Once again Cousin Camp has drawn to a close. Since 2007, the children and grandchildren of Burley and Norma Dennis have gathered each summer for a unique camping experience in the Dennis backyard. 

The camp originated as a way for Dennis cousins and their parents to create memories together as distance often kept them apart. 

“I hated to see my children headed off to summer camp in all different directions,” said Shelley Dennis Frye. “I also really enjoy camping and wanted to share the experience with them and others in my family.”

Each summer the camp incorporated a different theme, but all were filled with various camp activities such as water sports, outdoor games, crafts, talent shows, cooking over an open fire and the occasional songfest around the campfire. 

Needless to say, Cousin Camp 2021 looked quite different from when it first started. Time, alone, has brought many changes. Matching camp shirts no longer make the scene. The patriarch of the family is gone and the majority of young campers have grown into adults. Some are married or soon to be, and most have jobs to which they are responsible. 

Only a few participated in all of this year’s planned activities. Most came and went as time allowed, but there was still the usual camp camaraderie as they gathered at a lake for paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming; enjoyed meals in the great outdoors; had several rousing games of volleyball; and created the old campfire staple – s’mores. There also was plenty of time to talk, catching up on life’s challenges and blessings.

Cousin Camp may continue to evolve or even cease, but no matter what the coming years bring, memories made over the last decade and a half are sure to linger.

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