October 8, 2009
Grandparent Searches for a Gift with Meaning
Jan Okey is a grandparent of 7. Until recently she faced a dilemma with gift-giving. Her predicament had been finding gifts that truly nurture, enrich and entertain in addition to making her grandchildren squeal with delight. She found time and time again that the hottest toy was fun for a few hours: any real lasting value, however, was unpredictable at best. Even more, it disappointed Jan that she could never seem to enjoy the gifts with her grandchildren. Seeking a solution, Jan took a couple of cues from some of her contemporaries who had helped make family vacations a reality.
With this in mind, she set out to find a gift for the entire family that would make everyone smile, including her. SHE FOUND FAMILY CAMP. Family camp (think traditional summer camp grown-up-friendly with comfortable beds and good food) turned out to be the best vacation the entire family has taken together. Jan worked the web for family camps and landed on Medomak Camp (www.medomakcamp.com), located on a pristine lake in the mid-coast region of Maine. Different from a typical summer camp family camp cater to the entire family not just kids and are very good at offering a variety of multi-generational activities. Medomak offers eight, one-week sessions with only family fun in mind. The kids love swimming, arts and crafts, land sports, basketball, and archery, while mom enjoys book club, yoga, massage, and long afternoons lounging by the lake. Dad can fish, enjoy a Maine beer and cheese tasting, and row or canoe in the early morning calm. But what Jan raves about most is the opportunity to relive simpler times while participating in activities with her grandkids: No video games, computers, or continuous TV, just fun catching fire-flies, tie-dying t-shirts, paddling a canoe together while watching the sunset and enjoying uncomplicated pleasures and reconnecting as family.
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"What was selected as an extended family trip for my parents 50th anniversary turned out extreamly well. It is hard to find a spot to engage my 75 year old father as my 5 year old nephew, but it happened here. It is the natural , green beauty and quiet lack of commercialism that struck me here. Don't feel you have to take in all the activities; explore. Look inside yourself, away from work and the world, and find a piece of your personal soul that you forgot or didn't know was there."