Children of staff members at Signature HealthCARE at North Hardin in Radcliff are getting to know facility residents this summer as they participate in Camp Signature.
Camp Signature is a multi-week long program for children filled with fun activities, lessons in building character, food and many opportunities to connect and build relationships with the elderly.
Although other Signature HealthCARE facilities previously have had the camp, this is the first year the Radcliff location has offered the program.
Keri Jewell of the Signature quality of life department said the camp typically runs from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. or a little later sometimes, depending on the parents’ schedules.
Jewell said the children’s schedules go back and forth between activities just for them and activities they share with residents. The children join residents during exercises, playing bingo, completing crafts and having cooking classes, for instance. She said North Park Elementary School also is allowing them to use the school playground during the day.
Jewell said the camp is a learning opportunity for the children.
“Some of these people don’t even have grandparents so they are learning what it is like to actually be with somebody of a different generation,” she said. “It’s just learning that we’re different people but we’re all the same. We are all having fun together.”
Jewell referred to the program as an intergenerational camp.
Each week of the camp embraces a new theme for children and residents. This week the theme was Dr. Seuss. Both children and residents could be found Wednesday cutting out and painting an image of Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat.” Other themes have included the Fourth of July, Under the Sea and Disney.
“I think it (the camp) is good. It is good for the residents and the children, they learn,” said resident Mary Waddell. “It’s good for the residents because they get involved.”
Crafts from each week can be found hanging on the walls throughout the building.
Camp Signature began the first week of June and will run through the end of July.
Jewell said the facility plans to have the camp again next year.
“It’s been a benefit all around. It’s been a benefit for our residents just to get to see those kids playing and laughing and that we can play and laugh with them,” she said. “It’s a benefit for our stakeholders. Personally, it has saved me a lot of money for daycare over the summer.”
Jewell’s daughter, Virginia, was dressed Wednesday as Cindy Lou Who to match the theme of the week.
She said they are planning an end-of-camp celebration July 26.
Also that day, Jewell said they will have a summer bash community event from 6 to 8 p.m. It will be free to the public. She said there will be food vendors, booths, bounce houses and more.