Summer camp is a great way to keep kids entertained and out of trouble in the summer months, but in today’s economy, luxuries like camp are often the first thing to go.
Joan Brackin, a 64-year-old grandmother of nine from Grant City, MO, has come up with a solution for her family. According to the Los Angeles Times, Brackin takes in all of her grand-kids for a full week every summer and holds “Grandma Camp.”
At Grandma Camp, kids don’t just come for a visit. They learn something new (this year’s theme is gems and minerals), they write and perform their own play, and they even plan and cook dinner for the group each night (after learning to set the table properly, of course).
“When my husband passed away, I was concerned how to keep his memory alive,” Brackin tells the Los Angeles Times. “I just want to keep a little check on my grandchildren. I was trying to come up with a way so that they could come together as cousins and give me something positive to hold on to.”
Brackin has definitely taken grand-parenting to the next level, but grandparents watching their grandkids isn’t anything new. According to AARP, nearly 1 in 4 grandparents take care of their grandkids between 10 and 29 hours a week — and half of those grandparents work full-time themselves. According to the survey, grandparents pitch in to bond with their grandkids and to help out their own children.
Suddenly, I feel the need to send my mom some flowers.
In some families, grandparent child care can be a challenge. Generational gaps and miscommunication can lead to arguments and mistrust. And a recent study even found that grandparent child care might be contributing to the obesity epidemic.
But when it works, like in Brackin’s case, it really works. Grandma’s house tops the list of the places my own kids want to go.
So tell us: Will your kids be going to their own version of Grandma Camp this summer?