Sybene Seniors Enjoy #8216;Camping#8217;

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 30, 2006

SYBENE — It has been a long time since Crown City resident Judy Lucas has been camping. A stroke and a series of surgeries have left her unable to enjoy the outdoor activities that she once loved.

This week, the staff of the Lawrence County Senior Citizen Center at Sybene brought camping indoors for seniors like Lucas. Tents were set up, a makeshift campfire twinkled and canoes and trail bikes were on display.

“It really brings back a lot of memories,” said 64-year-old Lucas, as she wiped away tears. “We used to take the kids. We really roughed it back then.”

Email newsletter signup

Lucas, her husband and their two sons and two daughters went to many campgrounds throughout the region. They fished, hiked and sang songs around the campfire.

“We really had some good times then. Now that the kids are raised and with my disability, we just don’t camp. My husband likes to trout fish and we take the van and do that sometimes,” she said.

Along with the displays, there have been activities such as singing and banjo playing and, on Thursday, local storyteller Ed Meyers made a special appearance for story time around the “campfire.”

Meyers, a trustee for the Lawrence County Historical Society, said he enjoys coming to small venues like the senior center. His favorite stories to tell are those set in rural areas in the 1800s. He travels throughout the region telling stories.

“This has really lifted my spirits,” Lucas said of Meyers and his story telling.

Alease Belcher said she also enjoyed Meyers’ performance. She too had fond memories of sharing the outdoors with her family. She and her husband had seven kids, so camping was quite an adventure, she said.

“We brought all the cots with us and it was great. We always liked to go camping. It was nice being together as a family,” said Belcher, of South Point.

Darlene Greene, Sybene site manager, said the camping theme was a new thing that she had wanted to do at the center for some time. She said that bringing camping indoors is ideal because most seniors cannot experience nature like they once did because of poor health or lack of transportation.

“We wanted to do this for the Fourth of July,” she said. “A lot of families have cookouts and do things like that for the Fourth, but most of the seniors here do not have that.”