A Christmas Gift That Outlives You

Christmas is just around the corner. As a grandparent, what kind of gifts will you give this year that will mean something beyond the Christmas season? In my post last week I challenged you to practice Kingdom gifting. One practical way to do that is giving your grandchildren a GrandCamp adventure gift for Christmas.

You may not know much about GrandCamp, so let me share with you the report from Sherry Schumann, one of our Prayer Directors, about last summer’s GrandCamp in South Carolina. Sherry will give you an overview of a typical GrandCamp event and the impact it can have on your grandchild. After reading her story, I hope you will choose to give one of the most meaningful Christmas gifts ever for your grandchildren—time with you at GrandCamp.


More than seventy grandparents and grandchildren toting backpacks and duffle bags, swimsuits and beach towels, streamed into Camp St. Christopher last June eager for GrandCamp to begin. GrandCamp is an amazing five-day faith adventure, designed by Christian Grandparenting Network to transport grandparents and their grandchildren away from their busy lives to a place where God can work in their hearts. The camp affords grandparents a unique, fun-filled opportunity to share their faith with their grandchildren.

There are five GrandCamps currently operating in the United States (Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, New York and South Carolina) and one in Alberta, Canada. I have the joy and privilege of serving on staff for the one in South Carolina This year we unpacked the Lord’s Prayer and equipped and empowered the grandparents and their grandchildren to become prayer warriors. One grandson remarked to his grandfather during family time devotions, “I learned that I can pray anywhere, including the bathroom.” 

The formats for all GrandCamps are similar. Mornings begin with morning muster, breakfast and intergenerational devotions pertaining to the week’s theme. The grandchildren then proceed to arts-and-crafts, games and Bible story time for the remainder of the morning, while grandparents discuss the Biblical role of grandparenting in sessions dubbed “GrandBits.”

Afternoon activities are unique to the specific camp locations. For example, our afternoons are spent building sand castles, riding the waves and seining for crab, shrimp and small fish. My favorite activity is our afternoon at the mud-pit when everyone, some more than others, sloshes in plough mud—a gooey, dark-brown mud found in the salt water marshes here in the Carolinas—before making a mad dash to the water. It creates the perfect lesson about Jesus washing our sins away. 

GrandCamp culminates with a poignant worship experience called the Blessing Ceremony. Grandparents speak personal blessings over their grandchildren affirming their worth as God’s children made in His image; naming God-given attributes, which they see in their grandchildren; picturing a special future with God at the helm; and committing themselves to walk alongside their grandchildren. 

Following this year’s blessing ceremony, one grandson reached up and placed his hand on his grandmother’s shoulder. “Grandma,” he announced, “someday, I am going to place my hand on your shoulder and give you a blessing.” Testimonies like this one—plus the knowledge that at least one grandmother led her granddaughter to Christ—are my reasons for serving on staff. I’ll be the first to register when our grandchildren are old enough to attend. 


For more information about GrandCamps, please see https://grandcamps.org/

P.S.: If you can’t attend a GrandCamp, you might consider doing your own. We have produced a GrandCamp Field Guide to help you do that effectively. Click here for information about the Field Guide.

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