Camp Gramp 2015: The first days

Many of you are familiar with Camp Gramp – a beloved annual institution where my folks take all four of their grandchildren for a week of hijinks and adventures. My mom usually emails us updates on what they’re up to, and I often pass those along to the myriad Camp Gramp fans out there! This year’s adventure is an RV tour down the East Coast, focused on Colonial history and codes. Here’s my mom’s first update!


A keyboard! Of course, the hazard is that everyone can see this since it is a public network. Guess I better not mention the NSA!

Day one — Camp Gramp — was hectic. We couldn’t get the RV until 1 p.m., then we drove it back to the house and tossed in the collection from the porch. Hit the road, Jack, for West Point. They have the most beautiful camp ground there. Finding it only involved turning around one time — a task with the 33′ RV. (Did I mention 10′ wide — 10′? And 12.5′ tall which cost us an extra 100 miles today. The campground was very primitive — electricity and water, but it was carved out of the hillside around a beautiful little lake. I would like to go back there and sit for a week. Of course, we didn’t get there until about 10 p.m. so finding a spot was a challenge, but we parked and slept, and marveled at the lake the next morning.

And, we discovered our first forget — sleeping bags for the Flynn kids. It was a cold night for Papapa and I! It is true! It was really cold.

Day two — after organizing the RV, we spent a little time enjoying the lake. Then we took off for Annapolis. I have to say, I am admiring the truck drivers. It is scary to do the freeways with all those people buzzing around us. And the traffic jams, oh my! Also, the East coast has more than its share of freeways. We were late in at Annapolis. We would have been in time if it were for the two turn around we had to do. Did I mention 33′? I thought I did.

The historical adventure of the day was Valley Forge. We thought it was a little self—— well I don’t know what the word is I want, but everyone was a little too enamored of the site. Obviously we are in Washington territory! Every other place is Washington’s birthplace, headquarters, crossing, etc.

All this time, the kids have been doing an excellent job. They have used many more screens than their parents would like, but they have played happily in the back of the RV. They like the variety of seating arrangements. Kay and Thane sleep above the cab, the boys on the couch and table beds. We have a palatial queen sized bed in the back.

Today was the SPY MUSEUM. It was awesome. Actually a Museum of Cryptology. The kids got a treasure hunt when they came in. They had to use a spinner to decode messages. All but Thane got it done and they all received cool prizes. Kay a cool pen. Thane and Baz a puzzle, and Grey a collapsible Frisbee which they promptly threw on top of the RV. I had to drive around the parking lot faster than I liked until it flew off! Grey was intrigued with the Enigma machines you actually got to use! He has several translated messages. We ate in our air conditioned palace — Mac and Cheese made in the microwave. I can turn on the generator.

Then we headed across Virginia to a Naval supply facility. They collect and redistribute supplies for ships. They have a very modern camping facility. Rows of cement pads with full hook-ups. It will be great for what we are doing, but it is not the most beautiful facility. There is a game the kids like. It is hard to explain — it is a circle of oval pods which you have to touch in different order. They got quite a workout! We are in a triangle with Yorktown, Jamestown, and Colonial Williamsburg. We will do Yorktown and Jamestown tomorrow, Sunday will be the waterpark. Monday will be Williamsburg. We stay here Tuesday night, for a record 4 nights, then off home.

I am sorry, Brenda and Heidi, the children, possibly accepting Thane, have fallen in love with the RV. Grey has decided to live in one. I, on the other hand, am not in love with the RV. Too unforgiving in the area of navigation. A missed turn is a disaster. And huge to put down the road. My brother-in-law, Ray, who is a truck driver, said you get used to it. when I asked him how long it takes, he said 12 years of so. I don’t have 12 years — my heart won’t last that long.

And now for the confessions. Today we were in the commissary — these are hungry children. Grey said, “We should get some mints! We haven’t brushed our teeth.” “You haven’t what?” Not a single one of them had brushed their teeth. Tonight was showers and teeth brushing! We forget how much reminding needs to happen.

Well, I think I will take a walk. The evening is beautiful, just a little cool breeze.

Brenda, you would have loved it. There were two bugle calls tonight at sunset. I don’t know if they were live or canned, but they were really nice.

Goodnight all. We are still safe!

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