This is part of our Story series. Read more LSS Stories.
With a “Go!” participants in the third annual Meridian Village Cardboard Boat Race took off – each taking their turn paddling to the end of the pool and back in hopes of posting the fastest time. Resident and staff teams made the boats of cardboard, tape, and waterproofing paint to show team spirit. When the time came to see if their creations were seaworthy all five boats completed their maiden voyage, but it was the Meridian Village Maintenance Team who came out on top.
“The staff here love our residents, and our residents love the staff so they come out to see the boats they built and cheer them on,” said Dawn Determan, Director of Community Wellness at Meridian Village. “It’s just amazing to see.”
If the cheers from the crowd are any indication, this is a popular event – one that the entire community turns out for. It started when Determan and her coworkers wanted to use the community’s pool in different ways. She had heard about boat races at local universities and thought this could be a fun activity for the community. But the adventures for Meridian Village residents don’t stop at the pool, the staff regularly coordinates activities and outings that bring the community together and challenge residents to grow.
“The whole staff works to make sure that we’re making a place where we can support everybody living life the fullest,” added Determan. “We do a lot of different things to get people to think outside of the ‘older adult box.’”
Determan and her team seek out activities that are adaptable for anyone to join. They then fill up a bus, because are adventures more fun (and less intimidating) when there are others along! Past activities that the Meridian Village team has coordinated include ziplining, kayaking, and line dancing at a local bar, which also led to a ride on a mechanical bull.
As Determan says and as Meridian Village proves, “to the fullest” really has no limits.
Want to see the boat race and other Meridian Village adventures for yourself? Check out the videos on Meridian Village’s Facebook page!