VIRGINIA – Residents and employees of Waterview Pines in Virginia organized an internal, non-fatal deer hunt on November 4.
I saw a video of a deer hunting activity last fall on Facebook from a nursing home in Blanchester, Ohio called Continental Manor. The video was so much fun to watch! I showed it to my therapeutic recreation team and said we would be doing SO MUCH next year. So we brushed off the idea – “swipe” which means to fly with integrity, pride and enthusiasm.
I asked our administrator if she could order deer costumes, we gathered some Nerf guns and we were ready! The activity staff set up our Christmas trees and created a small forest for the “deer” to wander around and hide. The laughs and laughter were endless from the residents, the “stag” and everyone watching. I asked Joyce Lahti what she thought of this activity. “It was fun!” she said. “Everyone really enjoyed themselves. The girls (animation staff) did a great job playing deer and although my shooting went up in the trees it was a good time.
“I really enjoyed everything about it,” said Ruth Thompson. “It was a lot of laughs. I even killed two deer. The deer were almost too cute to be slaughtered, but I got them. Even the Bambi! It’s a wonderful place full of fun things to do, but it was something unique and different. ”
Even the residents who chose not to “hunt” really enjoyed watching this. And our Culinary Department’s adorable cupcakes with deer “antlers” and deer “droppings” were a wonderful sweet treat afterwards!
We love to inject humor and fun into our activities, and this one really lives up to it! It was the perfect way to celebrate the opening weekend of the deer hunt. It will certainly be an annual activity for our residents!
Kathy Crep is the Director of Therapeutic Recreation at Waterview Pines, Virginia.