Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging
We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2019 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging's Senior Summer Adventure Camp program. The agency was a 2019 Aging Innovations Award winner in the Healthy Aging category.
How would you create a program that engages older adults socially, while simultaneously allowing them to connect with nature? The Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging had an idea: Senior Summer Adventure Camp. This innovative program was developed through a partnership with the Loudoun County AAA and the local Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services, which allowed for programming to take place at the beautiful Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve in Virginia. Each day started with a “Coffee and Connect with Nature” session to help campers prepare for the day.
The thrilling four-day camp included lectures from NASA scientists, ecologists, biologists and natural historians. One of the most unique aspects of the camp was the adventure tubing portion, which took place on the Antietam River. Participants loved the wide range of programming and appreciated the chance to reconnect with nature. The campers were also able to participate in traditional camp activities like fishing and hiking.
The older adults who participated in the camp gave the program a 95 percent satisfaction rating with 67 percent of participants asking for another program the following year. The program was low-cost, only $75 per camper, and included lunch each day. The program's low cost allowed the Loudoun County AAA team to create a new activity to connect with a new segment of the older adult population in their region.
The Loudoun County AAA team has offered to provide a senior camp resource manual and assistance to those interested in developing similar programs in their communities. The team also suggests building a program for adults who believe in learning no matter their age or physical ability and looking for instructors who are creative and willing to provide fun and engaging programming to participants.
To learn more about Loudoun County Area Agency on Aging's Senior Summer Adventure Camp program, contact Lynn A. Reid, Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the 2019 winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community!
Join n4a and winners of 2019's Aging Innovations Awards for n4a Lunchtime Innovations, a four-part webinar series that will share secrets to success for these award-winning programs, including Aging Ahead.