Seniors at school camp
All in the name of a happy, healthy and active lifestyle, seniors try out new activities and meet new friends.
School camps are no longer just designated for teenagers. The South East Community Development Council (CDC) organised its second two-day Seniors Learning Camp in November last year and some 54 active seniors aged 50 to 85 participated. Held at the Singapore Sports School, the overnight programme had an array of activities from bowling to swimming, singing lessons to mini-golf (see below) … no activity was off limits.
The Seniors Learning Camp was first held in February 2009 with 35 seniors participating and bonding through games, workshops, outing and community projects. From the positive feedback of the Camp, South East CDC decided to hold a second Camp in November. In fact, there were 10 repeat participants, in addition to two whom were nominated to take on the role as facilitators.
“It’s a fantastic programme, I really enjoyed myself getting to know more people and try new activities!” exclaimed Peter Tan, 63. “I wish the Camp didn’t end so soon. I will miss the good times here that I had with my buddies from the Camp. We already made plans to meet up for group outings after the Camp!”
Added another participant, June Ang, 67, “In Chinese, the word ‘happiness’ is formed by two characters – ‘open’ and ‘heart’. By opening our hearts to people, to new experiences, and sharing our joy with the world, we can be happy regardless of our ages!”
The Camp had several important aims – to open the seniors’ minds to new things and keep them active and sharp, and to make new friends. Said the event facilitator, Chan Chiew Lan, “This event provides opportunities for seniors to try their hands in various activities in a safe environment, and we hope that this will interest them to explore new hobbies in their free time.”
The guest-of-honour, Matthias Yao, mayor of South East District, presented the participants with Certificates of Participation at the end of the Camp, and applauded their youthful spirits. “Having the curiosity and enthusiasm of a child keeps a person young, and I can see those qualities reflected in each of you.”
To further encourage a healthy and active lifestyle, the Camp also encouraged the seniors to get involved in community work. The participants planned and implemented five community projects targeted at needy elderly and children in the district between December 2009 to January 2010. The projects included Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year celebrations with needy seniors and children living in the South East District.
South East CDC is currently planning for third Seniors Learning Camp, which will take place in 15 to 16 September 2010. For more information, contact South East CDC at 6319 8735/6319 8730 or Marine Parade Family Service Centre at 6445 0100.
** Some of the information from this story was taken with permission from the South East CDC’s magazine, “Contact”.