A Personal Retreat with Your Grandchild
For four summers, I had the joy of taking my oldest grandson, Nathaniel, to Grand Camp. However, by the fifth summer, he had “aged out”. He was very sad. So, I decided to have a “Grand Camp: One on One”. It was Grand Camp in 24 hours! I reserved a room for us at a local Christian retreat center, Camp St. Christopher. Soon, we were off together.
“Nina Camp” began at noon on a Monday when I picked up Nathaniel. In the front seat of my car were three items waiting for him: a blind fold, a Bible story book and a small gift. As I tied the blind fold around his head, his mom took our picture. This picture was the first one of many in a Memory Book I later compiled for him. “Nina Camp” is building a memory to last a life time. The Old Testament calls it an “Ebenezer” or a “stone of remembrance”. My goal for the overnight was to build and document a memory for Nathaniel. I want him to always know Jesus loves him – and so do I!
Once in the car, I began the first of five conversations I had strategically planned for our time together. These conversations were built on the key verse from Grand Camp, Ephesians 2:10. Blindfolded, Nathaniel sat in darkness. Due to sin each of us begin life in darkness. We talked about what it is like to be in such a state. But God, the Creator, did not leave us in darkness. Instead, He redeemed us and brought us to Him. Nathaniel took off his blindfold. In the brightness of the day, he looked at the Bible storybook I had brought. We talked about the Creator, His creation and how we are His masterpiece.
As we drove onto Seabrook Island, Nathaniel opened his gift. It was a paperback book on heroes of the faith. Nathaniel loves to read, especially at the beach. This book, inscribed by me, was to be another part of his “Ebenezer”. It was a token for him to keep as a remembrance of our time together. Also, it was a word of encouragement about men who have lived their lives for Christ.
The twenty-four hours flew. We enjoyed beach time, meals in the Dining Hall and even some card playing on the porch. Scattered throughout our retreat were the intentional conversations. Some talks were brief lasting only a few minutes. Other talks were longer and more meaningful. I ended our “Nina Camp” with a short Spoken Blessing reminding Nathaniel he is God’s masterpiece.
Over the next few weeks, I look forward to assembling the Memory Book. I’m entitling it “Your Ebenezer”. God has mighty plans for Nathaniel. Yet, he lives in a challenging world. I pray this book will be a concrete reminder of our sweet time together, the special love of his Nina and, most importantly, the deep love of his heavenly Father.
If you would like a copy of the schedule for “Grand Camp One-on-One”, information on the talks or to plan your own Grand Camp for your grandchild, contact Catherine at firstname.lastname@example.org