There are always remnants. As the canvas takes shape, I peek my head inside in anticipation: a forgotten small toy, a stick in the corner, that sock we couldn’t find – all memories of the last time we were together in this space.
Recently, we went Gramping on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland as a family. Gramping is when three generation of family come together – grandparents, parents, children – to camp in the backyard or somewhere in the great outdoors.
With a cup of tea in hand, I watched my children play at the water’s edge. I could hear them discussing how they were going to catch fish. They spent hours, enamoured, designing fishing rods and talking about what they could see. This is good, I remember thinking. It was a windy weekend, and the adults sat on camping chairs in a semi-circle and talked. Conversations.
Later, I listened to my children interact with my own dad; it is always special for me to see him in this light: as a grandfather. He shared his knowledge, listened as the children explained what they could see and facilitated their creativity. My kids adore him.
That’s what gramping is all about: connection.
You can see more about how we pack in this post.
It’s their too-cold-but-I’ll-swim-anyway face. It’s grubby hands and wet feet. It’s the time it takes to do the simple things like cooking. The pace slows down and the beauty of all that is life and living shines through. Conversations are different somehow: unhurried, varied, interesting.
These pictures tell the story I want to say. And it’s one of building a strong family, making memories and experiencing the wonder of connection and nature.
One of our favourite camping meals is nachos because it’s simple and you don’t need cutlery! You can find the recipe I use here.
On the Gramping Association website you will also find other brilliant gramping recipes like S’mores and damper on a stick.