Riley and Mema

Riley and Mema

I love having fun with my grandsons, so much for them to experience and learn.


Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Damper and Campfire Recipes

I have been camping and bush walking all my life. As I look back on those early days, what really stands out as the best fun as a kid was sitting around a campfire. I always thought that the bigger the fire the better, but on a cold evening there is nothing better than cooking Damper on a stick over a bed of coals. I can still remember my mother saying, the bigger the fire, the bigger the fool, and with a big fire all you get to eat is charcoal! Thus a successful “dough boy” requires a parent, a child and a double helping of patience.  As well as that you will need:


  • 3 cups SR flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 80 gms butter
  • 3/4 cup water


  • Rub the butter into the flour and salt, then add the water.
  • You will need a long, straight stick approx 1m long.
  • Mould damper mixture onto tick and poke damper in coals.

Note: Allow the fire to burn down and produce some coals before adding damper on a stick, so that the damper doesn’t burn. Take it slow, 15 – 20  minutes or so.

To test if cooked: knock on the cooked damper, if it sounds hollow, then it’s cooked.

Take it out of the fire. Being careful not to burn your hands, remove damper from stick by gently turning the damper, it should come off easily. Pour golden syrup or butter into the hole. The same recipe can be used to make a damper loaf, just form it into a flat loaf shape and wrap it in several layers of alfoil and place it in the coals and turn it after 10 minutes. You know it is cooked when you tap it and it sounds hollow.

Eat and enjoy! But be careful, they always leak, and hot golden syrup makes a terrible mess! So make sure that your kids are suitably attired, which comes back to what makes any camping trip fun and successful, comes down to one word, “Preparation!”

The Ultimate Campfire Kitchen and Camping Guide is an excellent resource for those who are new to camping as well as those who have a lifetime of experience. It is a very practical book, including a range of helpful hints, covering every aspect of camping, including what to buy, what to take and how to adapt to changing circumstances.

It has a large range of recipes that are easy to follow, uses ingredients that are readily available and shows you how you can prepare delicious meals without having to take the whole kitchen with you!

Many bonus sections, including the awkward questions of how to keep children entertained in the car on those long trips, and what to do each night after the sun goes down when there is no TV or other electronic gadgets!

There is a section on tents, which tent to buy for the type of camping you are going to do, and how best to site them. Choosing a spot, preferably not in the creek when it looks like rain, allowing you to prepare ahead to have the best possible camping experiences. (Although, sometimes the disaster can be good fun too… maybe not at the time, but when you look back on them and can have a good laugh!)

So don’t delay, buy your copy today, read it and apply it, and make your next camping holiday, one of the best you and your family have ever had.

Championship Fathering by Carey Casey

Having Fun with Grandpa

Like many parents I was always eager to spend time with my children, and wanted it to be fun time, but the pressures of work and life in general always seemed to get in the way.

Added to this was the inbuilt demand that I somehow justify this time and achieve something through it! Needless to say, all too often the urgent things squeezed out what I now know were the important things.

Championship Fathering

This week I have been reading a book called Championship Fathering by Carey Casey, who recognises that we all want to be better parents, but because we don’t know how to measure it we just stop trying and just keep maintaining status quo.

He then gives a helpful checklist of what we should be trying to find out in the time we spend with our children.

He suggests that we should be seeking to find out:

  1. what encourages my child
  2. what motivates my child
  3. how my child’s emotional needs change over time
  4. my child’s gifts and talents
  5. my child’s growth needs
  6. my child’s next step towards maturity
  7. the issues my child is dealing with.

The only way you are going to find out any of that is by spending time with them! But serious analysis via the twenty questions approach will not work. What you need to do is just have fun together, play, and do a whole range of activities. Then periodically go through this list and write down what you have learnt, without even really trying.