Seniors enjoy competition inspired by Amazing Race

After hosting a survivor-themed event last year, the Southern Alberta seniors’ facility took inspiration from another reality TV show.

After putting a Survivor-themed event for its residents last year, Rocky View Lodge seniors’ residence in Crossfield took inspiration from another reality TV show this summer, hosting a Incredible race– inspiration contest for tenants throughout the month of August.

As part of the initiative, residents paired up and created a team name which they decorated on a banner. The teams then participated in challenges about three times a week.

If a team member couldn’t make it to an event, other lodge residents would step in to help, according to Brenda Campbell, social and recreation coordinator for Rocky View Lodge, which organized the Amazing Race competition.

Wanting to get away from some of the more common group activities they’ve done in the past, Campbell created the Incredible race-thematic competition to offer a little more variety to the residents of the lodge.

« Even though people really like bingo and all that…there’s nothing different to look forward to and I think every once in a while things change…you can really see the residents getting a little more excited and a little more engaged again,” Campbell said.

To kick off the competition, teams were tasked with learning the full names of each lodge resident. Campbell said the lodge had recently welcomed many new tenants and she wanted the seniors to get to know each other better.

« The first one [challenge] matched first names with last names of residents,” she explained. « I knew if they didn’t know the last names they were on the back of all the chairs in the dining room, so they would have to run into the dining room and look at all the backs of the chairs. »

Using pieces of wood about a foot long, the second challenge saw residents create sticks which they had to use to lift a loop from a stationary object. Campbell said the sticks got really wonky, making it a comedic experience for attendees — as well as those watching from the sidelines.

In the third challenge, residents attempted to match pieces of yarn, which Campbell said was the most difficult of the challenges, as some residents are visually impaired.

« We cut lengths of about 10 inches and tied all the different colors together in one length and then took that length out and they had to dig through all the boxes of yarn and match the colors exactly that we matched on our length,” Campbell added.

One of Campbell’s favorite events of the month was a tinfoil hat challenge, where she gave each team a box of tinfoil and they were tasked with creating a hat as tall as possible.

Another challenge had residents rummaging through approximately 500 golf balls. Campbell wrote each team’s name on two golf balls and the pairs had to hunt to find their matching golf balls. Once found, teams had to put their golf ball in a hole.

Taking the teams back to their youth, Campbell also asked them to create and decorate paper airplanes. Teams then competed in a series of eight races, with some winners being the fastest aircraft or the aircraft that traveled the most distance.

At the end of the eight races, two teams were tied, so Campbell staged a tiebreaker round, which also ended in a tie.

In the end, there was only one viable solution to such an outcome.

« At the end [race]when we measured it, they were exactly the same distance from the target, down to the millimeter, so I gave them both the win,” she said.

The race was still ongoing at press time, with the winning team due to be announced on August 31.

At the end of the competition, a company specializing in radio-controlled cars was to visit the lodge and set up tracks for the Incredible race competitors to race their radio-controlled cars — something Campbell said many residents had never done before.

Throughout the competition, the winning teams accumulated points during each challenge. The team with the most points at the end of August will be crowned the Lodge’s Incredible race champion.

And just like on the popular TV show, there’s also a cash prize up for grabs – although not quite as lucrative.

“I will be giving the winners $10 in Rocky View Lodge cash each, along with a kind of little goodie bag,” Campbell said, explaining that Rocky View Lodge cash is an internal currency used in the residence for guests. customers can buy products at the confectionery.

She added afterwards that the attendees will enjoy champagne and cake together.

“It’s not really about winning. It’s fun or giggles,” Campbell said. « It’s about camaraderie and teamwork. »


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