A small group of senior citizens who frequent Shelbyville Recreation Center gave Shelbyville Parks & Recreation staff a load of ideas for potential activities at a planning session Friday.
“We’ll see which of these we can integrate into our programming,” Senior Coordinator Cindy Allen said. She noted some of the suggested activities would be suitable for all ages. “We want to know what kind of activities you can do if possible.”
She said money for some of the proposals may have to be requested from Shelbyville City Council, but reminded the group not to fear to “think big.”
The group was asked if they feel anything is needed at the Rec Center or within city parks.
One suggestion was “a porch swing” for those bringing children to the new playground. One participant mentioned “adult swings” strong enough to support people larger than children, and a suggestion was made for playground times reserved for use by senior adults.
A dog walk will be constructed soon in the park, Allen said. A participant suggested pet shows, and Allen said parks staff has mentioned “Yappie Hour” pet events, including vendors and dog-related activities. Dog training classes were mentioned, but Allen said liability issues would be a factor.
Shuffleboard courts were requested. The existing courts are in poor shape, Allen said, and two portable courts are too wide to fit into existing rooms.
A hot tub or jacuzzi and steam room/sauna were recommended within Shelbyville Recreation Center.
“Nerf Wars” events are being considered by park staff, Allen said, with concern expressed about appropriateness for older adults. One senior at the meeting said she owns a nerf gun.
Some outdoor activities cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns will be brought back eventually, Allen said. Those include kayak trips, in which 6 people ride in each kayak.
One participant suggested horseback riding. She also said there are no places to rent a horse, with organized horseback riding activities oriented toward horse owners.
Day trips were brought up, with casino trips a possibility. A bus would need to be rented if possible, Allen said. Those taking part in previous trips to nearby areas said they sometimes drove themselves to locations. Other events suggested include Senior Day at the Nashville Zoo, trips to see Christmas lights, a planetarium, a dairy, the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, Civil War re-enactments and movie matinee days. One participant said the Capri Theater in Shelbyville has afternoon matinees on days when children are out of school.
A nature photo hunt was also suggested by Allen, as was a field day.
One suggestion is a “Prom Do-Over, “or a “senior prom”, with music, a DJ, decorations and food. Similar “single and mingle” events geared toward an older crowd were suggested.
Several talked of wanting to hold a fair for various activity groups, craft groups, an event for members of different churches or service groups to congregate. Most of those attending the meeting Friday moved to Shelbyville from other areas and said it’s hard for those not originally from Shelbyville to get to know natives.
•A book club.
•A discussion group.
•A murder mystery, in which participants assume roles and determine “whodunit.” That suggestion led to a proposal for a mystery potluck dinner, where prepared dishes are brought and participants determine what ingredients were used, or an event where cooks and bakers are given a basketful of items to make a dish of their choice. Cook-offs and bake-offs have been mentioned by park staff, Allen said.
•Wine tastings, which Allen said won’t happen due to the possibility of participants accidentally overimbibing.
•Ballroom dancing classes. An instructor would be needed, Allen said.
•A return of “Name That Tune” games, which have been held in the past.
•A “show and tell.” Past items included a Shirley Temple doll and wedding dresses
Several types of imstructional classes were brought up. They included:
•Crocheting and/or embroidery lessons. Similar lessons have been offered previously.
•Silver Sneakers yoga and Tai-Chi were offered as possibilities. Allen said the Bedford County Extension Office has held Tai-Chi classes.
•Cellphone and computer classes.
•Information on wills and trusts. Allen said Shelbyville-Bedford County Senior Citizens Center offers similar instruction.
•Crafts such as making “sock critters,” water coloring, jewelry making, a “what can you make with this?” challenge and origami.
•Cooking for one or two. Another attendee suggested recipes for diabetics.
•Personal safety classes, which have been taught by Shelbyville police officers, along with a police dog demonstration and senior driving courses. Some insurance companies offer discounts to those who have completed such courses.
Some concerns were expressed about seniors not coming to the Rec Center due to medical issues – in particular, those with Parkinson’s disease hoping to avoid what they considered embarrassing.