By Laura A. Roser

A couple days ago, I spoke about legacy at an event for the Seattle Foundation. One of the attendees anxiously came up to me afterward and said, “I have to tell you about a tradition we have in our family. It’s called Cousins Camp.” He paused for dramatic effect. “Have you heard of it?”

“Uh…” (Racking my brain to recall if this is some obvious family legacy thing I should know about.) “No,” I finally said. “It sounds like a name you made up.”

He nodded. “I did make it up.”

We both laughed.

So, every summer this wonderful man and his wife invite their grand kids (all the cousins) to go to their cabin for Cousins Camp. There they learn how to swim, fish, kayak, do crafts and make a mean smore. The catch: none of their parents are allowed. It’s just grandpa and grandma with their grand kids.

They have camp rules for the kids and planned activities. One of the rules is you have to make your bed–and you better make it well because every morning there’s bed inspection before breakfast is served.

What kinds of traditions do you have with your family? Are there any that stand out as particularly awesome? This could be traditions when you were a kid or traditions with your own children or grandchildren.

Take Three Minutes, Right Now!

Now, pull out a notebook or open a Word document and set a timer for three minutes. For the next three minutes, I want you to write about a cherished family tradition memory.

This small snippet about your life, will be really meaningful to someone some day. It’ll be even more meaningful if, over time, you write about other significant experiences in your life. This doesn’t need to be daunting. It can literally take a few minutes here and there.

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Laura A. Roser is the founder and CEO of Paragon Road, the #1 authority in meaning legacy planning. For more information about meaning legacy planning services, visit www.paragonroad.com.[/column]

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