Everyone dreams of a couple of days on the beach. The sunshine, sand, waves, and laid back atmosphere create an environment of relaxation and peace. Elders from five Florida Hometown homes spent two days on the beautiful beaches of Cape San Blas, Florida and they burst that environment of relaxation and peace wide open with the first Amazing Race Retreat.
Elders from The Bridge at Bay St Joe, Signature HealthCARE of North Florida, Signature HealthCARE of Courtyard, Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center came together at William Rish Park on Cape San Blas and played a two day game of Amazing Race. They created team flags with points awarded for time completed and bonus points for creativity, they built sandcastles for points, they had to hunt down puzzle pieces and put their puzzle together for timed points, and their last event was creating a platform only out of provided materials to transport their team mascot to the water’s edge and back. During the two day event, each team had their created flag and mascot to protect. If either the flag or their mascot were left unattended, another team could kidnap them for ransom points. The team whose flag or mascot was kidnapped had to draw a ransom note and pay the required points to the kidnapping team.
Everyone had so much fun completing the challenges and keeping an eye out for an unattended flag or mascot. Mr. Willie from Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Mr. John from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center took this job seriously and scouted the lodge on a regular basis to snatch the first flag or mascot they could. They said they wanted the most ransom points for their team and everyone was on their toes with these eagle eyed guys around.
To make the event even more wonderful, some amazing volunteers came and provided meals for everyone. Lunch the first day was a tasty cookout hosted by Gentiva Home Care and Emerald Coast Hospice. Tommy Portas grilled some great burgers and hot dogs while battling some heavy winds. However, the winds didn’t stop him from grilling and they didn’t stop everyone from eating the meal. Marsha Dickey RN, SDC from The Bridge at Bay St Joe made homemade “cathead” biscuits and grilled some delicious pancakes for everyone for breakfast. Then for their lunch on the second day Gina Ferland RN, the Administrator of NHC HomeCare, brought ham and turkey sub sandwiches with homemade cheesy broccoli soup. Gina also created some wonderful snack bags for everyone to take with them on their trip home. The thoughtfulness and friendliness of these kind individuals made this event even more enjoyable.
The award ceremony took place on the second day just before lunch. The winning team was from Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. They amassed a total of 32 points that included a five point ransom penalty Mr. Willie was able to extract from the team from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. The other awards that were presented that day were Most Spirited, which went to the team from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Most Competitive, which went to Signature HealthCARE of Courtyard, Most Resourceful, which went to The Bridge at Bay St Joe, and Best Teamwork, which was awarded to Signature HealthCARE of North Florida.
As the last day drew to a close and the buses were being loaded, elders from different homes were shaking hands, hugging necks, and asking when they could come back. It was Mr. John’s, from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, first time to the beach. He said he loved it! Their smiles were big and their faces were aglow with excitement from all of the fun they had. Everyone waved goodbye as they pulled out of the parking lot, but I know many of them were thinking of different strategies for the next Amazing Race.
– Angela Conley, Regional Quality of Life Coordinator