I am a retired nurse and a grandmother. I loved nursing. I love being a grandmother even more! I am a helper by nature and I want to help my grandchildren grow to love the Lord and become responsible adults.
During my nursing career, well before I was a grandmother I heard something from one of my patients that stuck with me. “Sheryl,” told me about “Cousins Camp.” It was a thing she and her husband ran each summer. They lived on a lake and one week every summer all their older grandchildren (who lived in different states) came to their cabin for “Cousins Camp”. The week was spent playing in the lake, doing chores, doing crafts, and having Bible studies, campfires, and songfests. The grandkids enjoyed Cousins Camp so much they came back even when they became teenagers.
Cousins Camp became a family tradition. The cousins built strong relationships with one another and their grandparents. They learned life skills, had fun, and grew in their relationship with the Lord.
When I met Sheryl my children were teenagers. Although grandparenting seemed far away, providing Cousins Camp for my grandchildren became my dream.
Today my husband and I are blessed with four grandchildren, but they live far away. Thanks to Skype, we “see” our Arizona grandkids weekly. I also drive 18
0 miles round trip every week to spend time with the other grandchildren. We’d like everyone to live closer to us, but we are working with things as they are.
This year my dream is becoming a reality. My husband and I are beginning Cousins Camp. I am flying to Arizona in June and bringing our six-year-old grandson home for a week. Our three-year-old granddaughter will join us for three
days. All the details aren’t worked out yet, but there will be fun, chores, Bible studies, songs, and crafts.
We are beginning small in this new adventure with only two cousins for three days, but it won’t be long before the others are able to join us. I am full of hope for the future. Hope that love grows within our grandchildren for the Lord and each other. And maybe one day, our grandchildren will have Cousins Camp for their grandkids. I am living one dream and nursing another!
Rene Shireman is the grandmother of four and lives in Lansing, Michigan.
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