Summer Camp for Seniors

Join us in August for a week of fun, learning, and engagement.

Monday, August 5 – Friday, August 9, 2019
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily
Concordia University Chicago
Christopher Center for Learning
7400 Augusta Ave.
River Forest, Illinois 

Summer camps aren’t just for kids and parents! Let’s embrace aging and being a senior! This summer, Concordia University Chicago, a designated “age-friendly” higher education institution, and its Center for Gerontology, will host a week-long summer camp experience structured especially for older adults. 

Summer camp for seniors is an opportunity to engage in activities that are meaningful, impactful, and enriching. It’s an opportunity to reconnect with old friends, make new friends with similar interests, and find exciting new interests. Campers will explore an exciting variety of classes and electives, along with daily Lunch and Learn lectures on topics specifically designed to meet the interests of older adults. 


Summer Camp for Seniors 2019 is sponsored and hosted by the Concordia University Chicago’s Center for Gerontology and College of Innovation and Professional Programs in partnership with AgeOptions, Senior Services of Oak Park and River Forest Townships, River Forest Township, and the Scottish Home/Caledonia House.

Who may attend

Campers must be independent adults, 60 years or older, and capable of participating in the scheduled camp activities.


$100/person for the week (includes daily lunches and snacks, field trip, tee-shirt, and more)

Camp Highlights*

  • Movement: Yoga, Zumba and more!
  • Group singing led by Dr. Jonathan Miller of Sounds Good! Choir
  • Daily Lunch and Learn sessions on topics of special interest to older adults: financial, physical, and psychological well-being
  • Memoir writing workshop
  • Art workshop: watercolor painting
  • The Poetry of resilience: Reading it and writing it
  • Meet Abe Lincoln! In-person visit by professional reenactor!
  • Battlefield Balladeers present music of the Civil War era
  • Intergenerational reading activities with children enrolled in Concordia-Chicago’s Early Childhood Program 
  • Honey, herbs and spices for better nutrition and health
  • “Chicago Seniors Tonight” videotaping: campers may choose to participate as either interview subjects or audience members
  • Friday field trip to Art Institute of Chicago “Manet and Modern Beauty” exhibit (transportation and lunch included) 

*camp schedule subject to change

Featured Presenters

Dirvelys Allen (Zumba Fitness) Allen is the Director of Student Success and Enrollment Transition, Director of Spirit Programs, and Head Coach at Concordia University Chicago. She will lead camp sessions in Zumba Fitness, an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party that’s moving millions of people toward joy and health. Class is limited to 15 people.

Richard Bimler (Lunch and Learn, Monday) Bimler is the former president of Wheat Ridge Ministries. He serves part-time as the Ambassador of Health, Hope, and Aging for Lutheran Life Communities.  Richard currently serves on various boards and spends the hours in between writing, speaking, and consulting. He is the author of Joyfully Aging, A Christian’s Guide.  

Veronica Ciobotary (Honey, Spices and Herbs) Ciobotary owns and operates Delia's Kitchen, located at 1034 Lake Street in Oak Park. Ciobotary established the restaurant in 2010 and named it after her daughter. Ciobotary operates her own apiaries and produces unprocessed honey; she also grows many of the herbs and vegetables utilized at the restaurant. Veronica has become an expert on the medicinal properties of honey as an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory and will provide excellent recommendations for uses of honey and spices as cures for allergies and pain relief.  

James L. Flanagan (Financial Management Strategies)  Flanagan has dedicated his professional life to people at or near retirement. Jim is the founder of Bentron Financial Group. Bentron simply means, “an instrument of good,” and Jim has used Bentron to touch the lives of hundreds of successful retirees. Jim has a Master’s Degree in Finance from Dominican University, a Master’s Degree in Gerontology from the University of Southern California, and is a PhD candidate at Concordia University Chicago. Jim founded the Celebrating Seniors Coalition, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to serving older adults in Forest Park, Oak Park, and River Forest. 

Rosemarie (Mia) Garcia-Hills (Yoga) Garcia-Hills is a Chicago-area yoga instructor with eighteen years of yoga teaching experience. Her yoga environments have included high schools, colleges, fitness facilities, medical health centers, community centers, and prisons. Mia’s practice is a movement celebration of our opportunity to live with an open heart that is deeply rooted in liberation, gratitude and contentment. The Yoga styles used in this class format are a combination of Vinyasa Yoga and Iyengar Yoga.  

Gayle Hutchinson (The Poetry of Resilience) Hutchinson a current Masters student in gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. She has been a featured author at international book events in Oakland, California; Maui; Exuma, Bahamas; and South Africa. She has been an interview guest on the podcast Arts on Air from DePaul University and radio interviews aired on National Public Radio and Fisk University Radio. Hutchinson will lead three sessions on Older Adult Resilience and the poets who have written about it. Hutchinson will also provide guidance on how you can create your own resilience poetry.

Craig Lusthoff (Lunch and Learn, Wednesday )

Lydia Manning (Lunch and Learn, ThursdayManning is associate professor of gerontology and program faculty leader for gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. Dr. Manning's research and teaching agendas reflect her commitment to the interdisciplinary exploration of aging in the United States. As a social gerontologist, she investigates complex and pressing issues and problems related to aging, health, and well-being through independent research that integrates the perspectives and methodologies of gerontology, sociology, and women’s studies. Manning's research focuses on resilience with related interests in religion, health and gender. 

Cathaleen Roach (Memoir Writing Workshop) Roach is a senior outreach coordinator for River Forest Township, as well as a licensed attorney. She holds a Master's degree in gerontology from Concordia University Chicago. Roach received training in memoir writing by Boston author Anne-Marie Oomen. She has has taught writing for 20+ years and has facilitated a number of memoir writing workshops locally. Roach's fun, ninety-minute exploration of how to get started with memoir writing will provide a template to use for further memory writing, as well as a sense of what effective and interesting memoir writing is all about.

Beth Truett (Lunch and Learn, Tuesday) Truett's presentation is titled, "Oral Health: A gateway to better overall health and wellness for older adults." She is Principal, BJT Solutions, having served as President/CEO of Oral Health America, Executive Director for Chicago Lights @ the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago and 25 years in corporate leadership positions. She holds a BS from Valparaiso University; a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary and is working toward a Master’s Certificate in Gerontology at Concordia University Chicago. 


Transportation is not furnished and participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the camp. Concordia University Chicago is located one block west of the Harlem/Augusta stop on PACE bus routes 307 and 318 (southbound), and CTA bus route 90 (northbound). Free parking on campus will be available for participants who drive.

Class sizes are limited; registrations will be processed in the order received.

Registration is closed for this year's Summer Camp for Seniors. Please check back next year and join us for Summer Camp 2020! 

7400 Augusta St., River Forest, IL 60305
(708) 771-8300 |
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