  • Don’t schedule family pictures on the day of camp move-in.
  • Make sure the golf cart is not in reverse when you push the pedal.

We can hardly wait until next year!

We would love to hear about your summer vacations, camps, or other adventures and the lessons learned from them! Please share in the comments below.

Contributed by Liz Hunt

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