Greystone is a place that highly values the concept of quality time. It figures prominently throughout the day as we go about our daily schedule. We don’t waste a chance to connect with each other, no matter how insignificant the moment might seem. It is a defining trait of the camp experience.
Oxford defines quality time as: time spent in giving another person one’s undivided attention in order to strengthen a relationship. As we enter our third week, It is worth noting how we do this at Greystone for the simple routines of camp work just as well in other settings. Perhaps they will work into your family life too!
Screens Off- By simply removing the distractions of phones, computers, and TVs our relationships are strengthened. By making some family moments screen-free you immediately increase the impact of those events.
DMCs- Deep Meaningful Conversations usually occur because they have been requested. Don’t be afraid of asking your daughter for a “shop date” DMC. I learned this year that the treat is not the point (we don’t have candy shop many nights but girls make shop dates with eachother regardless… they just want the time that is set apart). Shop happens after dinner… a great time to take a walk or sit in a quiet corner to talk. Girls LOVE DMCs.
PLAY- The benefits of unstructured play are widely understood but seldom enjoyed. We program so much into our calendars there is not time to just go outside and play. Next time the opportunity arises, play… get some yard games ready ahead of time and see if they don’t just pick up the beanbag and start tossing it… join in and let the quality time begin!
Exercise- My grandparents always took a walk after dinner and required anyone who ate at the table to do the same. Never a long walk, never strenuous, but just a routine that provided a good opportunity to talk. Looking back, I see that we treasured that routine. At most other times any conversations with the grandparents felt more like a test to us children, but never during an after-dinner walk!
Mealtime- Sitting down at the table is low-hanging fruit on the Quality Time Tree. Obvious, but true… come prepared with engaging subjects or table games to break the ice and keep it fresh. When the Bible describes our entry into heaven it is with the image of a banquet feast. Mealtime reflects such glory in a small way.
Surprises- Our calendars are so fully booked we often do not allow for delightful surprises. We know exactly what we will be doing all the time and for some reason our anticipation of the next day wanes. Work surprises into your family life. It is fun and allows you to provide more Quality Time.
Celebrations- Theme days are fun (when was the last time you did backwards day at your home?). Marking achievements with a nice dinner is fun. Birthday Parties are fun. Why not celebrate more things? Life is good… we are blessed… we should be grateful… so celebrate!
Gifts- My father’s love language was gifts. He thus worked gift-giving into various celebration moments in our family. Looking back, it certainly made such moments stand out. At camp, we give away a lot of T-shirts, stickers, postcards, game sheets, and food treats. Fun!
Skills- Consider learning a new skill with your daughter. Crafts, Knitting, Metal Jewelry, Glass Beads, Pickleball, Fishing, Riding, French Cooking, Bread Baking… whatever you both are enthusiastic about doing together.
Devotions- Consider adding a devotion/tuck-in time to your nightly routine with your daughter. This is MUCH beloved at camp. Simply get a good Devo book (we highly recommend “New Morning Mercies” by David Tripp or “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young), turn the lights off and read by flashlight, then tuck-in with a quick affirming prayer of love.
Camp is a place that provides quality time all the time. The campers and counselors gradually find themselves enjoying quality time without even trying. It is the way camp works and CAN BE the way life works too!
Last night we enjoyed another one of those great moments with our a wonderful concert by Jess Ray. It rained all day (from Stumblers to Taps) and the temperatures were cool… a super chill day that was capped off with a super chill concert. Jess and her band were amazing and we loved hearing another “engagement story” from a wonderful Christian artist. It was a super night.
Lunch Philly Cheese Steaks
Dinner Cheese Ravioli and Meatballs
EP Council Fire
Weather High of 78, partly sunny, no chance of rain (HURRAY)!
Sermon Listen to yesterday’s Sermon, you will be glad you did! Reid is a great minister, we are lucky to have him here!