The aroma of burning campfires is my portal to time travel. Yes, time travel is possible. I slip through the space time continuum every third weekend in September.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath. As I open my eyes I gaze through the lingering haze of encampment smoke being pressed to the ground by a mid-September dew. Rhythmic, Native drums are now beating and a lone bagpipe passionately plays Amazing Grace. The wonders and echoes of another time, another century, come alive for three short days. For three wonderful days I exist in 1754.
Twenty years ago, when we arrived in Indiana, with three young boys in tow, I searched for events to entertain three busy little guys. I discovered historical reenacting. Basically, historical reenacting is dress-up playtime for history fanatics. Reenactors are folk who recreate aspects of history to grow their own knowledge and to entertain and educate the general public. We were quickly drafted into the French and Indian War.
My five children have grown up reenacting. It became a family hobby, tradition and passion. My children have received countless Christmas presents from another time period. I have actually gifted my young sons with throwing hawks. (tomahawks) Not a 21st century type of gift. But our hearts tend to linger in the 18th century, and every September you will find us sitting around a campfire in our encampment of three canvas tents, displaying a massive collection of wooden bowls and spoons, lighting our lanterns and cooking in cast iron over an open fire.
Family traditions are essential. One of our traditions just happens to occur in another time period, but it is a weekend we hold dear. Your family may gather every year for a reunion or vacation. The location and time are not the essential aspects of the tradition. Being together, caring about an event or a subject, such as history, and connecting together because of it, is what truly is important.
Traditions nurture your family connection. A busy, demanding life takes all the members of a family in different directions. A jam-packed schedule along with work, school and social obligations have left this generation with fewer family connection moments. Create a tradition that safe guards a moment in time every year for your family to connect. Relationships must be nurtured to grow and remain close.
Traditions provide a family with a sense of identity and purpose. A family is made up of individuals with varying identities and purposes but a tradition can create a unified identity and purpose that draws your family together as one unit. A tradition creates a rallying point. For us it is history and reenacting. What will be the rallying point for your family?
Traditions give us a sense of belonging that will last. This weekend one of my sons drove three hours home from college to join us. My middle son and his new wife (who now LOVES reenacting) drove 8 hours to join us for the weekend. Our bonus son was able to join us again after being in the army for four years. This tradition is a point in time that draws everyone home to be together once again.
Traditions create positive memories for children. One of the hallmarks of a tradition is that each year when you celebrate that tradition, it gives everyone the opportunity to reminisce about wonderful and funny past memories. My girls were five months old when they attended their first reenactment in little baby chemises. They attended the first ever Koh Koh Mah Living History Encampment 18 years ago and, in a month, and a half, they will be 18. For their entire childhood, they have spent the third weekend in September at Koh Koh Mah. My girls have countless memories. All children need positive, happy, family focused memories.
Time travel is not essential for all families but traditions are. Establish one today and keep it for a lifetime or until another time period if possible.
Autumn is a wonderful season for establishing family traditions. Be inspired with 75 ideas in my FREE eBook. I’m offering it free this season!
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