About Me and Grandma’s Camp



Back when there were Nine.




I’m  Grandma Dottie.

I am married to a wonderful man, whom I love very much, and he loves me; we just celebrated our 46th anniversary. We have 6 children–now 12, and 16 beautiful and brilliant grandchildren. He is a wonderful grandpa.

I love being a grandma! The grandchildren and I have had so much fun together. I love being with my grandchildren, and it has always been pretty easy for me to step into their imaginary world, and sometimes I’m the architect of a fantasy and they come into mine.

Grandma’s Camp–Happy Memories Are Made By Appointment

Grandma Dottie’s Camp has been going steadily in the Laughing Place at The Mysterious Beyond for 15 years when my oldest three grandchildren were 7 and 5. We had two three-year olds who wandered in and out of our camp activities, staying just as long as their attention span allowed them.

We are excitedly expecting our 17th grandchild soon! The ages of my grandchildren range from 22 to new born. I found that when all of my grandchildren got together, it is more fun to have organized time with them. So that is one reason I started Grandma’s Camp. (There are many others.) It has been so rewarding! All six of our kids’ families plan for their children to be here for the event that is anticipated all year long. Spring Fever encourages our plans, and communication sets the stage with excitement. See Letters to My Grandchildren.

Grandma’s Camp is planned as a perfect event. I plan to the last detail.

Their uncle was leaving for a mission, and we wanted to record their age and size. Not everyone is happy with this Kodak Moment!


Our Secret Garden Photo Shot: The little girl closest to front is gradually scooting away, trying to not be noticed, but she’s out of there! The little one in the center of our circle is crawling away and crying. She’s mad! But it’s one of my favorite photos.

But… days seem to have a mind of their own and rarely follow a plan perfectly, so we adjust and adapt and have fun with whatever happens. And kids all come with  their different moods and personalities, so sometimes they are happy and sometimes they are cranky, so we adjust and adapt…

Flexible and Resilient

When I started this tradition, I was 15 years younger with a lot more energy than I have now, so the number one priority is to have a great time! Here are some flexible features that keep our camp resilient:

  • The theme of the camp is geared toward the 5-13 ages with a few activities that include all ages.
  • The older kids help plan it and stage it. (Last year we had Harry Potter Camp, and my 21 year old put together a real Quidditch game that was ingenious!) And there is always something in the plans for their fun as well–like outdoor competitions, etc.)
  • The tiny kids come and go throughout the days as they want.
  • The length of camp varies. Sometimes it is for a week, sometimes for only one day and sometimes we have it while we are on vacation together, wherever that may be for the year.

I just love this whole Grandma’s Camp concept! We have had so much fun and made so many memories!


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One Response to “About Me and Grandma’s Camp”

  1. Deb Rafferty

    Grandma Dottie, I love the idea of having a grandma camp/cousins camp/etc! I’d love to dialogue with you about it!

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