Written by: Mary Chartier
This article first appeared on August 5, 2013 in the Villages Daily Sun
SPRUCE CREEK GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB
Whether you are a parent, grandchild or grandparent, there is something for everyone at the annual Grandkids Summer Events program.
This year, there were 19 events planned to entertain and educate our visiting grandchildren.
And, like years gone by, each event was packed with eager, smiling children taking part in the many activities planned by membership services director Kim Osburn and many of our clubs.
Events this year included aerobics, bowling, water slides, water volleyball, cupcake decorating, a wonderful Chinese dragon tea, pickleball, a very funny movie, a bean bag toss, a butterfly release, shuffleboard games, silly science experiments, making pizza, creating arts projects, face painting, a bug hunt, and learning casting skills for fishing.
This was a bittersweet time for me as family and other obligations prevented me from attending many of the events. The good news, however, was having my youngest grandchild, 9-year-old Derek Farmer, come down for his first solo visit and being able to attend several of events with him.
The first event we attended was a fun animated comedy movie called ‘Hotel Transylvania’. This movie might have been for children, but every adult in the room was laughing out loud, too.
Before the movie started, everyone was invited to a wonderful lunch of mini corn dogs, mini pretzel dogs, popcorn chicken, popcorn, candy bars and drinks.
Many of the children have made lasting friendships and are excited when they see friends from years past and spend time making plans to visit at the pool and share time together while they are visiting.
I spotted friends Josie Golden, Emma Lilley, Ally Johnson and Taylor Graves and asked how it felt to be back together again.
With big smiles they all said, “It’s great”.
The next event was a bean bag toss and lunch held at the horseshoe courts.
It was so much fun watching as the children used various throwing techniques, some overhand, and some underhand, in hopes of dropping their bag into the hole.
I spotted a smiling grandmother as I walked around the watching the children tossing their bean bags and stopped to chat a bit.
“Is this the first time for your grandchild?” I asked.
“This is his first time and first event,” Cheryl Chrisco said of her 9-year-old grandson, Grant Chrisco.
“They are having so much fun, it’s great,” Cheryl said as she cheered Grant on.
As Derek and I headed home, I asked how he and his partner, Evan Harris, had done.
“We had 164 gazillion to one,” he replied smiling.
Thursday was great as everyone enjoyed a wonderful magic show sponsored by the Pickleball Club and Club 36.
Pickleball president Sheldon Guss introduced Wally the Magician, and for the next hour there was non-stop laughter, applause and amazement at Wally’s skills of prestidigitation.
Wally called on parents, grandparents and children alike to participate in many of his magic tricks.
I was so impressed with the show that I decided to say a few words to Wally before he left.
“Have you done this for a long time?” I asked Wally.
Wally made me laugh when he responded “Only when I want to eat”.
On a more serious note he said, “I’ve been doing it professionally for 25-30 years”.
I mentioned how much I loved that he incorporated both adults and children into his acts.
“(When) It’s a family show I do,” Wally said.
“Just to watch their faces makes it all worthwhile,” Wally concluded.
I wanted to get some feedback from the audience and talked with Madison Chandler and her grandfather, James Johnson.
“It was awesome. I liked the flower trick,” Madison said.
Madison’s granddad, James was one of the lucky adults to be chosen to perform a magical trick.
“I thought it was great. It was a great time for me and my granddaughter to spend some time and watch some great entertainment too. I enjoyed being called up to be a participant,” James said.
The ever-popular cupcake and cookie decorating event sponsored by the Kitchen Club was the last event of the week and as always was a sweet event for everyone.
As I walked around the room, I watched as more icing and candy went into the mouths of the children than ever made it to the cupcakes, cookies and ice cream they were trying to decorate.
Many adults eagerly helped out, hoping to be rewarded for their efforts with perhaps a gummy worm, marshmallows, M&Ms or other sweet treat.
Everyone had a great time.