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Summer Camp For Seniors


If you think summer camp has an age limit, think again. We visited a program where the average camper is probably over age 60, and the activities include a human bingo game and lessons from "The Lucy Show."  As Allysa Adams explains, the goal is to help folks of any age stay happy – and healthy.


(Locator: Sun City, Arizona)

Nat “The Lucy Show”:  “Lucy, you don’t need to go a diet to lose weight. I’m not. I’m dieting to save money.”

“The Lucy Show” works for this audience...

“I’ll have a bowl of hot water.” (laughter)

…because at the Willowbrook United Methodist Church in Sun City, Arizona, the average summer camper is probably in their 60’s.

Bette Mann/Camper: “As a kid, we always went to summer camp.” 

At the Senior Summer camp you won’t find all the childhood camp activities, but it’s camp all the same.

The Rev. Linda De Atley/Willowbrook United Methodist Church:  “It’s a lot of having fun together. We’ll be doing fun things every day.” 

The theme of this summer camp is love… laugh…

Nat: “Moses was a basket case.”

…and live well.  That’s where “The Lucy Show” comes in.

The Rev. Linda De Atley/Willowbrook United Methodist Church:  “Laughter is really healing. It’s really good. It’s a great way to get at who we are and to enjoy life.”

After all, the fun doesn’t stop when your hair turns gray.

The Rev. Linda De Atley/Willowbrook United Methodist Church: “We need to have a party. And why not make the party something that’s fun, as well as educational, and maybe spiritually food for thought.”

So the bingo game goes beyond random luck and forces everyone to get up and get to know each other.

Nat campers: “Do you volunteer work?”

Even the campy camper skits…

Nat of skit: “You are so right, oh mighty porcelain one.”

…are cause for discussion.

Marilee Reitz: “There’s always more to learn, and then the interaction with other people, the sharing in the small groups, is always meaningful.”

There are still camp songs that you’ll never forget.

Nat song: “To be like Him…”

And of course the camp commonality that reminds us we’re valued – at every age.


This year’s camp lasted a week and ended with a joke contest. This was the tenth year the Willowbrook United Methodist Church has held a Senior Summer Camp.

You can find out more about the program by going to the church’s web site: or calling 623-974-5637.

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