Timeless October/November 2021 - Page 9

Brookshire spends an extensive amount of time planning the week , putting together new art activities , science experiments and other events .
They spend time at the lake , swimming , having bonfires and noshing on s ’ mores . They also have kayak racing and go horseback riding each year .
The kids explore the land where Brookshire lives , going on frog hunts and catching and releasing butterflies and insects . They catch fireflies and watch them shimmer in jars .
The youngsters also go on hikes and scavenger hunts , play at the playground and go to yoga class . The children have painted stepping stones , created mosaic art , tie dyed t-shirts , and crafted original jewelry .
Science experiments also an important part of the week . Brookshire and her grandchildren have worked together to grow salt crystals and have watched butterflies hatch . They also have learned about inventors and explorers , as well as about the history of the American flag .
Time also is spent cooking and baking . Her granddaughters have made and decorated sugar cookies , berry cobblers , cakes , fudge and homemade icing .
Brookshire also tries to build in activities that encourage kindness and empathy . This summer , for example , the girls helped her make a cake for an adult friend who was feeling sick .
“ They were so excited to be doing something kind for someone ,” she recalled . “ They were just beside themselves with excitement , really .”
Brookshire said that she avoids using screen time to keep her grandchildren entertained when they are together .
“ You notice that I don ’ t say anything about watching movies or



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Fabric doing things on the computer ,” she said . “ None of that is part of what I do . So much of what we do is hands-on learning and being outside . I think kids need that time away from screens .”

Brookshire also is careful to get ideas from her grandchildren about what they would like to do together .
“ KK asks us for our ideas ,” 11-year-old Clara said , using the term of endearment she uses for her grandmother . “ Camp KK is fun . I love all the things we do . All the animals are my favorite thing . I caught a big bullfrog this past summer .” Eight-year-old Sadie agreed . “ I like hearing all the frogs and insects singing ,” she said . “ KK reads fun books to us .”
Brookshire said her friends have asked her to post the Camp KK schedule each year on social media . Sometimes , she also helps her friends to create activities for their grandchildren .
“ My advice to grandparents is that time is the most important thing you can give ,” she said . “ Mine don ’ t care what I buy them , but they care about the things that I do with them . It ’ s simple things – like going on hikes and catching a lizard and then getting so excited and naming the lizard .”
Ultimately , Brookshire said she hopes Camp KK helps her grandchildren to know they are loved unconditionally and boundlessly .
“ I think it ’ s important to know that family is important and that your family loves you , no matter what ,” she said . “ Knowing that gives them a strong foundation . It ’ s important to have those relationships with the children in your life . I love and cherish my grandchildren and I love to be with them . The truth is , I have just as much fun if not more than they do .” T

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