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“It’s hard to find things that are completely new for our residents to experience, but I feel confident that none of them had previously engaged in treasonous behavior,” said Kathryn (Kat) Schumpert, life enrichment manager. That changed, as amid enthusiastic shouts of “huzzah”, approximately 100 residents of GreenFields of Geneva retirement community, (virtually) dumped crates of ‘the King’s’ tea, into the Boston Harbor…an act that in 1773, was considered to be high treason, punishable by death.
The February 2nd participation in the Boston Tea Party was the official launch of GreenFields’ new and innovative Exploring the World Our Way (eWOW) initiative. Capitalizing on the wonders of modern technology, the monthly program is designed to permit seniors to ‘visit’ fabulous destinations and be a part of history, all from the comfort of their home.
“A great number of our residents have been lifelong travelers,” said Kat. “While many still travel, others stay closer to home. eWOW is just one more way for all our residents to continue to see the world. We are committed to providing lifelong learning opportunities to our residents. They are fascinated by technology, and so putting travel, history and technology altogether in this package is just a great combination.”
The inaugural eWOW event took the residents on a virtual step back in history through their visit to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. “The Boston Tea Party has such an important role in the history of the U.S.,” said Kat. The ‘visit’ included viewing historic artifacts, interacting with reenactors, assuming the roles of loyalists, and participating in a town hall meeting with a debate on taxes. The culmination of the experience took place as the group boarded a full-scale sailing vessel to hack open and dump the tea…an act of treason…while shouting ‘huzzah!’
Subsequent “trips” will include a trip to an elephant sanctuary in Tennessee, diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, visiting Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska, touring Cleveland Museum of Art (which is home to one of the Rodin-supervised casts of the famous sculpture, The Thinker) and more. Hype for each of the eWOW events will be promoted through themed meals and programs.
“When we first contacted the different destinations, some had similar interactive virtual visits for school-age children, but we’re charting new territory with our programs for seniors,” said Emily Abrahamson, life enrichment coordinator at GreenFields. “The organizations are excited to customize the experience for the more mature audience, and our residents are excited to visit new destinations and enjoy new experiences!”