You have heard of Summer camp, Youth camp, Church camp, Boy Scout Camp, Training Camp, Basketball Camp, and so on.

Kids from the Davis family Grandma Camp on a hike in Box Canyon. From left, Kainoa Nihipali, Kash Davis, behind, Skylar Nihipali, Maddox Waldrop, Braxton Waldrop and Pierce Davis.

You have heard of Summer camp, Youth camp, Church camp, Boy Scout Camp, Training Camp, Basketball Camp, and so on.

However, have you ever heard of Grandma Camp? It sounds unique, to say the least.

Julie Davis has run Grandma Camp in Alamo for her grandchildren the past four years.

She admits though, the original idea is not hers. “It came from Suzie Hughes (former Alamo resident). She did it with her two grandchildren. I just tucked that away in my mind and several years later, when my oldest daughter was asked to do a girls church camp, she needed a place to leave her four young children.”  

Julie said her solution was to take a week off work, and the idea of Grandma Camp came to mind again. “There’s nothing in the world that makes me happier than my family and grandkids,” she said.

This year Grandma Camp included nine of the Davis’ 12 grandchildren, ranging in age from 10 to 12 years, plus another local girl who is a cousin’s granddaughter.

Davis said none of the grandchildren live near each other, and most live in the city, Las Vegas, Salt Lake, Orem, Utah, but all look forward to coming to camp each summer to spend time with their cousins.

She said a slogan she has used and even has on a painted wall hanging is, “Grandma’s House – Where cousins go to become best friends.”

There are some planned activities, like going to the lakes at the Wildlife Refuge, or riding 4-wheelers, or making decorated T-shirts. Other activities include going to one of the local canyons, hiking in the mountains, doing crafts, or swimming in the family’s above-ground pool, playing games in the backyard, doing games with flashlights in the pasture next door at night, having outdoor cookouts making their own hobo dinners, or just having free time on their own, plus many other things, all helping to make memories together.

“I don’t always get to have everyone,” Davis said, but this year her two younger daughters were also able to come with their kids. “The three oldest girls are now able to be with their mother at Girls Camp,” she said.

Is Grandma Camp a crazy idea, too hard to pull off with 10 or more kids for a week?  Davis doesn’t think so. “It’s the best fun of the year, because other times when families get together, you are often so involved in preparing the holiday meal to feed 25 people or so. This way, it’s just about my grandkids, and I spend the whole week relaxing and playing with them,” she said.

In addition, she said “We keep them busy enough and well fed, that they don’t really have time to fight with each other. Those are the two key components.”

In the past, like most kids, they have wanted to have a sleep out, and they did put a tent up one time, Davis noted, “But, it was so hot, windy and muggy that night, halfway through the night, all the kids wanted to come back in the house.”

Marshal Davis said early most mornings, there have been deer grazing in his pasture, and they all have love seeing that. “The Vegas and other city kids don’t get to see deer.”

Because the grandkids have enjoyed being together so much the past few years, Julie said the kids even made up a song about it.

“It’s become such fun thing,” she said, “I will do this every year, till I run out of grandkids.”