Gwyen Gilliland and John Lambert roasted marshmallows during the recent Chartwell Renaissance summer camp at the Langley residence. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gwyen Gilliland and John Lambert roasted marshmallows during the recent Chartwell Renaissance summer camp at the Langley residence. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Campfires and games evokes memories of summers past for Langley seniors

Residents of Chartwell’s Renaissance home participated in a week of camp-themed activities

It’s been a long time since Ursula Gercken chomped down on a s’more, or John Lambert roasted marshmallows around a campfire.

But these Langley seniors were among many of the 137 residents at Chartwell Renaissance Retirement Residence who participating in camp week activities recently at the Willoughby slope care facility.

Trying to offer residents something fun and safe within the centre, that still met COVID-19 protocols, lifestyle and program manager Alanna Tieszen floated the idea of a classic summer experience – namely camping.

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Not many of the elderly residents were up for crawling into the tent set up in the lobby, but almost everyone who passed was heard to say they’d love to stay overnight in a tent again.

In addition to the themed display, complete with trees, lanterns, and other camping paraphernalia, Tieszen also coordinated a series of activities that would evoke past memories of summer camping.

At Camp Renaissance, the residents got competitive playing camp games including relay, ring toss, and egg and spoon races, enjoyed s’mores (and s’more martinis), roasted marshmallows on the campfire, joined in sing-alongs, and dressed for the occasion.

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“The week at Camp Renaissance has been full of such fun, especially considering the year we’ve had,” Tieszen said.

“Residents all around the building have been reminiscing on their experiences camping with family and friends. There really is nothing better than a campfire, good food, and great company!”

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Gwyen Gilliland participated in some of the games offered during the recent Chartwell Renaissance summer camp at the Langley residence in Willoughby. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gwyen Gilliland participated in some of the games offered during the recent Chartwell Renaissance summer camp at the Langley residence in Willoughby. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Shirley Barber checked out a tent set up in the lobby of Chartwell Renaissance Retirement Residence in Langley during their recent, week-long summer camp. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Shirley Barber checked out a tent set up in the lobby of Chartwell Renaissance Retirement Residence in Langley during their recent, week-long summer camp. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gwyen Gilliland and Alanna Tieszen showed off a camping display set up in the lobby of Chartwell Renaissance Retirement Residence in Langley during their recent, week-long summer camp. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gwyen Gilliland and Alanna Tieszen showed off a camping display set up in the lobby of Chartwell Renaissance Retirement Residence in Langley during their recent, week-long summer camp. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gwyen Gilliland and Jean Becker participated in a series of games as part of Chartwell’s recent summer camp week at the seniors facility in Willoughby. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Gwyen Gilliland and Jean Becker participated in a series of games as part of Chartwell’s recent summer camp week at the seniors facility in Willoughby. (Chartwell/Special to Langley Advance Times)