Cousin Camp

Sophomore shares family tradition

Emily Fortin, Staff Writer

As the days become cooler and the holiday season begins to set in, students are able to look forward to spending quality time with extended family. For sophomore Maggie Richardson, bonding time with her younger cousins is a must.

Every year, Richardson and her older sister, senior Ashlyn Richardson, host a camp to entertain their young cousins. This year was no exception.

“We have a camp — they come over and we play games and spend the weekend with them,” Maggie said. “The oldest is in fourth grade, and then [the middle is in] second grade. The youngest is five.”

The tradition began summers ago when both Maggie and Ashlyn decided to create a camp for their oldest cousin.

“It was five years ago when the oldest was younger. She would come over and we’d do something with her,” Maggie said. “Slowly we’ve been adding the younger ones, so now we get the whole package. In the beginning, it was just the oldest, Alice. We called it Camp Alice. It was really cute.”

This year, Maggie took her cousins to the local attraction — Deanna Rose Farmstead. She was able to spend time with them as the group wandered around, doing activities along the way.

“I went to Deanna Rose with my younger cousins over the summer,” Maggie said. “It [was] super fun to hang out with them because they say the funniest things and you’re not expecting it. I enjoyed seeing all the animals and getting ice cream with them at the little ice cream shop.”

Maggie gained lots of memories during the trip, but her favorite involves her youngest cousin and some unwanted attention from the livestock.

“My littlest cousin [is] three [or] four feet tall — he’s really tiny,” Maggie said. “We fed the goats with the little bottles and he would walk around [while] the goats were chewing on his shirt. He’s like ‘No, no, no, no, no!’ and it’s the funniest thing. He’s freaking out and I’m also freaking out.”

Looking back at past visits and the time spent with her relatives, Maggie finds a sense of happiness. She hopes to create this same feeling for her cousins in the future.

“When I was really young I would go there all the time with my family, so when I go back it’s really nostalgic,” Maggie said. “There’s this one playground that really resonated with me. I feel like [it] never changed at all.”