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Family Stories

Grout Webb Family

A Getaway with Grandpa

Megan Grout lives with her husband and two children in Atlanta; the rest of her family is spread out in New England. Being in Atlanta makes it difficult to have as many regular visits with her parents and her two brothers as she would like. But the chance reading of an article in a magazine, her knack for planning, and her dad’s generosity, have made one week each year a special family reunion.

Megan read an article in a magazine at the dentist’s office about a family camp in Maine. She had had great summer camp memories of her own and wanted to relive the experience and introduce her kids to it as well. She called her dad, who had also grown up camping in Maine. He was eager to give it a try, and offered to pay for the whole family.

So for four years Megan has organized and arranged a reunion with nine family members and extended significant others, including her parents, brother and his wife and his child, and her younger brother and his girlfriend.

They all fell in love with Medomak Camp. “I think it’s absolutely for everyone,” she says. “You feel like you are getting away from it all, but it is not hardcore camping. You have everything you need, it’s still comfortable.”

One of her favorite memories is of the after dinner scavenger hunt. “It was so much fun for adults and kids to participate‚Ķeven the littlest ones would run around with us, even though they had no idea we were looking for clues. They just had fun running along side of us. Of course the scavenger hunt naturally brought out the competitiveness between me and my brother,” she says with a laugh.

She also said her family, all of whom play instruments, would love to sit around and play music, which would always serve as a great ice breaker with other families who had brought instruments and would come join them and play along.

Tips for a Successful Intergenerational Vacation

An intergenerational vacation like this has created a lifetime of special memories. “I have a snapshot in my head of my dad with a big beach towel drying off my two-year-old,” she says. “I remember feeling, ‘that’s why we’re here.’ And this is one of my son’s earliest memories, being there with Grandpa Joe” (his nickname for his granddad whose real name is Dan).

Megan has some tips for successful multifamily, intergenerational reunions at a family camp:

  • Have separate accommodations.
    “At Medomak we were right near each other, but each family had its own cabin for privacy and relaxation,” she says. “My parents didn’t need to wake up at four a.m. to a crying infant.”
  • Plan six months in advance if you can.
    Calendars fill up, people are busy, and coordination amongst multiple family members can be a challenge, but worth it, according to Megan.
  • Someone has to be the designated point person for planning.
    “That person needs to say, ‘here are the dates and schedule, how does this work?'” she says.
  • Make sure that whatever family experience you choose, there is something for everyone.
    Medomak has activities that fit all ages, and there was always down time for the adults.
  • Be prepared to share the responsibility for your youngest and oldest family members.
    While Megan’s parents are younger and fit, she can see that if you bring older parents or grandparents along, as well as younger kids, you might want to take a team approach. That way everyone gets a break, but there is always a family member who keeps the older and younger family members company.
  • Work out the arrangements for finances in advance.
    With multiple families, it’s good to make sure everyone is clear with who is paying for what.

Megan’s dad sums up why Medomak is a great place to experience your family in a different way. “In America, generations don’t really get the opportunity to spend extended time and observe each other,” he says. “Medomak is the perfect place for that experience.”

To a comment about his generosity in treating his whole family to the experience, Megan’s dad had this to say: “That’s interesting. I have always thought that coming to Medomak with my family was a gift for me.”

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