Wednesday, September 14, 2011

camps and secrets

I'm so grateful for a family who raised me to believe in doing hard things and who still wrap their arms around me when I need them. And it makes me tear up a little when I think about how grateful I am that they are extending that love so beautifully to my children.

I'm so thankful for what my parents have created at Bear Lake to help make all that love-sharing mumbo-jumbo happen.
Each summer my mom painstakingly lays out "Grammie Camp" for all the different "Groups" (I talked about the "groups" in this post) of grand-kids ages five and up. Although I know that things like that take a bunch of work, preparation and effort she acts like it's just the easiest thing in the world to take bouncing kids to a cemetery to visit the graves of ancestors, make cookies or crepes with too many eager hands vying for attention, stay up late, teach them how to weed and work hard just like she does, and she even has fun in the process. (At least that's what she claims :)

They usually do some sort of art project too (my dear mother has instilled in all of us a love of art...more here about that...I couldn't be more glad that she's sharing that with the grandchildren too). Here's what one group turned out this year:
(Looks to me like they were working on a little bit of "pointillism." I love how even their names are made of dots.)

Then there's my dad. I think he was a tad bit jealous of all the "Grammie Camp" hoopla so he decided to start his own "Grandfather's Secrets" last year.

He decided to help instill some important things into the oldest grandchildrens' minds. Things I personally believe that if any child really internalizes, their lives will be blessed and better because of that knowledge. These are the "secrets:"

1) Most kids are waiting for someone to lead them but they just don't know it yet.
2) Joy is the purpose of life and a choice you make.
3) The Holy Ghost will help you on all your decisions large and small.

I think they are simple yet profound.

So much so that I have personally had experiences with them myself this last year.

My Dad formulated ways for the kids remember the "secrets." He had them email them to him occasionally through the year and he had them each carry around a small, beautifully smooth rock as much as possible to help them remember.

Then this summer he found a beautiful tree growing up on a mountain covered with nothing else but sagebrush. He was taken with how that single tree had the strength to grow up tall and strong even when there was nothing else around to support it.
So he hiked those grandkids right up to the tree and told them how they can grow just as tall and strong if they have an infrastructure built on the inside with faith and confidence. And he explained that those secrets would help them with that.

Which they will.

Even more than any of them can know at this point in the game.

He had them report on their experiences right up there at that single tree, and even gave them a new "secret" to add to their repertoire.

Grace tells about the secrets and what they did with them best in her own words on her blog here. It melts my heart to read it.

Sometimes I really do feel that it takes a village to raise a child.

And I'm forever grateful for all those in my village who funnel light and beauty so generously into the lives of my children.


  1. Your Mum & Dad are incredible people:)

    Just curious, do your children really call their Grandad (Grandpa) Grandfather?

  2. So amazing! I think lots of grandparents/aunts/uncles etc. try to be the "cool" one by spoiling young children, I take this post to heart and hope that I can try to be an example to my nieces and nephews without emptying my pockets!

  3. Wonderful! I think some of life's greatest lesson can be taught better by a grandparent. sometimes kids just listen to them more and it make's an impression that they will never forget! I hope I can be half the grandma that your darling mother is! Thanks, your posts always make me want to be better!

  4. I think it depends on who is in that village. You have exceptional people in yours.

  5. You are blessed indeed to have such a wonderful family and group of people around you.

  6. I love this "secrets" idea. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Wow, you are so lucky to have the parents that you do because not everyone does. It is so important to have positive influences that our kids can look to other than ourselves and it is wonderful when those influences can be a grandparent or someone related. You are very, very fortunate!


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