Nana Camp Part 1

Every summer my mom hosts her own version of a week long summer camp for her grandkids.  We affectionately call it Nana Camp.  And honestly, I think I look forward to it more than the kiddos.  In the past, she has planned everything from a car-wash day to museum visits, from daily crafts to weeklong themes, and this year did not disappoint.  In July she hosted the event for her crew…here’s the 2012 Grandkids – Will (2), Braden (10), Cole (8), and Clara (6).

We were limited this year in what we could do with the cousins…just simply because they are the majority and getting older so the same things don’t appeal to them that would appeal to Will.  Hello…a ten year old doesn’t get a huge thrill from flushing the toilet a million times in a row.  I thought I would recap what we all got to do together…but the big kids did some big-kid-adventures that had me drooling (think horseback riding, a laser-tag experience, a Braves game and an archery class among other events). 

But let’s start at the beginning…

The entire week got a kick-off with the family at our favorite local attraction – Stone Mountain.  We’ve been coming to the park for years and this time we decided to just hit up the laser show.   For those of you that have never been here, Stone Mountain is simply put – a giant rock of granite that has a carving in it.  It’s the top half of three men on horses.  The original plan for the carving was this huge battle scene and it never was completed.  At night, there is a laser show – which is when they shine lasers, pictures and scenes on the face of the mountain to music.  It’s good ole fashioned family fun.  Oh and at the end, there are fireworks.  So summertime is not as hot without a visit to the laser show.

This was Will’s first time seeing it.  I remember the first time we were here with Braden.  He was so little and he cried the entire fireworks display.  It was adorable. 

Of course, in true laser show fashion, we had to hold the littlest family member.  Will hurt his foot moments before we got into the car and we had to hold him the entire time.  oye.

In highschool, I came to the laser show to see friends.  Some of them worked as glow-stick-sellers.  They made good money too.  Now we bring our own.  Cole became some sort of human light saber. 

Oh and did I mention that every one comes and brings chairs and blankets and spreads out on a giant lawn?  It’s a huge event.  And there are tons of families and tourists.  The guys in our family (the grown ones like my boyfriend, brother, dad and brother in law) all decide to make a competition of how many photos they could get of other people taking family photos.  Did you get that? 

So all these innocent people are posing for a photo and then Jer would go behind the picture taker and take a photo and then the entire family would laugh.  I think the winner had something like 40 different families or couples.  It was for pride.  because obviously that is something to be proud of.  At least they stopped photobombing people :)

The fireworks were really loud.  I held Will’s ears.  I didn’t have to for the 4th of July fireworks…

More pyrotechnic fun…

And I know that Jer & Will are completely fuzzy but I love this picture…

The first big event we attended with Nana Camp was bowling.  Will was really excited about the ‘big balls!’.

I think I told him not to put his hands near the balls about ten times.  Then he got his finger pinched.  Lesson learned.

He really loves the color green….I would dare say that it’s his favorite color…so of course, he had a green bowling ball.

My mom helped him the first time…I have no idea what she is laughing about but I love that photo.  When she laughs, you can’t help but laugh. 

The ball was a little heavy so we had to assist him in getting it on the ramp but then after that, he knew just what to do….push, watch and then get a round of high fives.

The boys each had their own style….Cole looked like he was gonna throw himself down the lane.  Or let it fly back at us bystanders.  Mom & I would flinch every.single.time.

I kinda wish we had a bowling alley in our house.  I might need to brainstorm that one…not how we could do it….but how I could convince Jeremy :)  Of course, I would need some beautiful custom wrist guards…just to show how serious I am about getting my bowl on.                     

Later in the week, we had a swim day.  Of course it rained.  So while we waited on the weather, the kids watched Kung Fu Panda.  We had to remove Will from the group for a couple scary parts for “diaper changes”.  I think he was more disappointed about leaving the group than missing any of the movie :)

It was kinda nice to have a full house.  Sometimes I wish we were done with the filling of this house….I really look forward to having a bunch of kids running around.  I’m trying not to live in a dream of the future (nothing is guaranteed, right?!) but just the thought makes me happy.  Besides…I think Jeremy’s babies are like the cutest thing ever.

Oh and yes, that is cotton candy.  I had picked up a random bag of it at the grocery store and just split it up and stuck it on candy sticks.  They loved their sweet little kabobs.

We got to participate in a couple more Nana Camp things…so that’s up next.   While we wait, wanna chat about summer camp?  In Jersey, we did this thing through the school where we got to pick ‘classes’ for a week (or two? Help Mom…I can’t remember) long experience.  I distinctly remember knitting, stenciling and field hockey.  And yes, I still have my blocks with my stenciled name on it.   I also loved girl scout horse camp.  Oreo was the name of ‘my’ horse.  So what about you?  Any space campers?  Or sports camp?  Or bowling camp complete with your own custom ball? :)



  1. says

    If you could go ahead and mail me that blue knit blanket on the back of your couch… that would be fantastic, thanks! Oh yes, and Nana Camp sounds awesome.

  2. says

    we had the same kind of camp when we were growing up. two weeks at the high school. i think i did swimming, acting (ha!), computer programming (even funnier, i’m pretty sure it was in DOS and we just “drew” pictures) and I think tennis. It’s all a blur, but it was fun being at the high school and with a mix of different age kids. ah…the good ol’ days :)

  3. says

    I went to week-long church camp every summer for 10 years. I remember lots of swimming, getting “blobbed,” weaving a little basket, team sports, and tubing down the river.

  4. Whitney Dupuis says

    This is so awesome! What a wonderful Nana! I think my mother may just have to do this with her grandchildren when they get a little older (we have a 2.5 year old and 5 month old in the family now). Love the pictures, as always!

  5. says

    Nana Camp sounds fantastic!

    I’m from Jersey too and I did two (three?) years at the YMCA sleep away camp – camp Matollionequay [Ockanickon for the boys]. I distinctly remember: swimming, canoeing, the ropes course (my favorite), and soccer.

    Man I miss summer camp.

  6. bex says

    I only went to Bible Camp when I was a kid (my parents were farmers – aka no money for other camp! – and the church sponsored it). When I was older, I was a counselor there, and I think that was so much more fun than being at camp for a week. You’re at camp for three months!! I miss camp and occasionally go volunteer for a week when I can. I can’t wait to send my kiddo there once she’s old enough (and, you know, BORN).

  7. Stefanie says

    What a great thing for your mom to do with her grandkids every year. It’s nice that she sets the time aside and plans such special ways to interact with her grandchildren.

    On another note…there are scary parts in Kung Fu Panda?

    • says

      Well it’s Kung Fu Panda 3 I think…and there is a couple parts where the peacock and the fight scenes gets too intense for Will. He tends to have nightmares in general so we just decide to avoid what we think is too emotional for him to view right now.
      xo – kb

  8. Alicia C. says

    Nana Camp sounds like so much fun! We did camps all summer long : campfire camp, girl scout camp, church camp, etc. We used to think there was no money for family vacation (with 4 kids), then we realized our parents were spending thousands of dollars every summer just to get us out of their hair! But it was a blast.

  9. Nicole says

    Such a cute idea! I did tons of camps when I was young, mostly sport camps but also VBS (Vacation Bible School), and fun camp. I ALWAYS wanted to go to space camp though… I remember the ads on Nickelodeon to this day.

  10. Bri says

    My entire 6th grade private Catholic school class, all 13 of us, went to space camp for a week. We had matching shirts made in different colors for every day we were there, plus matching pillow cases. I STILL talk about that week at space camp like it was the second coming of jesus. Plus it makes me feel smarter than all the “non-astronaut-in-training” regular folks.

  11. says

    My husband grew up spending every non-school second in a bowling alley owned by his Uncle so he and his family are awesome bowlers. For example, his youngest brother, now 18, was beating my scores by the time he was 10. Nonetheless, I still give it the old college try whenever forced. I mean, when the opportunity arises. ;) And b/c I love my hubs so much, I bought a used bowling ball (with rainbow swirls and the name ‘Jeffrey’ etched into it – colorful guy, I assume) at a garage sale Memorial Day weekend just to remind everyone I’m a good sport.

    Also b/c the ball was the prettiest one I’d ever seen.

    Cheers to Jeffrey! Wherever he is!


  12. Cait says

    I’m from Jersey too and I used to go to some of the YMCA camps up there! Love the idea of having a Nana camp too!

    Also- I live in GA now and JUST went to Stone Mountain for the first time last weekend. I live 20 minutes away and can’t believe it’s taken me that long to go there! I’m dying to go back for a picnic on the lawn – this time we ate at Miss Katie’s (awesome chicken and dumplings!)

  13. Jen says

    This is such a great idea! I think I need to get Lolli and Pops on board with this to start a LolliPop Camp next summer!

  14. Alice H says

    I loved Girl Scout camp! We got to go one year and it was fun, but kind of scary. We stayed at the camp in Oklahoma where those girls got murdered. ( But I learned a song I still sing to this day…”McDonald’s McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut” or something like that.
    And yes as a matter of fact I do have my very own customized bowling ball. It is purple with turquoise writing!

    • Alice H says

      sorry…we didn’t actually camp at Camp Scott. But at another camp really close by. And I remember that my mom wouldn’t let us go unless she got to volunteer.

  15. Shannon K. says

    I just told my mom that she needs to start doing this once grandchildren arrive, I love the idea!

    My summers were always filled with a week at Christian Camp with a country-western theme. Dirt roads, cabins all named after famous cowboys/cowgirls (Roy Rogers, Annie Oakley, Dale Evans, etc), a sheriffs station, a country store to buy western knick-knacks during the week, a old-time candy/ice cream shop (name Miss Kate’s Place), and much more rounded out the western feel to the week. There was horseback riding, archery, tons of outdoor games, arts & crafts (boondoggle!), and swimming. I think they’ve banned this now (probably from kids getting a little too racy at a Bible camp!), but there used to be “Love Mail” that campers could write to each other, and the love letters would be read aloud after lunch or dinner to the entire camp, and if it was written to you, you had to walk up in front of everyone and collect your letter as everyone hooted and hollered – always so embarrassing, but always a good laugh!
    Sometimes I wish I could be 12 again just to go enjoy a week at this camp!

  16. Jackie says

    This looks like so much fun!

    My husband used to spend time with his grandparents in Northern Michigan every summer when he was a kid and it was always called “Camp Memy!”

  17. The Shelving Store says

    When I was growing up, we would spend a lot of time with my Grandma during summers away from school, but it never looked this fun! Our laser-light shows consisted of I Love Lucy reruns (which were just fine!).

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