Sunday, June 7, 2015

Grandma Camping 2015 - Part 1 - Pitched!

My lifetime's worth of camping experience can be condensed into one pithy paragraph. Here goes:

Daddy built us a small backyard play house. We loved it. One summer day, in the blazing afternoon heat, we filled it full, toting in pillows, blankets, dollies, bears, books and more. We three sisters were going to spend the night out there! Dusk arrived. Add another 20 minutes. The chirp of a cricket. The hoot of an owl. Back into the house we fled. Camping was never mentioned again.
The end.

Until now. After a 55+ year hiatus, camping is back  It's back and it's BIG!

WHOA pardners!!!!! First, let's just hold onto those horsies and define some terms. What I'm yappin' about here is Grandma Camping! Grandma-in-charge-camping. Grandma-in-charge-of-everything camping! Good bye heat stroke, hello central air. Good bye marauding bears, hello hovering-helicopter-grandma-on-all-night-police-grade-flashlight-patrol. Good bye mosquitoes, hello ladybugs. Good bye broken legs, hello Lego sets. Good bye mommy and daddy (and bedtime curfew and secret snack stash search and seizure), hello late night, lantern-lit cousin camaraderie, star gazing and waaay past bedtime adventure seeking. Good bye everything but tummies groaning with S'mores* and a cozy lil tent of your own!

*he he he! just kidding, mommies!

There are a few of us out here who really know what we're doing, Grandma Camp-wise. I'm not one of them. Yet. Grandma Shelley at "Grandma's Little Pearls" is. What an inspiration! This year, my camp agenda is a hodge podge of kid activities with no centralized theme. Some day I'll give my best shot at duplicating her "Top Secret Grandma Camp." Impressive, right? And did you see those other ideas, including the "kick off to Christmas" weekend? Wow. I'll take that one too!

No, I'm not Grandma Shelley. Just a wanna-be. I'll learn by trial and error, starting later this month with three oldest grandkids - twin brothers, six; one granddaughter cousin, four. So far, the only thing I have in common with Queen Shelley is a place to stash the kids at night for sleeping. My version is an indoor camp ground. Talented son-in-law, Keenon (Bree's daddy), whipped up three wooden tent frames for me in a matter of minutes after a quick spin through Pinterest. I'm delighted that they're set up, ready to go, days in advance of opening day. The strongest admonition any experienced Grandma Camp operator will offer is to plan and prepare. So far, I'm ahead of the game. And willing to share everything I learn from my first attempt at what I hope will become an annual event. I'll save a fireside seat for you right here, dear friends, and together we'll enjoy - or rue! - it all!

Happy Grandma Camping Days continue right here in Part Two!


  1. Hello J, I like your idea of indoor camping. The tent is really cute, Pinterest is great for crafty ideas. Your grandchildren will love it too I am sure..I am all for the S'mores too YUMMY! MY 55+ body (back) does not like sleeping on the ground any more. Happy Camping Days, enjoy your new week ahead!

  2. This is the kind of camping I like!! I see Mr. Bear is boning up for star gazing.

  3. Oh what fun is brewing. I think Grandmas get to break the rules - our grandsons tell their parents that they get to do anything they want at our house (when parents are not present). Well, almost anything - we do try to observe sweetness and manners to some degree - though sometimes we eat ice cream with forks just for the fun of it - and sometimes we eat cookies and watermelon for dinner. Doesn't everyone?

    Love those tents - we have a big blue teepee that I made (the poles are white pvc pipe and I sewed the cover. Your grandkids are going to have a blast.

  4. This will be fun ! He just whipped that up, huh? :) And three of them at that. Ha ha betcha all the kids will try to stay in one of them together! :) Well whatever happens they are going to have a blast, I am sure of it! :)

  5. I'm totally with you: grandma camping = the best kind of camping!

  6. I can't wait to see more! I agree on Grandma Shelley—such a go-getter with great ideas! (Though I've not seen her around for quite some time. Have you??)

    Good luck! I anxiously await the posts to come as I swear that ONE DAY I will indeed do a Grandma Camp, too, and I can't imagine a better grandma to lead me in the endeavor than you!

  7. This is the first year of no grandma and grandpa camping for us so I'm glad you are taking over in that department. :-) I love the tents - they are GREAT. Now, all that's left is that trip to the grocery store where you buy what looks good versus what is good for you. :-) Here's hoping you all have a fabulous time and it is the first year of many to come. :-)

  8. What great fun, my friend! Grandparents play such a sweet and special role in the lives of grandchildren and it's a blessing to see how much time you spend with yours - they will have many precious memories. Thank you for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

  9. What fun times my children have camping. Ours isn't just a grandparents thing, we call it FAMCAMP. Aunts, Uncles, cousins get together about 6 times between Memorial day and Labor day. Sometimes a campground in the woods and other times on the shoreline. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. That is a cute little indoor tent with a cute teddy bear.

  11. What a fun grandma! My parents are coming to visit with the kids at the end of the summer - I imagine they'll be taking a pgae from your book!

  12. I love your idea of camping with air conditioning! But weren't you a Girl Scout? Didn't you *have* to go camping? Your grands are going to have a wonderful time! Can't wait to hear about all the rest.

  13. Hello,
    I came on your blog from Roses of Inspiration. I love the funny idea of indoor camping!
    It reminds me when I was a young scout.. ah ah :)
    Have a nice week-end!
    La Sportina -

  14. Joyce, this is MY kind of camping, and I know it will be a HUGE hit with the grands! Mine are right behind yours in age, so I take notes on everything you do. [scribbles furiously: "search pinterest for wooden tent frames"] :D Thank you for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday! Pinned!

  15. I love this! What a great idea, and I believe I would arrange for the all nighter with tons of goodies to munch on to keep those little ones energised. :-) lol, not really!
    When our oldest daughters three boys stay with us we have a great time sleeping in sleeping bags spread through out the living room. I enjoy getting right in the middle of them.:-)
    Oh the joys of being a grand parent.

    It's good to visit with you my dear friend. It seems like it has been forever long.
    I want to thank you for your prayers on behalf of our family and the loss of dad. What a comfort it is knowing others are praying.
    The Lord bless you ~ Debbie

  16. What a wonderful idea and the best sort of camping with a bathroom near by. All the best with the adventure. Thanks for bringing this to #HomeMattersParty

  17. Thank you very much for joining in and making our Bowdabra Crafty Saturday Showcase, we look forward to seeing your post next Saturday.

    Warm Regards,
    The Bowdabra Team

  18. Indoor camping! This might be the way to go for us since it always seems to rain when we go.

    Thank you so much for sharing this at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. It’s a great post! Thank you so much for sharing this at Grandma Ideas Sharing Time link party. (I've pinned it!)

    All the best,

  19. Dear J,
    please add a "subscribe by e-mail" to your blog. It is free, you just have to search the options in your blog. That way it will be easy to know when you posted something new and interesting like this post. (of course it is up to you).
    If you do, please, please drop me a line that you did?

    What a lovely story about your childhood camping. :)

  20. oh my goodness our tent we had as a kid was made out of a blanket thrown over our don't knock yourself thinking you're not a queen J! i woulda flipped for one of these and a place at Camp Grandma! :)

  21. I'm with you on the camping. Kind of funny you posted this on what turned out to be our "anti-camping" host theme weekend on #FridayFrivolity

  22. Ahhhhh this post is so fun! ;P Too funny! #FridayFirivolity