When Thursday arrived, the campers divided into teams. One team greeted the seniors at the curb and escorted them around the LAC and Our Community Cares Camp (OCCC), showing off all the activities going on at the camps. Then they seated them at tables decorated with fresh flowers in Mason jar vases painted by the campers. Another team of campers took luncheon orders and a third team of campers sat and chatted with the seniors.
After lunch, OCCC campers Cerrie Dube, Parker Pitone and Carly McDonald along with guest musician Buddy Dubay entertained the seniors on ukulele with a rendition of “Amazing Grace”. OCCC campers have been learning how to perform thanks to a grant from a local foundation. Following Amazing Grace were LAC campers Amelia Sanborn and Morgan Cross who sang an a cappella version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Their beautiful, clear voices brought a tear to more than one eye.
The seniors were delighted with their meal and their hosts. Harriet Riggs, 95, local Richmond Historian thought it was so nice to young people learning the social graces. She was very impressed with their poise and comportment. Catherine Coggio recalled that she had been involved with the summer food camp in its earliest years in the 1990s. “I am so pleased to see how much it has grown,” she said. Mary O’Neil, retired teacher and OCCC Board Member was also very impressed with the talent and abilities of these young people. “The food was excellent and the hosts were wonderful.” She said.
After lunch, the floral bouquets were raffled off as door prizes along with several mini greenhouses with herb seeds. So many seniors got to bring home a memento of their afternoon with the LAC. There was also a program with an introduction to the LAC project and a dedication to remember Fran Walker, a local resident who had been an avid suupporter of the camp.
Chittenden East Supervisory Union Superintendent John Alberghini remarked, “
The senior citizen luncheon was a great idea. It is great to bring together students with seniors.”
The luncheon was a community service project of the Leadership Adventure Camp (LAC). The Leadership Adventure Camp is a project of Our Community Cares Camp (OCCC). The LAC is for older middle school students. OCCC president Marie Thomas said “We like to see our young leaders perform some community service, not only to thank the community for their support of our summer camp program, but to experience the joy of giving to others.”
Campers and seniors were all very happy on Thursday.
Also in attendance were Dana Jeffery from the Ben & Jerry Foundation. Jeffery and a colleague were visiting the camp to see how their grant was benefitting the community. Ben & Jerry provided funds so OCCC & LAC could purchase products from local farms. Jeffery was busy taking video of the camp to bring back to the other members of the Ben & Jerry Community Action Team.