Sunnybrook Veterans are proving you don't have to be a kid to love summer camp - even if the average age of participants is a spry 90.
After a group luncheon in the K-wing annex, 31 residents and 25 interprofessional staff headed two-hours north to the CNIB Lake Joseph Centre in the heart of Muskoka. An annual tradition for 17 years, this four-day and three-night get-away offers a break from routine for the Veterans Centre residents.
Partnering with Sunnybrook Veterans once again were 15 Veterans from Parkwood Hospital in London, along with 11 staff members. Since 2005, the two facilities have joined to bring the two Veteran groups together.
Jack Ford, an Air Force photographer during the Second World War and one of this year's participants, fondly recalled the years he spent at his family cottage north of Peterborough. "Buying a cottage was one of the best decisions I ever made," said Ford. "Getting away again and just being here is better than wonderful."
Highlights of this year's camp included a nifty fifties sock hop, speed boat rides hosted by a local member of the Royal Canadian Legion's Bala branch, a western-themed evening, art therapy sessions, horseshoes, card games, paddle boating, fishing, and campfire songs with marshmallows.
Camp can be calming, therapeutic and rejuvenating all at the same time. A little fresh air, a stroll by the water and experiencing nature and the great outdoors can go a long way toward helping the Veterans feel young again.
Special thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion's Tri-District Hospital Committees ABC, DEF and the Legion's Fort York Branch #165. Without their generous support, this initiative would not be possible.