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L I F E  

How to Run a Cousin Camp

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.

cousins, Greenbluff, cousin camp

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).
cousins, cousin camp

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:

Made Tshirts

Enjoyed Backyard Movies

Buddy time bonding

cousins, summer, family, Silverwood Theme Park, boys

Running the Cherry Picker’s Trot at Greenbluff, Wa

cousin camp, Greenbluff, Cherry Picker's Trot

Silverwood Theme Park in the Pacific Northwest

Silverwood Theme Park, Water, Summer, Pool, water park

Sewing laundry bags for summer camp

The cousin camp olympics

campfire, summer, cousin camp

Making tie dye t-shirts

tie dye, crafting, summer, cousin camp

Visiting Great Grandma’s house

Trampoline Sleeping

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!

How about you? What are your cousin camp ideas?

(Visited 9,846 times, 10 visits today)
  1. kendra says:

    Beautifully said sis and love all the pictures. Cousining really is special…xoxo. Tears in my eyes…don't blink!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh my gosh! what a special thing for your kiddos…a really neat thing to start at any age. Thanks for sharing Krysta!xxoo Melaine

  3. Kelly & Monte Tareski says:

    What an awesome idea. Thank you for sharing. I found you via Kendra.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I love it and it has inspired me to do the same with my children and their cousins. Lina

  5. The Homemade Renegade says:

    I'm so glad Lina! It is worth every second of planning and organization! Have FUN building lifelong memories!

  6. RookieMom Whitney says:

    So cute. I just have to convince my own adult cousins. (Me and my two cousins are all only children. Now our children have no cousins but each other, so we just have them call each other cousins.)

  7. Ladybird Ln says:

    Oh how sweet, I might have to start this with my kids and cousins, too much fun! I am excited to browse your blog more, I usually don't ask people, but I have a party on my blog that starts on Friday, and would love it if you want to link up… No pressure though. Love the idea, and your cute blog!


  8. Christy says:

    such a great idea…makes me wish i had a house full of kids to share this idea with 🙂 thank you for stopping by my place and leaving such a nice comment. your blog looks great..i am your newest follower!

  9. Robyn Bivens says:

    I love this idea!! Gonna call my sister right now and start planning for next summer.

  10. Ladybird Ln says:

    PS, I showed this post off today:)


  11. Susan says:

    Marrying a man in 2012 who absolutely adores my grandchildren (all 13 of them!) has enabled us to host “Cousins’ Week” these past 6 years. They had to be 4 years old to come and stay 6-7 days at Grampa’s and Grandma’s house. No parents. We are blessed to have a dedicated area of our house where they can all bunk and hangout together. We plan something fun for each day, lots of outings, everything from beach days, to bowling, to state parks (tubing down a river), and Sunday church together, to name a few. Late days and evenings have involved cooking and cleaning up together, back yard baseball, football, kick ball, relay races, night swimming in the pool, and marathon Monopoly games. For our most recent 2019 Week (11 attended, ages 6- 24, from 4 families), we had nightly team pool competitions and at the end of the week the losing team had to give foot massages to the winning team! We splurged in 2019 and rented a 15 passenger van so we could go everywhere in one vehicle. These cousins have forged a lifetime bond, which has always been our intent. Precious memories. I wish I could send you pictures!

    • Krista says:

      Susan – how I wish I could come! If you are on instagram or Facebook – tag me in your pictures next time so I can see them . What an incredible blessing to your grandchildren. Sounds like you found a treasure of a husband too. I’m so happy for you 🙂


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