April 27, 2015

In keeping with this year's theme of #MPOWER, residents and team members at Garden Spot Village helped a group of young people find their inner super hero when the community participated recently in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work® Day.

Residents and team members at Garden Spot Village helped a group of young people find their inner super hero on Thursday, April 23, when the community participated once again in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Garden Spot Village has participated in the event each year since 2008. This year drew 11 young participants, ranging in age from 6 to 15 years. Departments represented included nursing, dining services, life enrichment, wellness and others.

“We follow the national theme each year,” said Colleen Musselman, director of life enrichment at the community and a member of its Intergenerational Committee. “This year, the theme was #MPOWER. There is a super hero in all of us!”

At Garden Spot Village, the day is a combination of shadowing an adult mentor—a relative or family friend—and participating in a variety of intergenerational activities. This year’s activities included a Super Hero Seek and Find, in which the children identified some of the many super heroes living at Garden Spot Village. In addition, Garden Spot Village Woodshop members helped the youngsters build a box for their books and treasures. The children also made super-nutritious smoothies and got a chance to take a dip in the indoor pool.

Marian Harting, who lives in Terre Hill and has worked at Garden Spot Village for 14 years, has brought one of her grandchildren ever since her oldest grandchild turned 7 five years ago.

“I have always brought one each year. Some of the ones who have come would like to come again, but I think it’s more special if I just bring one at a time,” Harting says. “They really enjoy it. They enjoy coming to my workplace and seeing some of the things here in the community. It’s special for the residents, too. They love to have young people around and interact with them.”

Harting is the hostess in the community’s Terrace Dining Room and also cooks and serves breakfast in The Creamery.

“When the child is with me, I would have him or her give out menus when I seat the residents, fold napkins and help reset the tables, maybe help refill the butters and crackers on the tables—simple things they enjoy doing,” she says.

Intergenerational activities like Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day benefit all participants.

“I think it gives the young people a chance to see what work goes on here and it gives them a chance to interact with the residents. You have a couple of generations talking together. I think that’s a good thing,” says Harting. “A couple of my granddaughters have said, ‘How many years until I can work there?’”

Garden Spot Village is involved in several other intergenerational activities both on campus and in the community, including the Lancaster Family YMCA Kids Marathon, and the award-winning Garden Spot Village Grands & Kids Camp. The Intergenerational Committee has developed a Family Friendly Visitor’s Guide for guests and family members and established a Family Friendly Toy Closet stocked with donated toys that residents can sign out when grandchildren come to visit.