Jargon Watch – Gramping

Gramping n. A family holiday that also includes grandparents. A blend of the words grandparents and camping, it can refer to any type of trip, and is on the increase among the sandwich generation caring for both their children and their parents.

I used to go on holiday with my parents and grandparents all the time as a kid but apparently that’s only become the norm in last few years as the ‘sandwich generation’ (WIRED UK 09/11 p36) need to cater for the needs of the wider family on a regular basis.

a survey of over 1,000 families with young children, undertaken on behalf of netmums, the parenting website, found that 75 per cent were planning a summer holiday with grandparents this year. The survey was backed up by booking figures from Eurocamp, the upmarket chalet and camping company, which said it had seen bookings from extended family groups increase by as much as 325 per cent over the past two years. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/8429877/Gramping-the-rise-of-holidaying-with-grandparents.html)

It strikes me that the church provides for all generations but I wonder if they are all included? Gramping seems to have the ethos that all 3 generations are included in the planning and participation of activities – I’m not sure this is true for a majority of churches. What percentage of the time are children and youth out of your church services? At the church I work for, we have set up a Junior Church Council that meets every couple of months to discuss all sorts of matters that could have an impact on the children and youth in our church. The minutes of these meetings are relayed back to church leadership through a youth rep on the church council and through me to the staff meeting and other relevant parties such as Junior Church leaders. These discussions enable the children and youth to be part of the planning for activities as well as participate.

It will be more important for some churches than others (depending on the average age of the congregation) to have a gramping ethos to planning. I think it is worthwhile all churches considering how children and young people are included in planning, particularly if it’s always left to children’s, family or youthworker which is poor leadership practice. I do wonder whether all age provision, notoriously difficult to ‘get right’  would benefit from a planning committee that included a variety of ages?

As we begin to plan Christmas services, events and festivities, please adopt a gramping ethos and include all generations in the discussion – from experience, it is unlikely you actually know what they would like.

Questions to ask yourself over a cup of Horlicks in the company of 2 other generations

  • does your church currently have a gramping ethos to planning?
  • how do you include children and young people in your planning process?
  • have you consulted with all generations during the planning of your christmas services / events?
  • does your all age worship provision include all generations in the planning?
  • if you don’t have more than 1 generation at your church, what are you doing about it?
  • if you are a church leader – do you value intergenerational activities?

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