Wellness, Adventure day camps help grandparents, grandchildren connect



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications



May 15, 2014 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College’s Grandparent/Grandchild Day Camps return this summer with new activities designed to bring families closer together.

GRCC’s Older Learner Center debuted the Grandparent/Grandchild Summer Wellness Day Camps last year with the goal of helping older and younger generations have fun and learn from each other while participating in crafts, outdoor activities and community service. This summer, grandparents and grandchildren also may take part in the new Adventure Day Camps.

“It was a huge success,” GRCC wellness instructor Lannie Collard said of the camps. "The two generations had the opportunity to develop together physically, socially, emotionally, environmentally and intellectually.

“Both generations were surprised by how much fun they had together and how they could each learn from the other. For a couple of the grandparent-grandchildren combos, this was their first opportunity to be involved in a camp setting. They appreciated the variety in events as well as the low cost to attend. All of the pairs are planning to come back this year to the new Adventure Camp.”

Activities for the Summer Wellness Day Camps, for grandparents and kids ages 5 to 12, include:

  • a walk through the woods while learning to identify birds and other things found in nature.
  • nature crafts.
  • fishing — bring the pole and we supply the worms.
  • physical fitness testing, group workout, and individual goal setting using nature as a gym.
  • swimming.
  • lessons on the basics of gardening by Blandford Nature Center’s master gardener.
  • lessons on nutrition basics, meal planning, and quick and easy recipe ideas.
  • volunteer time at Kids’ Food Basket.

Activities in the new Adventure Day Camps, for grandparents and kids ages 8 to 15, include:

  • Olympic Games, with teams competing in outdoor games for ribbons.
  • strawberry picking at Delanges Redberry Farm in Hudsonville.
  • a kayak trip down the Thornapple Kellogg River.
  • a team scavenger hunt — based on TV’s “The Amazing Race” — at RiverTown Crossings mall.

The camps are open to grandparents (and their grandkids) from Kent, Allegan, Lake, Mason, Osceola, Mecosta, Newaygo, Montcalm or Ionia counties. Sessions run 10 a.m. to noon between June 11 and Aug. 27 – except for kayaking on June 25, which will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A donation of $20 per one grandparent and one grandchild is suggested for each four-week session. For each additional grandparent or grandchild, an additional $5 donation is suggested. Both day camps are made available with funding from the Older Americans Act Title IIIE administered by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan.

To register for the Wellness Day Camp (Aug. 6, 13, 20 and 27), click here. To register for the Adventure Day Camp (June 11, 18 and 25 and July 2), click here. For more information, call (616) 234-3483.

GRCC’s Older Learner Center strives to meet the needs of older learners through outreach activities, leadership development, civic engagement, life enrichment and other lifelong learning opportunities for baby boomers and older people.

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.