Final Report: Summer Camp for Older Adults at Concordia University Chicago
By John K. Holton, PhD; Director, Center for Gerontology, Concordia University Chicago
Concordia University Chicago hosted an on-campus “Summer Camp for Seniors” in August 2019. Thirty-five older adult women (33) and men (2), enrolled for the week-long experiment in cross-generational learning, engagement, and fun. The superlative finding from the experiment was the underestimation of what older adults value, seek, enjoy, and given the opportunity, could improve. Our camp proved to be an unqualified success if only to demonstrate how much more exciting it can become. This report details the concept, implementation, and evaluation of the summer camp as well as recommendations for future endeavors. Download full report
October, 2016- March, 2017
The Center for Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago was launched 2014 and encompasses research efforts that include generating, organizing, and disseminating high quality multidisciplinary aging related practice and knowledge. We strive to make a difference in the lives of older adults and their families through faith-based research and education, which will have a far-reaching impact on the community we serve.
Concordia University Chicago began as a college for teachers and today is a comprehensive university comprising the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Graduate Studies and College of Innovation and Professional Programs. CUC offers graduate and undergraduate programs, as well as doctoral degrees. The University is affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and is a member of the Concordia University System, a nationwide network of colleges and universities.
The season of spring is an apt time to reconvene our Advisory Board. For months in its absence, we have been planting seeds of ideas in anticipation that some would bear fruit and become robust programs for future generations. Albeit, it seems like yesterday when we last gathered (via conference call) to discuss what benefits the Center for Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago can offer, what follows are the highlights during the fall and winter seasons:
Hosting a successful international conference in a two months requires broad support to reach the large market of potential attendees. Prospective awareness of every opportunity to promote the conference on CUC’s campus is critical.
Sustaining funding for the Center’s future is the priority for this calendar year. In addition to developing proposals for private funding consideration, other ideas (such as building a joint Gerontology-Entrepreneurial program with the School of Business) to replace the absence of public funding will need to be devised.
We’ve been busy and are stretching ourselves to become “go-to” resource for students, older adults, their families and caregivers, and their communities. To become the gerontological resource for Concordia University means to be embedded in its academic offerings across the four colleges, present in chapel worship, familiar to the athletic programs and student life general. It requires disrupting the tendency within institutions of higher education to build academic siloes. To that end, we can cite an active partnership with the College of Business to sponsor “entrepreneur boot camps” for persons over 50 with funding support from AARP; with the Graduate School and its Gerontology Program as our academic fountainhead led by Lydia Manning’s scholarship and community participatory advocacy. In our college, the College of Innovation and Professional Programs, our presence is found not only in frequent undergraduate course presentations, but also with the Centers for Literacy (and Numeracy) and Early Childhood Education. With the latter we are developing two intergenerational programs for pre-school aged children and older adults in residential facilities and with the former, a Chicago Public high-school literacy project on gerontology and on May 22-23rd the two Centers will co- sponsor the “Silver Gold Rush” panel and lunch with Wally Amos.