Summer camp for seniors sparks happy memories and builds new bonds
Swapping scary stories around a campfire and winning trophies for lawn-game victories are all part of a nostalgic event for seniors at Sage Hill Retirement Residence.
It is one of the 30 All Seniors Care Living Centres across Canada offering residents a summer camp experience complete with crafts, nature studies, outdoor games and a talent show
“This is the first year we’re doing it, said Nicole Moore, director of health and wellness. "We just hope this event gives our residents permission to be playful and curious."
Those who attended camp as kid are happy for the opportunity to experience it once again.
Stef Ani Bagan went once when she was eleven years old and commends staff at Sage Hill for adapting the experience for residents.
"Our activity director was able to get a whole bunch of activities that everybody was going to take part in regardless of their skill," said Bagan. "I just think that’s amazing."
Tina Dooge grew up in the Netherlands during WWII so never had the chance to attend camp as a kid. She says this experience fills her with memories of working as a camp counsellor and exploring the wilderness with her late husband.
"We hadn’t been camping for years and years, but it still is happy memories," said Dooge. "I look back at it with a lot of pleasure."
Organizers say reminiscing is an important therapeutic tool that helps promote quality of life, enhance self-esteem and decrease depression.
"It’s just been so positive and we learn so much about our residents. It’s been such a rich experience for them," said Moore.