My grandmother is infamous in our family for her dining table etiquette. I recently read an article about what’s wrong and right to discuss at the table, and if we leave it up to her, she will always fall 100% on the wrong side of pleasant decorum. You see, for the past 20 years at least, we haven’t eaten dessert without talking about what’s going to happen when Grandma dies.

Growing up, we had this conversation so often that I was accustomed to the candid way she would prematurely divvy out her beloved china, furniture, collectibles and precious family jewels. Now, I realize other families weren’t having conversations like this on a regular basis. But I hadn’t seen how startling it could be until my brother and I brought home our future spouses and Grandma started the conversation with “when I expire…”

If they hadn’t been trapped by having no ride home, their first holiday dinner would’ve been cut short quicker than you can say “family heirlooms” or “fine linens.”

I’m thankful to my grandmother for her devotion, albeit frank, way of handling matters of life and death. She wants to make sure her loved ones are taken care of, and that the things that represent her and our family’s most precious memories are preserved and shared by generations to come.

One of my favorite parts of working at Camp Fire is the long legacy of great stories that our alumni share. When we were gearing up for the Alumni Reunion in April, one proud grandmother shared that she would be attending the reunion as a former Blue Bird, along with her daughter who is an El Tesoro alum and grandchild who is a current camper. Sharing the experience of Camp El Tesoro has reached across decades of generational differences for her family, and tied them even closer together by their precious memories. This is a remarkable story about the long-lasting impact of Camp El Tesoro, but not an unusual one.

Camp Fire has grown generations of supporters from Camp El Tesoro, the Child Development Center, and after school programs. I’m one of the privileged staff to be on the listening-end of childhood tales from supporters in North Texas, but also from states from coast-to-coast.

Not unlike my grandmother, there are Camp Fire grandparents and parents who want to make sure their precious jewels—like the experience of Camp El Tesoro—will be passed down in their family for years to come.

Simply, that is the definition of a planned gift: a promise to preserve and support Camp Fire programs, for generations to come. It is a legacy you create now, that will make an impact after your passing. A planned gift combines your desire to share the experience of Camp Fire with your overall financial, tax, and estate planning goals. You will plan ahead to make sure your family receives your most meaningful “things”, and if one of those things is the experience of Camp Fire, then it’s no-brainer to give that gift to your children for tomorrow.

Although I live far from Grandma now, we keep in touch with weekly calls, and this past month we were fortunate to visit her for lunch. Of course, the subject of when Grandma “expires” was part of our conversation. She did assure me, however, it’s going to be a while. After all, she is only 86, so we’ve got another 20 years or so to keep talking about it.

Have you considered how you help ensure that children experience the joy of Camp El Tesoro for years to come? If you are interested in making a planned gift, please contact Christina Middlebrook at 817-231-2111 or contact us to learn more.

Chloe Rodriguez is the Development Manager at Camp Fire First Texas. Seasoned in development and fundraising, she has worked with The John Cooper School, CASA of Travis County and the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas. Chloe holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication from Kansas State University and a Masters of Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University.