From cooking to crafting, Roxborough Salvation Army brings seniors together

 Amelia Weksel (left) and Eileen Conway slice cucumbers to pickle during the Senior Day Camp at The Salvation Army’s Roxborough Corps Community Center. (Joel Frady/ for NewsWorks)

Amelia Weksel (left) and Eileen Conway slice cucumbers to pickle during the Senior Day Camp at The Salvation Army’s Roxborough Corps Community Center. (Joel Frady/ for NewsWorks)

Several women sat around a table, cutting cucumbers for pickling and discussing whether or not one person at the table should be allowed to use a knife. The conversation turned, as their mason jars filled with sliced cucumber pieces, to the planned trip to a pretzel factory later in the morning.

So began a day of the Summer Day Camp held by The Salvation Army’s Roxborough Corps Community Center (RCCC). The week-long program, part of the office’s popular Ever Young Club for seniors, runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and offers a variety of activities and trips for senior citizens.

Program assistant Marci Cooper said the program was started three years ago and is held on two or three non-consecutive summer weeks. The idea was spawned when Glenn and Bonnie Snyder, majors of the RCCC, approached Cooper about holding a day camp for senior citizens similar to their youth day camps.

Cooper said the camp, like the weekly Ever Young Club, aims to be both entertaining and informative.

“I try to get guests to come in and give them information,” she said. “I really push a lot of information onto them because we’re living in quickly changing times, technology is changing.” She noted that she hopes to “occupy their time in a positive way. A lot of them are alone and why be alone? Why not just come out and be with your friends all day for a couple of days during the week in the summer, have something you look forward to.”

Camp participant Eileen Conway said her time at the camp has been “exciting.”

“The group is very friendly,” said Conway, who noted she enjoys meeting and talking to new people.

Activities scheduled during the week range from aerobics and cooking classes to crafting and field trips. Cooper said that they visit destinations such as the Shady Maple Smorgasbord in East Earl to historic locations in Center City Philadelphia (including City Hall and Reading Terminal Market).

Cooper said she “likes to invoke memories” with the activities and noted that the participants “like a lot of history, and I like to inspire them to learn something new every day.”

Unfortunately, the camp can currently only accept 14 participants for any given week due to the size of the center’s bus. Cooper said she hopes to “get a larger vehicle so we can take more people” in the future.

The next Senior Day Camp will be held from Monday, July 29, to Friday, Aug. 2, and costs $25 per participant for the week.

For more information on the Senior Day Camp, contact The Salvation Army’s Roxborough Corps Community Center at (215) 483-4120.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.