The following letter and commentary was written by one of our clients who was preparing for a visit from their out-of-state grandchildren (all three of whom are boys). To heighten the anticipation, they sent this letter to the grandchildren to let them know what kind of activities they would have the option of participating in duringthe summer at Grandad and Nana’s house. I thought this was absolutely brilliant, and with their kind permission, I have included it for your enjoyment. I have altered it slightly to protect their anonymity.
We are happy to once again welcome you to a fun-filled visit to Camp KayDeeJay. As you may recall from your visit last year, we want to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. To help us prepare for your time with us, we would like for you to let us know what you would like to do.
Please select from the following activities. Then write them into the calendar below and return this page to us by August 17. We will do our best to make your time at camp fun and educational.
Grandad’s Workshop: Construction & Disassembly
I save scraps of wood throughout the year. Then the boys put on their shop shirts (old tee shirts with their names on them), and their safety glasses (we’re big on safety in the shop). I get out the glue (Elmer’s kid glue is fine) and then it’s then up to them to do what they want. They have their own hammers and we will fill out their tool chests as they get older. Hammering nails is a big deal all by itself. When their construction projects are done, I put their name and the date on them and then hang them in the “Family Gallery” for everyone to enjoy. They also like to browse through their past work.
The “disassembly” part of the shop work is new this year. I’ve saved old light fixtures, broken plumbing fixtures and an old mechanical clock movement. I’ll give them tools and then try to teach them how to take the mechanisms apart. I hope they enjoy this. I know when I was a kid, taking things apart was great fun. It was only later that I learned to put them back together.
I bought a small bow and a set of arrows so that the boys can learn archery. The bow is light enough so that they can shoot at targets in the shop (about 15-20 feet away) or outdoors if the weather is good. Cardboard boxes and Styrofoam are the targets. Sometimes we tape balloons to the target for added noise.
A few years back, I used some scrap wood to build a little box that is now the Treasure Chest. In it are all kinds of old stuff I’ve saved through the years – cans with padlocks, small tins with marbles, a big can full of about 100 keys, a bag of coins from other countries around the world, a mud dauber’s nest, a film canister with a wicked looking (dead) bug in it, a can with wing-nuts and bolts (to practice on), harmonicas for each boy, matchbox cars, a can full of old advertising key rings, a referee’s whistle, a slide whistle, an old top etc. I just turn them loose and let them explore. This is one of Donald’s favorites, but the older boys like it too.
Although not a part of the treasure chest, the “Two o’clock lollipop” has become a tradition. I have a can of lollipops in my office. At two o’clock (or anytime after that) we all stop for a lollipop break.
I bought water squirters for each of the boys (they don’t sell water GUNS anymore). We have competition that begins with setting up and shooting (squirting) down empty plastic margarine cups. When that gets old, we have a contest to see who can stay behind a line and be the first to fill the cups with water. Of course, it’s not long before this deteriorates into a “let’s get Grandad” war . . . lots of running and screaming and threats . . . we all get wet.
Frisbee in the park
Just a trip to one of the Roswell parks to throw the Frisbee or some other flying disc.