This month Good News Wants to Know… Excluding holiday traditions, what is the most memorable activity you did with your family as a child?
I grew up in a family that valued family dinner. We turned off Walter Cronkite and tuned into each other. My favorite family dinner was the one where I found out I was going to be a big sister.
Laura C. Bishop, Executive Vice President of Advancement, Palm Beach Atlantic University
This question was tough because I feel like my parents had a lot of ‘traditions” that had a significant impact on my life. I’m really grateful for how intentional they were over the years. Two that come to mind are going to Christian Summer camp each year as a family. It was the highlight of the year as kids. And, weekly one-on-one time with my Dad where he would ask us if there was 1) anything he had promised us that he hadn’t done and 2) if there was anything he should stop/start doing to be a better Dad.
Amanda Forman, Change Management Consultant, Cognizant
Some of my greatest memories from childhood involve dancing. My cousin Nicky was a DJ, so after our big Italian family dinners everyone (parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins) would get up to dance. We all learned how to lead or follow no matter the dance flavor, Latin salsa or disco-style hustle!
Dr. Andrea Hazim, President and Founder, Elev8Life Educational Foundation
From my early days, I remember when my Dad would take us on his business trip to St. Petersburg during the summer. We lived in Jacksonville and he would drive down to St. Petersburg for the week. While he worked with his offices in Tampa and St. Petersburg, my mom and I would spend time at the motel pool located directly on the beach. I can remember the joy of diving off the diving board and swimming all day. She would make lunch for me and then back in the pool for the afternoon.
As the sunset, the pool lights would come on and the pool would come alive. Both my parents were sitting on the lounges watching my dive and swim. Later, we would grab a flashlight and chase the sand crabs down the beach. I can remember a seafood dinner and then sleeping to the sound of the waves lapping on the beach. As I think back on these days, I’m reminded to try and make memories with my kids and grandkids that will last a lifetime.
Andy Mitchell, CEO, The Fairwinds Group and President, Operation Lift Hope
While my parents themselves did not grow up experiencing the outdoors, my dad bought a small wooden boat (that leaked) and a tent, and we began the adventure of camping. These were inexpensive, special times that drew our family close together. We experienced blessings and worked through challenges ultimately camping our way from Ohio to California and back the summer of my senior year of high school.
William “Bill” C. Davell, Director, Tripp Scott Attorneys at Law
Every Friday at the Denison household was game night. We all took turns picking a game. Scattegories, Pictionary, Scrabble were the favorites. Some of us were ‘creative’ with the rules. My little brother called it cheating. I called it winning.
Bob Denison, President, Denison Yachting
In my early years in the 70’s, we lived in Miami and would spend many weekends on our boat moored in Biscayne Bay. The adventures, sleeping aboard, swimming, snorkeling, BBQ and family-time have together made these some of my greatest childhood memories. We enjoy similar outings together with our children as well.
Charles L. Bender III, Founding CEO and Board Member, Place of Hope
The most memorable activity that I did as a child was visiting our beautiful Broward County beaches…specifically Lauderdale by the Sea. I had a great childhood with my mother, brother and cousins, as well as visiting family members when they escaped the brutal winters in Massachusetts. We surfed, played, built sandcastles and took turns burying each other in the very sand that I now work to replenish throughout our beautiful beaches. It’s a small world and I love living where I grew up.
Chip LaMarca, State Representative, Florida House District 93
Each summer we would drive to upstate New York from South Florida to work on my Grandfathers Farm. It was a long 2-day drive, but we always stopped along the way at the same places. When we arrived we worked the farm along with the rest of our family (cousins, aunts, and uncles). It was hard work but we have some great memories and stories to tell. It was pretty cool to learn how to drive tractors, bail hay, harvest corn and experience a different way of life. Each Friday night the local church had an ice cream social and everyone in town made homemade ice cream. Those were some special days.
Chris Lane, Executive Director, First Priority of South Florida
The most memorable thing my family did when I was a child was take an extended trip to the South Pacific and the Orient. We spent two months in Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Hawaii. That’s when I got bit by the travel bug, and with 63 countries under my belt, I continue to enjoy travelling with my wife and kids.
H. Collins Forman, Jr., P.A.
My parents were officers (ministers) in The Salvation Army, and one of their responsibilities for most of my growing up years was to run the summer camps for youth in several different states. So I spent many summers living at camp and doing all the camp stuff. Loved it!!
Major Connie Long, The Salvation Army
The most memorable activity we did as a family when I was a child was spending time in southwest Colorado. It started for me in 4th grade and lasted for just over 50 years, extending to the next generation of kids. From skiing in the winters, to rafting, hiking and extreme four-wheeling in the summers, we created a lot of wonderful memories for our friends and family.
Craig Huston, Huston Consulting Group, LLC
The most memorable thing I did with my family revolved around a large, spring-fed lake that the seventy families in our neighborhood shared. Because of the swimming competitions, boating, ice skating and clambakes, we made a lot of great memories with our community there.
Deborah Cusick, FAU Campus Volunteer, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship
On summer vacations, we drove across the country. The first child who spotted the hotel got to jump into the swimming pool first. In non-air conditioned cars, that was a real treat!
Dr. Debra A. Schwinn, President, Professor of Health Sciences, Palm Beach Atlantic University
With my grandparents, I especially loved sitting after dinner having one of them read the Bible to us, and I loved to cook with my grandmother. With just my parents, I dearly loved game night at home, and our road trips. My parents laughed a lot and made life so much fun in the good times.
Dolores King-St. George, President, King Communications and GraceNet Radio
Brought up as a missionary child in the bush in Nigeria, I remember in 4th grade a family vacation where my parents wanted to treat my three sisters and I to a “fancy” hotel miles from home. It was our first time experiencing air-conditioning, elevators and a giant “clear water” swimming pool. Those luxuries and family travel vacations out of the bush made for awesome memories.
Don Campion, President, Banyan Air Service
Football wars with my dad and brother. Sunday night family dinners. Epic vacations every summer.
Doug Sauder, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
It would have to be that periodically we would drive to Mt. Charleston to get out of the Las Vegas summer heat and spend the night camping in between the pine trees with their awesome aroma. Waking up in the early morning to the smell of bacon was and is unforgettable.
Fidel Gomez, Pastor, Calvary Chapel Hollywood
I grew up in rural Missouri on a farm and we did not have a lot of money. Both of my parents worked very hard, but once a year we were able to go to a place called Big Lake for one week. I would recognize it today as a very small muddy lake but back then it was something special for my family! Rural Missouri does not have a lot of lakes. I learned to swim in that lake. I have very fond memories of family from that week each year.
Dr. Fred Scarbrough, Founder, Scarbrough Animal Hospital and Hope South Florida
One of the most memorable activities I cherish is my parent’s support when I played on numerous traveling sports teams as a youth, and they made the sacrifice to take me to the different locations and attend the games. God please bless them.
Gregg Wallick, President, Best Roofing, Inc.
My most memorable family experience was our six-week European trip. I was a young teen. It was our first time back home to still Communist Hungary 🇭🇺 since our escape to the US!! We were anxious to see our family members who had stayed behind and suffered through the war and the “new life” under Communism. In a rented VW van, we traveled the entire country. Then spent a few days in Vienna, Austria, in a beautiful chateau on a mountain top overlooking the city! Our next adventure was to the Netherlands and Amsterdam. Yes, Holland is gorgeous!! Dressed with beautiful flowers, waterways and cheese!
The sights, sounds, music, delicious food was fabulous. But being together with family was the Best!!!!
Helen Wayner, P.A., Century 21 Hansen Realty
My Dad and uncles competed in auto racing. My brother and I spent every Saturday night or Sunday afternoon at drag strips or ovals during racing season in the Midwest where we grew up. Watching them compete was incredibly exciting and the visceral context of the cars and tracks sticks in my mind with fondness. 150 decibel exhaust notes, the aroma of fuel and rubber, the crowds and all the Dr. Pepper I wanted. Many a late night meal with the other racers post-show was always a treat.
James ‘JT’ Taylor, Managing Director, Head of Automotive, Truist Securities
I loved going on vacations with my family. We always traveled to really cool places and had so much fun together. Road trips to Orlando were always fun!
Javan Shashaty, Youth Ministry, Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale
Tubing down Rock Springs in central Florida! The combination of a summer time BBQ with tubing in that cold water is one of my favorite childhood memories.
Rev. Jeff Lee, RUF: Florida Atlantic University
As a child some of my favorite memories were made around the dining room table at my grandmother’s house in Indiana. Those memories were made playing Yatzee, Scrabble, and card games. It was amazing how these games brought members of every generation together. These are still my favorite memories to make with my own kids. Having fun brings every generation together and opens the door for wisdom to be gained and shared from generation to generation.
Julie Mullins, Pastor, Christ Fellowship
I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago. My mother owned a travel agency that mainly worked with vacations to Colorado. It was called Colorado Vacation Headquarters. My father worked for the railroad. Our vacations every year were to Colorado Dude Ranches, arriving by train on the Denver Zephyr. These were wonderful family memories and great experiences that I will always treasure.
Dr. Mary Drabik, President, South Florida Bible College & Theological Seminary
Growing up my great uncle bought a 4000 acre ranch west of Jupiter. My three brothers and I used to love going up for fishing and swimming, exploring, fort and fire building, horseback riding and cow chasing, with occasional snake killing. Our grandmother was a sport and our constant companion. We loved every minute with her.
Matt Weissing, Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney, Edwards Pottinger, LLC
When I think of memorable activities with my kids and family, I feel like my answer should be public service or Bible study or something like that. But if I am really honest, I’d say one of the most memorable fun things we did was play Hide-N-Seek in the dark. Just the thought of it makes me smile and think of all the crazy places we climbed into all for the sake of victory. The kids loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. I hope to stay flexible and healthy enough to play with my grandkids someday.
Dr. Michael Rozenblum, Genesis Physical Medicine and Chiropractic
Growing up in the suburbs of Chicago, summer vacations with the family was huge. Usually we just recovered from a long winter and a very short spring. My favorite family memories was traveling (always by car) to the coastal areas of Florida. My mom and dad loved the ocean, and we always stayed in a hotel right on the beach and with a pool. Spending time with my dad in the pool was the best times as a young boy. Great times and great memories.
Milan Stefanovic, Chief Operations Officer, Bass Underwriters
My most memorable family activity occurred during the summers of my youth. Every Sunday morning we would leave the city and drive two hours to the Ukrainian Resort. As soon as we arrived, I would join all the other kids as we would run to the lake and swim and hike all day. At dinnertime, our mothers would prepare an early barbecue supper and all the families sat around the picnic tables eating, laughing, and sharing stories from the old country. The evening would end with everyone singing old Ukrainian folk songs in harmony, crying, laughing, and reminiscing. I will forever treasure the songs, stories, and the escape from our city life to “Little Ukraine” out in the country.
Oksana Horton, Artistic Director, Torch and Trumpet Theater Co., a subsidiary of Revelation Ministries
The most memorable activity I did with my family as a child was when we as a family would visit my grandparents, who were farmers, in my home state of South Carolina. Those visits were memorable because I enjoyed seeing the mules, hogs, other livestock, fishing, eating watermelon, and playing and fellowshipping with my other young cousins. Also, I enjoyed seeing the crops grow on the farm.
O’Neal Dozier, Pastor, The Worldwide Christian Center
As a child, we would go to Roseland Park (Upstate NY) which had a scary roller coaster as well as other more tame rides. It was on the lake so we would often go swimming and have a picnic as well. Since there were seven of us, we were able to use our good grades on our report cards for free ride tickets.
Patricia Colangelo, EdS, Lecturer, Professor, Trinity International University – Florida
The most memorable event for me as one of five children in our family was taking a family trip to the Worlds Fair in New York. My mom’s parents lived in Bronxville NY and we met up with them as well as with some cousins. One cousin worked for IBM who had a big exhibit at the Fair so we got special passes for a behind the scene tour. Also, my dad had a friend who was a General Motors executive and that exhibit had you riding in cars of the future. Of course one of my favorite memories of the trip was getting to eat both cotton candy and strawberry waffles in the same day!
Romney Rogers, Managing Partner, Rogers, Morris & Ziegler LLP
There was a thin line in my family between religion and used-bookstores. My father was an autodidact and we spent lots of time on vacation driving from one bookstore to another. The first “big word” I could read was “Spurgeon” because I was looking for his name on books for my dad. I still have some of those books in my own library and I’ve tried to pass on my love of the printed page to my own children, and now granddaughter.
Samuel Lamerson, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Knox Theological Seminary
When I was a teenager, my family always escaped the cold snow and came to Ft. Lauderdale for two weeks’ vacation in March. When 16 the Lord was already working in my life when two students witnessing to sunbathers on the beach presented the gospel to me. Who knew that within 4 months I would give my life to the Lord and decades later would live in Ft. Lauderdale!?!?! Only God!!!!!
Susan Michael, U.S. Director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
My family and I loved gathering on Sunday afternoon for dinner. We’d pack up and head to either the King’s Plate or Sweden House. They both had wonderful all-you-can-eat buffets. That’s where my passion for buffets began. I can still remember the hours we’d spend together. It was something I looked forward to every week. And that tradition never ended. As my parents grew older, we’d still spend Sunday afternoons together.
Tewannah Aman, Executive Director, Broward Right to Life