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!
Beautifully said sis and love all the pictures. Cousining really is special…xoxo. Tears in my eyes…don't blink!
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
What an awesome idea. Thank you for sharing. I found you via Kendra.
I love it and it has inspired me to do the same with my children and their cousins. Lina
I'm so glad Lina! It is worth every second of planning and organization! Have FUN building lifelong memories!
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.)
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!
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!
I love this idea!! Gonna call my sister right now and start planning for next summer.
PS, I showed this post off today:)
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!
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 🙂