There’s a new movement, in the church world, calling Grandparents to a purposeful, meaningful, family ministry that can leave a legacy…a heritage…with consequential eternal results! Get on board! Elmer Towns says, “Use the ‘rest of your life’ to give the ‘best of your life!” We live in a broken world where the hearts, minds and souls of today’s children are at risk. Grandparents play a unique influential role in the lives of their grandchildren; second, only to parents. Many of the thirty million Christian grandparents in America are either unaware of that potential influence, ignore the opportunity, or have significant barriers in carrying this out. To be successful you need to be intentional!
One “Very Grateful Grandmother” Reflects on GrandCamp 2023
By Lynn Land Dayton, St. Philip’s Church, Charleston
I want to extend my thanks and thoughts to all the team for making GrandCamp 2023 simply magnificent. I cannot imagine how much prayer and planning and executing it took to make this year’s GrandCamp so powerful. I had prayed that my grandson Alexander would grow more deeply in his faith and that he would find some boys to connect with. God did that in better ways than I imagined. Father John took him fishing and spent that ‘grandfatherly’ time with him. He talked about the dogfish they caught many times! Other grandads mentored him without even realizing it. He connected with grandfathers and boys whose families we shared meals with. What was especially precious as well was to watch 15 boys (campers and youth leaders – I counted!) playing whiffle ball every night after our evening programs until we dragged them in at dark. Thanks to the all for that ‘extra blessing.’ This wasn’t even the teaching and it impacted Alexander and me!
The theme for GrandCamp 2023 was “On the Case – Discovering who God is” and the ‘witnesses’ who gave testimony in the intergenerational time were powerful. So much preparation went into those times and my appreciation for each is huge. All the grandparents’ teachings were eye-opening and implored me to look more deeply into the culture our grandkids face – and pray harder.
The teaching our children received was impactful. I don’t know all they learned but Alexander was always eager to go! I know he got the concept that God is REAL and that we can count on Him personally to take care of us. I am truly grateful for the idea of the children looking up scriptures in the Bible themselves for the stories. I plan to put sticky notes in Alexander’s Bible concerning the different Bible stories and scripture verses we learned. It was never a problem learning those scriptures (for the children at least!). The Bible scavenger hunt was a hit. It took a lot of planning and executing but was exceptional. Evening devotions were precious times of bonding and praying together. During the week, Grandparents were encouraged to tell our faith stories and honestly no stone was left unturned in leading our grandchildren more deeply in relationships with the Lord. The Blessing is always a highlight and I felt that Alexander understood it even better this year and was looking forward to it. The circle at closing was powerful, especially having the grandchildren circle the grandparents. Alexander even prayed aloud a very short prayer. I was amazed!
My prayers for GrandCamp were answered beyond my imagination. The talks that Alexander and I had because of GrandCamp setting the stage were life changing. This encounter with God with my treasured grandson was a gift. I came away knowing that God showed up in a huge way at GrandCamp: His Spirit was clearly there and cheering us on.
Love in Jesus from one very grateful grandmother!
The Wonders of God at GrandCamp
By Wanda DeLorge, Christ Church Anglican, Mt Pleasant, SC
2022 marked the fifth year my granddaughter Rileigh and I attended GrandCamp, and each year gets better and more memorable! This year granddaughter Presley was able to attend with us and share in the joys and wonders that were a part of each day. GrandCamp is five-day program designed for grandparents and their grandchildren to have fun, meet new friends, and develop a closer bond together with God.
Being a grandparent is an amazing adventure and sharing my faith with each of my grandchildren is an important calling from God. St Christopher’s offered the perfect setting for 2022 and along with approximately 70 other grandparents, grandchildren and staff we did just that. This wonder-filled week included bible stories, skits, crafts, kids’ games and intergenerational games, story time, singing and roasting marshmallows by the campfire, cookout and talent night, daily devotionals, swimming in the ocean, and enjoying God’s goodness in the nature that surrounded us with friends-both new and old!
The theme that year was Ephesians 6:10-18, “Put on the Full Armor of God” and Presley, Rileigh and I laughed and sang with Rich and others while Michael showed us how to put on the armor and “be strong.”
Presley has listened to the wonders of GrandCamp for many years from the stories Rileigh and I shared and was delighted to finally be a part of the adventure. We still sing the songs and share the love of God and have already registered for 2023!
The next GrandCamp will be June 26-30, 2023, at Epworth by the Sea in St Simon’s Island, GA. It’s open to kids 6 -12 years old and is an awesome, wonder-filled week for both grandparents and kids. Ask me if you want to know more.