Thursday, April 27, 2017

Duggars in Big Sandy, 2017

The Duggars are spending the week in Big Sandy, Texas, at the annual family homeschool conference. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children have attended this event for many years, and they always love catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. The conference features age-appropriate activities and inspiring messages for both children and adults.

Below are a few snapshots from this week. (Click here to see photos from the 2014 conference.)

 Duggar and Bates boys work the grill

 The Duggar bus parked at the campground

 Jackson Duggar and Tyler prepare for rappelling 

 Jana Duggar and Meredith Duggar

 Jason Duggar (what do you think of his shirt?)

Justin Duggar and Meredith Duggar

If you enjoy this blog, check out our other blogs (NashvilleWife.com and BatesFamilyBlog.com).

Photos courtesy duggarfamily.com

76 comments:

  1. Looks like everyone had a great time. I saw Jim-Bob's video about the conference. It looked like a lot of fun but with my husband still recovering from his heart attack and our middle daughter in physical therapy it wasn't going to work out for us.
    I wonder if any of your blog readers went.

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  2. If I understand correctly, this is their religious group's homeschooling conference meeting. If this is so, why, then, is Jana and the like attending this? They are neither homeschooled or homeschooling. Jana is a single adult. I would think this type of meeting doesn't apply to her or any of the single adults. Please don't tell me the whole family is living in that motor home with ONE trailer sized bath? Doesn't seem modest to me.

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    1. Obviously you're trolling this site. What is immodest about one bathroom?? Really???

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    2. It's not just about homeschooling.Lodging is usually onsite but families have the option of lodging elsewhere.

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    3. Jana is doing most of the homeschooling so ofcourse it's good for her to be there! And we all know it's one of the few places they get to meet spouses with the same religious ideas so yeey for Jana for going. Plus they need a babysitter.

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    4. Because that's their siblings and they help out with the younger children. They have every right to attend. And lots of families live in a HOME with ONE bathroom. Modesty doesn't have anything to do with it. It's private and it's part of life sometimes. I think you need to stay away from this site.

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    5. She's there to find a husband probably

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    6. We've been to the conference. We camped on the row next to the Duggars. There are numerous buildings within the campsite that have showers, bathrooms, dressing rooms. No shortage of restroom facilities.

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    7. There are dormitories and other facilities on the site to use.

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    8. ...you can chose to bring your camper, RV, or tent camp. They offer a dining package of 2 or 3 meals a day. Food was great! Met many great families from all over. Want to go again but can't fit it into our schedule this time of year as my husband gets very busy in a/c line of work. Oh and there are dorms that you can purchase rooms, even houses on site that Bates family and others stay in. Hotels in town. Its a fun week, evening campfires and cookouts. Duggars have an open invitation one evening and feed everyone who comes to their campsite.

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    9. I thought the "not modest" comment referred to the huge tour bus they own. Probably cost more than some of our houses.

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    10. The older ones go to volunteer and to help reach classes. This is one of the places they may meet their future husband or wife

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    11. She has been attending with her family for years. I am sure they meet up with other families every year. Why should she miss out?

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    12. Though it's a homeschool conference it's more like attending a Bible conference and so is applicable to her as well.

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    13. To the person who was at Big Sandy with the Duggars -- would love to hear about your experience.

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    14. To Anonymous (April 28th at 3:30pm):

      Thanks for your comment! If you would like to share some of your family camp experiences with our readers, please send us an email at duggarfamilyblog@gmail.com.

      Lily and Ellie

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    15. I had a 9 month old when I was there so I had to stay with her in the evenings and get her to bed but my husband joined the Duggars and Wilson's at a campfire and had a great time (surely some Bates were there but he isn't familiar with the names and faces). I recall Jim Bob on his golf cart driving by our tent and looking directly at us and giving us a big wave, made us feel very welcomed and loved. I did sit down and introduce myself to Anna and spent about 30 minutes talking to her and another 'Anna'. This was many years ago when she and I only had 1 child each. We we're talking about our little ones! Josh talked to my husband. That year the Duggars and the Bates spoke. The adults attend adult conferences all day while the older teenagers teach the classes to the younger kids. Its very well organized and kids love it. Basically a family camp that encourages growth and development thru others ministering into you and I enjoyed it. My dad attended IBLP for many years when i was a kid and thats how I heard about it. Very unfortunate there is bad reports surrounding the leadership and they have replaced the previous leadership. But you have to understand there are good people who come here from all over who live upright lives and you can't judge the whole based on a few. I wish I could say more about my interactions with the Duggars and Bates but I didn't know them personally and I felt awkward at the thought of running up to them and introducing myself. I just tried to let it happen naturally and the door opened to talk to Anna & Josh. I will say I remember seeing Erin Bates in the dining hall and she was larger than life, such an amazing beauty and light in her that just radiated out from within. She was striking in person. Also Jill Duggar was watching my daughter crawling on the floor in the lobby and she just watched on for the longest time from a distance with the sweetest smile. You could tell she loves kids and has an amazing heart just from her countenance.
      Blessings from Oklahoma!

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    16. They talked about this actually on some of their past shows. The older ones volunteer and help with classes. Plus they have tons of friends who are there.

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    17. It really sounds like a lot of fun.

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    18. Jana does help them at home to school the children.

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  3. If Meredith is there, then Anna and Josh are, too. I can only imagine what Josh's parents are going to say to the crowd when they speak...

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    1. I'm sure whatever they say will have been run past the PR people so it gives the right impression and keeps the popularity and ratings going.

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    2. They were actually quite encouraging. All the speakers were great as a matter of fact.

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    3. And this matters why?

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    4. Anon @ 11.32 this matters because Josh has become the elephant in the room. The Duggars very rarely mention him but post pictures that include him knowing it will stir controversy, which it does. Many myself included think Josh needs to speak for himself instead of letting his family do all the talking.

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    5. To Anonymous (April 28th at 11:14am):

      Thanks for your comment! If you would like to share some of your family camp experiences with our readers, please send us an email at duggarfamilyblog@gmail.com.

      Lily and Ellie

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  4. Big Sandy, a.k.a. where you can go to find a suitable husband/wife. You watch...there are more courtships ahead...

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    1. Yeppers, 2:20.

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    2. Ha reminds me of Provo, Utah if you are LDS

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    3. I hope so! God created us for marriage. I'm in no way part of ATI, but still it makes sense to me that future couples should be within like-minded environments.

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    4. 9:20 AM -- I agree with you. The Bible tells us to be equally yoked, so this makes great sense. I am not an ATI believer, either.

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    5. Yeah, this is like the Duggar version of a singles mixer.

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  5. I spent part of my growing up years in the church that originally owned the Big Sandy campus and operated Ambassador College on the site. Two of my siblings attended there 50 years ago or so when it was still quite
    primitive. I remember the oppressive heat and spiders on our visits! That church eventually dissolved amidst scandal and corruption in the hierarchy. It was quite the racket they had going and a lot of gullible people bought into it, including my parents. I believe the campus was sold to the Hobby Lobby company and now Bill Gothard's IBLP group leases the property from them.

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    1. That's funny because I went there and I never heard such a thing........

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    2. Simply Google it. It's all public information.

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    3. Interesting...

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  6. I can't tell what Jason's shirt says. But I sure hope he watches out for bees in those bare feet! And those tiny sticks that are camouflaged and the ends are are so sharp, they can pierce like a knife. Very painful. That is why I always at least wear something on my feet. Shoes can be heroes.πŸ˜‰πŸ˜

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    1. Yes I thought the same about the shirt what were we surposed to see

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    2. It says "not as smart as they are cracked up to be" (meaning wisdom teeth)

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    3. Thank you 6:26. I couldn't tell what it said but I could see they were teeth. I wonder if he got his wisdom teeth taken out. My daughter's were given her trouble and they had to be removed. With that in mind, I like his shirt.😁

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  7. The boys are getting so big! I remember when they were the little kids - not anymore. Always loved the episodes with the family at Big Sandy. Really miss the old shows!

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  8. You were created who you were supposed to be! So neat! Meredith is a doll, and Jana is so sweet, shining the love of Jesus!Blessings, and have a great time!!!

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  9. Do they have a strict dress code at Big Sandy? Can any Christian homeschooling family attend...a family that follows these values and education example, but does not conform to the rules on attire?

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    1. Girls have to wear dresses or skirts. Boys have more freedom. You should use that picture of Meredith Duggar in the updated blog header!

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    2. Anon 2:29
      The kids have to wear certain colors of skirts, knee length and blouses or the ATI shirt. So they'll either be in a navy skirt and white blouse (i think thats if theyre older girls) and the little girls wear khaki skirts and maroon tops. Not sure about younger boys except they wear khaki pants. I find it real hard to find those specific skirts. I am not positive if it is mandatory, and i would now guess its not mandatory after Jim Bobs open invitation this year, that you have to first attend the Institute of Basic Life Principles. There is an application that you have to fill out and send in by a deadline each year. I went 7 years ago and so i'm hoping i remember right but i think you call back to check the approval status of your application if its your first time to attend. They want to know who you are and kind of vet you. There are fees for each child to attend the childrens institute in addition to the family registration fee and housing/camping fees and meal fees. Tent camping is $25 a night and upwards if you take an RV or rent a dorm-style room. Meals are fair priced and good. We made our own breakfast but paid for lunch and dinner because it was just easier. Figure in your travel expenses to and from. If you have a big family it can add up. For many, it is their family vacation for the year where they see many good friends. Check the website for more details.

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    3. Glad to hear they vet people.

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  10. What family conference is it? They never specify, yet they seem to go every year.

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    1. Yes, I can google too. I guess I am just confused as to why they never openly talk about ATI or IBLP? I thought they considered their "fame" as a form of ministry? I don't see why they purpose to avoid the specifics like that.

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    2. Anon @ 9:10 They never talk openly about it because there is a lot of controversy surrounding this organisation and its teachings. Its founder has also been accused of some horrible things. JimBob just recently was promoting the alert academy on their official website and a number of their sons have attended, so it would appear they are still involved with this organisation.



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    3. 9:10- To avoid controversy, the family may not want to be openly associated with any particular organization. ATI/IBLP has experienced leadership scandal in the past.

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    4. Anon @ 8:26 It is common knowledge that the Duggars are involved with ATI/IBLP, they send their sons to Alert camp, daughters to Journey to the heart and attend Big Sandy every year. They also used their homeschool programme until recently. I really don't think anyone would bat an eyelid if they just admitted that they align with these organisations, infact it would be more honest of them if they did.

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  11. Dear Duggars Jinger is so beautiful and good looking and I want her to have a child with Jeremy that is beautiful and good looking like her.

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    1. That request was odd enough the first time it was posted but now it's sounding very strange...

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  12. I hope the conference attendees realize Josh is there and keep a very, very close eye on their children.

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    1. Oh good grief!

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    2. You are being totally unreasonable. Yes there were problems, but never was there a time when when Josh was accused of seeking out young children to molest as an adult. I have lived a long time and yes had to deal with inappropriate behavior against myself, but I am truly healed because it doesn't control my life. On another note sometimes the people that that that holler the loudest do it to try cover up their own sinful behavior.

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    3. 3:48. Protecting your children is the absolute kindest thing a parent can do.

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    4. There will always be someone warning people to be careful about Josh any time he's around children. These people will follow him around all the days of his life. Fortunately, God will wipe the slate clean if Josh truly repents and follows Him.

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    5. Anon @ 11:54 The original poster is not being unreasonable in what they say. Perhaps you should have thought about your final line before posting, did you stop to think that just maybe the poster has been a victim in the past? Too many seem to like to chastise others in a round about manner, please try to consider why the post might have been submitted before responding. Kindness and consideration goes both ways.

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    6. Anonymous 11:54, You are so right about the loudest people hollering and trying to cover their own sin. I worked with a girl in retail who would insist on helping the asset protection team with shoplifters. (She also worked for children and youth as her day job). Anyway, she would rather help catch the thieves then do her own duties. Sadly, as it turned out, she was one of the biggest thieves! She would conceal items in one one of those plastic tubs and go to one of her cashier 'friends', and have them only scan the tub. She was by far, one of the loudest advocate against shoplifting, so it was shocking to find out she was one of the biggest offenders! And she worked for CYS! I have realized you should never judge because you just never know!

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  13. Really...can this family not have one picture posted without all the negative "opinions" just be happy folks and be cool...life is too too short to always be so meanspirited....peace, love and happiness...blessings to all...fo sureπŸ˜‰

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    1. Please remember that not all these comments need to go under "negative" accusations. There are many comments that are simply disagreeing with certain beliefs the Duggars have or practice. They have a right to express opinion. Let's try not to give in to this "safe space" junk that's floating around the political world.

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    2. Hear, hear, 5:41 PM!

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  14. Meredith is adorable!

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  15. I feel like many people on the blog are way too judgemental. I hope none of the judgemental people call themselves christians, because they certainly aren't acting like it.

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    1. Do you call yourself one? Because I remember reading that Jesus commanded his followers to worry about the plank in their own eye. Do you know that one?

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    2. Anon @ 3.59 what you said!

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  16. I really enjoy hearing about Big Sandy Convention. It reminds me of our family reunion...and spiritual groups do become like family. I remember Methodist Church camps at Glenrose, Texas and meeting youths and writing each other during the year with anticipation of getting together year after year. It was a positive part of my growing up. And it continues through adulthood. And yes, sometimes boys meet girls at church camp and end up getting married and raising little Methodist families...
    I enjoy the positive posts here. They build up.

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  17. Feel sorry for the girls at the camp. The boys get to canoe, rock climb, and have a whole raft of active outdoor activities to participate in. The girls get to do crafts and sing songs. Why does this orgsnisation push gender stereotypes, it is just wrong and sad? Not every girl wants to make pictures, and it is just as impotant for girls to get outside and be active, it is good for their health and wellbeing and build skills and self confidence. This would not fly with my daughter (or myself) raising your girls to be strong confident young women is so impotant, they deserve it.

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    1. I so agree. It isn't right to limit a girl's childhood just because she is a girl. I went to camps and loved climbing, canoeing, swimming, playing dodgeball, and sports. Terrible to think a child would be held back from all that just because she's a girl.

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