Oma and Opa Camp 2014 was held at the end July. It was our sixth year of doing a camp for our grandchildren. As usual, it was a busy time. Seven excited grandkids, ages 5-10, came to spend three solid days with us. We meet them half-way from where six of them live and then drive them back again at the end, but there are three full days at our house. My theme this year was “A Wild and Crazy Time”! We did field trips, games, crafts, songs, food, and kid devotions.
In case you don’t know, Oma and Opa are Dutch and German words for grandma and grandpa. Other grandparents that do these camps call them Cousin’s Camp, Lake Camp, Grandma Camp, Grandma and Grandpa Camp, and Cabin Camp just to name a few! It’s a bit of work (to say the least), but worth the great memories!
Here’s a recap of what we did this year. Greater detail is given on some of the items by going to the link for those events.
The theme “A Wild and Crazy Time” went with the two field trips that we took. The first one was to a Science Wildlife Center that had many different kinds of wolves. We had a private tour with just our group and they told us interesting things about the different animals that we saw. As we arrived, the wolves were all howling! Quite an eery sound. They had other animals there, too. We saw porcupines, puma, bobcat, bear, coyote, and fox. The grandkids were completely involved in learning about the animals. They could see them so clearly as they were very close, yet in a very large fenced area. Our guide told great stories and facts about each animal! So that was part of the “WILD” time.
The “CRAZY” part of the field trips was to a Children’s Museum with so many hand-on things to do! They had been there a few years before and had requested that we do that again as they all loved it!
An easy indoor game that the kids had fun doing was the Crazy Ping Pong Ball Game! They stopped and played it when they wanted. It was a game where even the little kids were successful. In fact, the youngest had the highest score!
The game that was so much fun was the Summer Hockey Game! They loved it! They played it for 2 days. I had some other games planned, but this was enjoyed by all so I just saved the other games for another year.
Go to Summer Hockey Game for complete instructions and rules!
I asked the kids to choose one food that we had made at any other Oma and Opa Camp that they wanted to repeat. There were three things they wanted to do again: omelets in a bag, cactus juice and campfire sandwiches. We had all three requests and then had a fun, “crazy pizza night”! This included three pizzas that they made themselves. One was a pizza from a Grand Biscuit, a veggie pizza from a Crescent Roll (topped with their favorite veggies), and a dessert pizza from a sugar cookie.
For the Grand Biscuit pizza, just roll or pat the biscuit flat into a 5-6 inch circle. Do this on a piece of parchment marked with their name. That way, they can tell which one is their pizza! Add toppings of their choice. Bake on a pan according to the Grand Biscuit directions.
They also made veggie pizzas out of crescent rolls. They patted the rolls into a circle. We baked them and then put Ranch dressing on top and covered it with grated carrots, chopped broccoli, and cauliflower for the vegetable course!
Dessert pizza was made with sugar cookies iced with a sweetened cream cheese and topped with all sorts of fresh fruit!
To go along with the “Wild” theme, the kids made wolf sock puppets. Complete directions are found on the sock puppets post. All ages enjoyed making them. They were very creative in putting them together!
The “Crazy Craft” was the T-Shirts. They chose three colors and we made DIY Ombre Tie Dye Shirts! Wow! They turned out great! I would buy one of these in the store! It was “crazy” how each color blended into the other! They loved them!
They are modeling their t-shirts in a “crazy” way!
The last craft we made was the Outdoor Garden Tic-Tac-Toe Game. This was so inexpensive to make. Rocks are free or almost if you buy a bag at the Dollar Tree. The paint and spray I had on hand and the tiles were 99 cents! When they brought them home, they placed them in the landscape or play area somewhere in their yard. They’re always ready for a quick, crazy game! Go to Outdoor Garden Tic-Tac-Toe Game for complete directions.
I used the CD from Standard’s Jungle Safari VBS. The song they liked the best was “I Can Count on God”.
The books called, “Character Sketches” give great lessons on wild animals and their characteristics. The author takes those characteristics of the animals to illustrate Christian characteristics that God wants for our own lives. Scripture is used to highlight Bible stories that illustrate that particular Christian character. The books are out of print, but available if you search online. They are great for ages 6-12.
I focused on two characteristics. The first was FOCUS! The wolf and opossum were the wild creatures and we used the phrase “Don’t let others sway you from doing what God wants you to do- stay focused!” The second characteristic was LOYALTY! “God wants us to be loyal to our friends and family”! The two wild creatures that illustrated this were the goose and Great Horned Owl.
The books are very detailed so I paraphrased much of the lesson rather than read it. They loved learning about the animals and it was helpful to bring home the main theme of the lesson.
After camp, I make an online picture book as a memory of Oma and Opa Camp 2014. It takes some time to put together, but it is worth it. About a month after Oma and Opa Camp, the books are done and sent to them. I always use a certain company as they give out coupons to make the cost affordable for 7 books! Here’s the reference code to register…http://www.artscow.com/?Ref=500841
While it is a lot of planning, I enjoy seeing the relationships grow with cousins. We have a lot of fun with them, but it does take a couple of days to rest and recover afterwards. Now, on to planning for next year!
Making special memories with grandchildren is important. Perhaps you can’t do a camp, but can do a day with some events. Your grandkids will love it!
Make memories and have fun!
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