Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seniors, Teens Bridge Age Gap with Games; Rummikub, Wii and Scrabble Were Taught, Played

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Seniors, Teens Bridge Age Gap with Games; Rummikub, Wii and Scrabble Were Taught, Played

Article excerpt

Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY

Each day, scores of Beaches senior citizens flock to The Players Community Senior Center on Landrum Lane to exercise, take classes, play games and socialize with each other.

Tuesday, a group of kids from the Winston Family YMCA summer camp joined them.

If was the first in a series of planned summer get-togethers that is "mutually beneficial" for both generations, said senior center site coordinator Vicki Van Horn.

"This is a good opportunity for some good inter-generational exchange," said Bob O'Linn, camp director of the YMCA across the street. "There's a lot that teens and seniors can learn from each other, especially in our changing world."

For an hour, youths ages 11 to 15 and seniors, age 60-something and up, competed in Scrabble, Rummikub and Wii Bowling, using remote controls to roll animated bowling balls toward pins on a television screen.

Adrian Steger, 12, showed Vera Combs and Emma Wright how to use the controls and clapped every time they knocked down a bunch of pins.

"This is fun," Wright said. "The kids are really sweet and they're excited to help us."

The goal was for the teens to teach the seniors new skills and games, but both groups seem to be teaching each other, volunteer Sandy Dybel said as she watched them bowl.

The seniors play Wii Bowling frequently and even have a bowling league with shirts and trophies, she said.

Megan Sloat, 11, enthusiastically took to Rummikub, a game invented in the 1930s that combines rummy, dominoes, mah-jongg and chess. She grinned as she accumulated points and showed the woman next to her how to play.

Anthony Ragsdale, 13, had played Scrabble before. But he sharpened his skills as he watched Beverly Denneen, one of his senior competitors, win.

Combs found Wii Bowling "confusing" at first, then bowled a spare.

"Your turn," she told Eric Matta, 15. …

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