NHS celebrates Valentine’s Day at Parkshore Senior Campus

Senior+Spencer+Shaver+dances+with+a+Parkshore+resident.

Photo Courtesy of senior Abby Dryer

Senior Spencer Shaver dances with a Parkshore resident.

Ruby Ford, School News Editor

On Monday February 11, the National Honor Society held a night full of socializing, great food, and dancing to music by the Dick Kronick Quartet. This Valentine’s dance is not only a time to have fun with senior citizens, but it will allow the citizens and NHS to meet new friends at the Parkshore Senior Campus.

“I try to avoid the actually holiday because you have kids going on dates and I want it to be a time that they don’t have to change their own plans,” Mr. Rob Epler said.

Mr. Rob Epler, NHS advisor, brought the idea of a senior citizen dance from his old job to BSM, where the National Honor Society has been participating in events like the Valentine’s dance for about 10 years. “We first started doing what we would call a senior citizens prom in may, but it got harder to get volunteers for that, so it was proposed we did something when people were more flexible, and someone had the idea that someone held it earlier for Valentine’s Day,” Mr. Rob Epler said.

Putting on this night of dancing and socializing takes a lot of work, but with the help of the staff at Parkshore, the night goes smoothly. “[They] do a lot of the setting up for us, they hire musicians, so they will usually have a live band, and our kids socialize and have fun with the senior residents and dance with them,” Mr. Rob Epler said.

John Chagnon, who works at Parkshore, sees first-hand the smiles and excitement the residents have during and after these dances. “For the people who live at Parkshore Senior Community the dances are a social time, a time for memories, a time for exercise, and a time for fun,” Chagnon said.

For both students and the residents, this event is a time for growth and socializing. “Meeting new people, meeting people from different generations, is still an important part of their lives,” Chagnon said.

This event provides a chance to grow comfortable with an experience they may not have appreciated before. “My experience has been fabulous. It’s funny to watch how the BSM kids react with the elderly at the beginning of the night––sitting together in a clump––compared to the end of the night, where normally each student is glued to a conversation with another resident of the home. I love it,” senior Abby Dryer said.

Along with the Valentine’s Day dance, the National Honor Society at BSM also holds a Christmas dance at Parkshore. Where instead of seeing pink hearts, they build gingerbread houses and sing Christmas carols with the residents. “We been lucky to get members of the orchestra, and we get a sing along and do punch and cookies,” Mr. Rob Epler said.

Parkshore residents and staff hopes to continue having students come and make it part of their tradition every year. “We plan on continuing as long as we can, and the BSM students make such a positive impact on keeping the tradition alive. We’re very grateful,” Chagnon said.

Valentine’s Day is not the only time that students visit the residents. “We also do a Christmas event with them, a week or two before Christmas we will build houses and do Christmas carols, and we have been lucky to get members of the orchestra and we get a sing along and do punch and cookies,” Mr. Rob Epler said.