July 12, 2011
The only people who know you your whole life long are your siblings and your cousins. They are there from the beginning, knowing all of the childhood history that even a spouse likely doesn’t know.
Cousins are special — no doubt about it. Nurturing those relationships strengthens family identity and gives kids a sense of where they belong and where they come from in this world.
We began Cousin Camp when the kids were young. It was a fun way for them to bond, and a good way for us to have a chunk of time to get projects done without a toddler at our feet — a total WIN/WIN.
As the kids have grown older, we don’t need the break as much anymore, but the mission of bonding the family together remains the same.
Here is the basic format we’ve created:
- The camp usually lasts 4 days — 2 days at my house, and 2 at my sister’s
- We pick a theme verse and reinforce it throughout the time together.
- Whenever we go places, each child is assigned a “buddy” (a younger and an older cousin are paired). They are to stick together when we do our activities.
- We focus on activities and skills — fun things they normally don’t get to do, or skills they don’t know or could improve upon. Here’s a list of life-skills we planned to do at my house this year (we got to almost all of them).
Here is a list of ideas for skills to learn:
- How to change a bike tire
- How to build a fire
- How to make a dinner for someone special
- How to tie various knots
- How to calculate your heart rate
- Simple technique for studying the bible or bible memory
- What to do in an emergency medical situation
- How to compare prices
- How to sew on a button
- How to execute a spin dribble
- How to catch a football
- How to answer a phone
- How to engage adults in conversation
- How to tie dye a shirt
- How to cut an onion
- How to paint a wall
- How to make a hard boiled egg
- How to make bread
- How to bake a cake
- How to make perfect cookies
- How to braid hair / french braid
Here are some activities we’ve done throughout the years:
Enjoyed Backyard Movies
Buddy time bonding
Running the Cherry Picker’s Trot at Greenbluff, Wa
Silverwood Theme Park in the Pacific Northwest
Sewing laundry bags for summer camp
The cousin camp olympics
Making tie dye t-shirts
Visiting Great Grandma’s house
Swimming at a water park
Attending a cooking Class
The memories we have made are priceless, and the relationships forged will last a lifetime.
Cousining is just THE BEST!