Just ask the 99 children from age 3 to age 14 their favorite part of Grandparents’ Week and you’ll get a multitude of answers, along with contagious grins!

Beginning with the Welcome Carnival on Sunday, July 25, held at the Berger Plaza for the first time, 155 adults and children roamed the campus – playing carnival games, selecting prizes, getting their faces painted, choosing specially-made balloon animals, and enjoying delicious ice cream sundaes. Thanks to Cathy Valerga for coordinating this introduction to the Grandparents Week.

Monday through Friday were jam-packed with a variety of classes with even 16 new offerings this year, including horseshoes, lawn bowling, barn dancing, golfing, Pétanque, hip hop dancing, dominoes, painting with acrylics (where even the grandparents made paintings), taking a nature hike around the East Rec Pond, making chocolate pasta dessert, learning to use chopsticks, and creating a beautiful and interesting design out of a shoebox! For the wee ones, there was play dough, creating with kinetic sand, music & parachutes, and taking a ride on the Oakmont bus!
Of course, the traditional classes were as popular as ever – Wii bowling, tennis, pickleball, bocce ball, shuffleboard, robotics, family bingo, and the always-popular coin tosses at the Central Pool, in which 63 children participated. This year was extra special because the pool was used only by the Grandparents Club during Friday afternoon, so the older kids got to dive for coins in the deep end of the pool for the first time. Even the 3-year-olds collected pennies, dimes, and quarters on the pool steps. Thank you to Oakmont residents for being flexible and giving up some time in the pool area.

The only snafu was when the West Rec flooded, thereby canceling the table tennis classes. Oh, well … there’s always next year.

Another family event was the Family Picnic Party on Tuesday evening in the Berger Plaza. Formerly a pizza party, Covid safety changed it to a picnic this year, where each family brought their own food and drink. There were lots of directed outdoor games (tug-a-war, limbo, sack races), followed by group dancing inside the Berger. An added delight this year was the addition of two bounce houses, one for the younger kids and one (with a slide!) for the older ones. Thanks for Margi Nielsen for coordinating this absolutely fun party, enjoyed by about 170 adults and children.

Grandparents Week would absolutely not happen without the help of the numerous Oakmont clubs who gave of their time to provide instruction to the children, scores of faithful volunteers to make everything run smoothly, an efficient maintenance staff who worked so hard during the entire week, roving photographers Julie Kiil and Kathy Sowers, and a wonderful office staff who helped organize this week over the past few months. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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