At Phoenix Senior Living, our passion to continue to breathe life into our Intergenerational Programming continues to blaze new journeys. From our very start, the leaders at Phoenix believed that bringing our newest and our wisest generations together would not only help bridge the widening generation gap, but it would also could help negate ageism, starting with our newest generation. Today, that passion has a new vigor as we continue to witness, time after time in all our Phoenix communities, the impact of a child’s laughter and wonder on our residents.
Summer is upon us and that means the joy and energy from our Phoenix Kids Kamps are bursting from our walls from several Phoenix Senior Living communities throughout the Southeast. The Phoenix Kids Kamps, entering their 4th year of existence, is a week-long event of youth, partnering with our teams, to lead programming and bring joy to our residents. Children between the ages of 8 to 12 join our Phoenix teams, leading and participating in activities, dining and companionship. Participation includes talking with our residents, interviewing our residents, creating art collages of their lives, eating lunch with our seniors, building bird houses with our seniors and setting up bird feeders. It is a week-long series of events, bringing our newest and wisest generations together.
Walking into a Phoenix community during the Kids Kamp, the children’s laughter, which truly, when you listen, is music to the ears, resonates throughout the community. You can hear it before the doors open. Not only will you hear kid’s laughter, you will feel the energy of the residents and our associates. The seniors getting up early to join the kids, asking what the schedule is for the day, and who their lunch partner will be. Our families come to visit and enjoy what their loved ones have been talking about, to meet their new friends, the Phoenix Kids.
It does our heart good when we hear the familiar statement from our families, “It is so wonderful to hear these young voices filling the community. My parent so looks forward to this week. They celebrate the ability to be a grandparent to several more children and to experience the unconditional love of a child.” Every year as we prepare for Kids Kamp, we become more and more aware of the fact both groups have so much to teach and learn from each other. The opportunity for us is to continue to find meaningful ways to bring them together with activities that are fun for everyone involved. It is those things that pay positive dividends in the kids’ and seniors’ lives, as well as society.
Phoenix Senior Living will continue our mission to keep all our generations connected. Our ability to provide this unique experience, through our Phoenix Kids Kamps, to our youth and our residents brings us joy as an organization. Every year as we wrap up our Kids Kamps and we have kids and families asking us to make sure they are invited to the Kids Kamp next year; we know we are making a difference. It puts smiles on our faces when our residents ask, “When will the kids be back?” When it comes to your loved one, everything matters, and it matters to all of us – understanding and experiencing that learning at a young age makes all of us better.