To sum up my camping experience I would use the word "pressure". The camps I went to were mostly church camps. They started out with the pressure of sports. Of course you had to keep the children busy and what better way than organized sports? These activities are a blessing and even exciting for those who were the trim, athletic, coordinated children, but for me (a very chubby, not so coordinated pre-adolescent) they were a nightmare. Then there were the countless meetings, meals in a sweat filled cafeteria and the all around pressure to be popular among a group of peers that you will most likely never see again (even if you make lifelong promises to faithfully write each other).
Cousins Camp, on the other hand, is a completely different experience. It all started when my husbands older siblings had 3 children each. My husband's mother decided that it would be good for the parents to have a little down time and for the cousins to get a chance to play together and learn some new things. I think the oldest at the time was 6. So the first cousins camp boasted 3 6-year-olds and 3 4-year-olds. I'm sure my mother-in-law had suspicions that this could possibly grow to enormous proportions but at the time she dove in. (Oddly enough her children married spouses who shared their dreams of having larger families, nowhere near the Duggers but more than the average household. Since the first cousins camp the grandchild tally has reached 21 children all under the age of 10. The admittance age for Cousins camp is 4 years old so this year there are 19 children attending camp).
Cousin Camp 2010's theme is "The Pioneer Days". Thus far they started off with a day at the lake ands since then have spent their time painting, molding clay pots and toys, hiking and playing in the small woods behind my sister-in-law's house, and learning the history of the pioneers. Today they will be learning more about the Ingalls through a lesson and a movie and then coming here fully dressed in pioneer garb to hike the woods at my house down to the creek and back again. Upon their return they will gather around the fire pit to enjoy a meal of beans, bacon and Johnny cakes in true pioneer fashion.
It is hard to tell what they will remember years later as they look back on these experiences but I must say, my boys look forward to these time immensely. It far surpasses my experiences with camp and I am so very thankful they can share this time with their cousins and their Oma.