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Raoul’s Two Cents:

Home Camping

I’ve always wished my Dad or my grand Dad would have spent more time with me when I was growing up. I wish I had more talks with my own kids. I kept on postponing until the opportunity ceased to present itself. I realize now that one has to be deliberate about these teachable moments. So next weekend, I’m going camping with my 2 grand kids. But this won’t be outdoor camping. It will be pitching a tent in our living room.

For a long time now I’ve often thought about spending time with my two boys to share some grandfatherly wisdom about life. A year would come and at the end of the year all I would have are good intentions. This year will be different. I’ve got permission from my wife and from their parents. I’ve never done this before … I just thought about it. The adventure starts next Saturday. Pending the approval of their parents, I plan to:

  • give them an allowance and they will need to buy ingredients for lunch and dinner.
  • teach them how to use a knife to cut vegetables and cut a whole chicken apart.
  • teach them about different spices and when to use them
  • prepare a hunting guessing game where they will take turns reading a clue to find a reward … help them to think on their feet
  • read them the parable of the Prodigal Son over an artificial TV campfire. We will disect it from different character viewpoints and we will learn about relationships between men and God. I hope they ask a lot of questions.

We might watch a good family movie and then it will be time to snuggle up in the tent — protected from the wild animals (our cats and dogs) outside. I’ll probably let them sleep in the tent while I sleep in the couch beside them. When morning comes, we will prepare breakfast. Then take a 45 minute walk with our dogs. We will go to the park and play baseball or basketball — anything to make them sweat. With my bad back, this might be a challenge but I will do it for them. I will teach them:

  • about fairness, winning and losing
  • how to play the guitar and appreciate music
  • about money, how it is earned and the pitfalls of greed
  • about respect
  • about friendship
  • how to be a gentleman
  • about the chains of addiction in its many forms now … because it’s easier to be objective about addiction before you are in it
  • about sex … well, maybe not yet. But if they ask, I will give them the basics
  • about love and attraction.
  • that there are people who will love them and never abandon them no matter what happens in life.
  • most importantly about our amazing God

I know this list is very ambitious for a single weekend but I will try. The world is so different from the world we grew up in. If we let our kids discover things by themselves, the negativity will overpower them. I will be giving them the armor they need to fend for themselves.

I could use your prayers for this occasion. I could use your advice. Who knows? You might want to do the same with your kids. This may be the start of 2 men who will make the world a better place for all of us.

TGIF people!

Thanks to Peter Paul of S Pasadena for this sad joke.

Original Artwork by Raoul Pascual
Parting Shots

Thanks to Rodney of Manitoba, B.C.

Thanks to Naomi of North Hollywood

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Mel of Washington DC

Thanks to Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA

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  1. Heather

    June 9, 2021 at 7:08 pm

    I’d take out the cutting of vegetables. Creating a dialog and listening to them is the best advise I could suggest. We’ve all had a yucky year and a half and I wonder what that experience was like for them. Over and out.


    • Heather

      June 9, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      I was wondering about the knives. I will observe how dexterous they are. I don’t want them to be afraid of knives so at the very least I would have them chop the tomatoes. Thanks for the warning.

      And yes, I should talk about the yucky year.


  2. Tom

    June 9, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    What a great idea for camping with the Grand Kids. Let us know how it goes. The knowledge you impart will last a life time. I swim almost every day and the kids I talk with are a delight. They ask great quetions and are unafraid to mention topics their parents dislike or fear to discuss. Tom of Pasadena. Thanks for sharing the idea.


    • Raoul

      June 9, 2021 at 7:29 pm

      You must be their favorite grandpa. You’re right, there are topics they cannot share with their parents. I guess that’s what grandpas are for. Yes, I will give a report on this experiment.

      TGIF Tom!


  3. Lois

    June 9, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    I loved today’s TGIF. What a great idea. I wonder how many readers will heed your advice with their kids or grandkids (one word).

    This was really timely for me, as I just wrote a story about this year’s Mothers’ Day, during which I had interactions with two of my great grandchildren. I could send you the paper if you’d care to read it, although it’s not the kind you’d want to pass on.


  4. Lee

    June 9, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Raoul!

    That is a terrific agenda you have for your grand sons and I only wish you well as you seek to accomplish it. I did notice that I also put such moments aside with my kids during a busy time in my life and when I finally had the time to spend more time with them, they didn’t have the time to listen to my sage wisdom (or so I thought it was!). I suspect if we get to our kids earlier, they will find more time for us later. Just a thought for me to.



    • Raoul

      June 9, 2021 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement. One other reader said he might try it with his own grandkids. I hope this will be the start of something big. Imagine how many kids would benefit from something like this.

      We share the same regrets about not sharing enough with our own kids. But God is there to fill in the gaps. It certainly makes a big difference if you are a Christian. Well, I’m sure you can try this out with your own grandkids. You’re still young enough for crazy things like this, right?



  5. Chuck

    June 9, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    I agree with you. Nothing replaces time spent with your Dad or Granddad or even Uncles.
    However, nothing replaces a campfire outdoors at the beach or the woods. No matter how nice you have it at home,
    “Get out of the house!”
    Of course that’s only my opinion, but it should be everybody’s…
    Brother Chuck


    • Raoul

      June 9, 2021 at 7:31 pm


      I can tell you’re the outdoorsy type, Chuck. I do enjoy the outdoors but Jackie does not. If there are no clean bathrooms, it will be hell for her. I had to give that part of my life up when I married her.

      And, for oldies with backpains, like me, it’s a bit hard to sleep in a tent. So I’m stuck sleeping in a soft, comfortable, air-conditioned, bed … sigh! …. someone’s gotta do the hard things in life. 😁

      TGIF Chuck!


  6. Pete

    June 9, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    What a splendid idea, Raoul !

    Please let us know how the weekend went.
    What are the ages of your (grandkids) two boys?
    I think it it too late for me; mine are teenagers.


    • Raoul

      June 9, 2021 at 7:32 pm

      Glad you like the idea. And yes, I will share what happened.

      My boys are 8 and 7. Still in their impressionable years. Your teenagers are in their turbulent years but they can still be reached if you had some relationship with them already. I don’t know, you can still influence them. There are things they cannot share with their parents but they might with you. As long as you create a safe environment, they may still listen to your sage advice.



  7. Rick

    June 9, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Hi Bro,

    Thank you for the TGIF! I loved your plan about spending quality time with your grandsons. That sounds like a fun and a meaningful experience for all. Yes, very ambitious for a short period of time, and the teacher in me would remind you to enjoy the time and adjust your lesson plans accordingly. Whatever is working stick with it. The parts that are not, you can always readjust your lessons and come back to on another day. Wishing you and the boys a very fun and memorable weekend together.

    Take care bro !


    • Raoul

      June 9, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      Very good advice, Rick.

      Yes, I need to go with the flow — see what is working and not push a strict agenda. Coming from a teacher, that’s a real good tip.



  8. Debbie

    June 9, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Home Camping- Make S’mores !! And have a Blast !!



    • Raoul

      June 9, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      Smores? With a fake fire? No way.

      Thanks for the good wishes. Kinda nervous about the prep.


  9. Betty of Australia

    June 9, 2021 at 7:13 pm

    Good luck and enjoy your camping!


  10. Ed

    June 9, 2021 at 7:16 pm

    Sign me up for that camping trip! A very good personal reflection! I was smiling before I even read the jokes…


  11. Oscar

    June 9, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Hello Raoul,
    Have fun on your pretend camping trip with your Grandkids, I think they will have fun building the tent and all the life lessons you have for them. Good idea!


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