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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cousin Camp

Laura, my next to youngest granddaughter said on Monday, “Gramma, I can’t believe it’s August already.”  Neither can I. 

I have six grandchildren, and four of them need some place to go or something to do in the summer.  They all live in other counties; one set is forty five minutes away and the other ninety minutes.  A lot of kid shuffling just isn’t feasible, and wouldn’t suit us old folks down here, anyway. 
Thus, Cousin Camp.  The two farthest away, Laura and Emily, are pretty much here for the summer.  Caroline and Francis circulate in and out.  Caroline and Francis are my older daughters’ children, the other four my younger daughters’.  And of those four, Emily and Laura stay here; the older two stay home and hopefully find summer jobs.

How much they are growing up!  Emily was a little balky this year (twelve years old, you know), but was only given one choice—Cousin Camp.  And, she’s a good natured little girl and came willingly in the end.  I realized Cousin Camp had to be getting boring—same old same old ride your bicycle up and down the street, shoot hoops, read, make another quilt with Aunt Janice. 
This Gramma still works every day.  And, I’m not up to much except driving a car.  Marginally good at walking, last try at a bicycle was a disaster (fortunately laughable!).  So, I looked about for things for them to do part of the time.  The first experiment was day camp at the local wellness center with exciting names like “Conquer your Fears.”  It was a sad disappointment in glorified babysitting, but Em, Laura and France liked eating Subway sandwiches for lunch for a week.

The rest of the activities I found were all programs at the Peninsula Art Academy.  This is such a professional organization, staffed by volunteers!  It’s a teaching art gallery.  Emily and Laura have been in every activity I could find.  A week long class in sketching.  A week long class in nature and making a little silver pendant.  Caroline, who’s seven, was down for that week.  When I picked them up the last day their instructor was giving them a little summation of how they should keep looking around themselves and observing.  When she finished the group just flowed around and gave her a hug.  Wow.
Emily was invited to join a teen open studio afternoon and explored more art avenues.  This week Emily and Laura have basket classes—one class in traditional and one in wild and crazy baskets.  They made traditional baskets today.  Laura made a mail basket—hangs over the door, put stuff in it.  Em made a nice round basket.  Uncle Tom has loaded up the truck to transport all the cat tails and grape vines they collected last month for the wild and crazy baskets.  I will get pictures of those.

We still have tie die and batik classes coming for those two and Caroline and Francis.   Caroline’s glowing report, not to mention the little silver pendant with a couple of “real gems, Gramma” charms on the chain, too, and my older daughter found neighborhood art classes back home to help fill up the summer.  They have obviously enjoyed themselves and August sure took Laura by surprise. 
Here’s a hot afternoon at Cousin Camp.  Three little girls singing ‘Do, a deer, a female deer; Re, a drop of golden sun…..”  They never knew I came and went. 

Caroline got pink highlights last time she got a haircut.  How cool is that.  I think her mom remembers when her mom wouldn’t let her have a second set of ear piercings and concluded life’s just too fun, not to mention fast.  It’s August already!

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