Nursing home residents reel in youth at summer camp

10:53 AM, Sep 10, 2012   |    comments
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ANNANDALE, Minn -- Labor Day weekend is a time when many head up to the lake to soak in the last few days of summer.

And some folks in Burnsville prove it's never too late for an up-north getaway.

The residents of Ebenezer Ridges Care Center have found their way back to summer camp, spending two days at Camp Friendship in Annandale, Minnesota.

On Clearwater Lake, their pontoon holds seven seniors ranging in age from 72 to 95, as well as three wheelchairs, but the group says only number that matters.

"We were going to catch a real big one today," said Florence Jacka, 90 years old.

Their summer adventure started when the staff noticed many at the home reminisced about their days up north.

"We used to vacation on this lake, we rented a cottage," said Maxine Dix, who once even reeled in a title for her angling abilities."Well, I've been called the crappie queen."

A trip to Camp Friendship and Clearwater Lake wouldn't have been possible on her own.

She never imagined at age 95, a care team could take her back to a place where everyone can hold on to life's most simple yet joyful moments.

With nursing assistant Paul Bedard as their guide, old fish stories made way for new fish stories.

"I think it's a fantastic day. I think we got our limit of fish and now we are headed off to the fish fry," said Bedard.

But remember, no one is really counting, because this summer, the residents of Ebenezer Ridges have caught something else along the way.

"Their spirits, just the kind of the youth, that we all love to have," said Bedard.

The residents stayed up at Camp Friendship for two days touring the wheelchair accessible grounds, and they topped off their adventure a fish fry and s'mores by a campfire.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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