Older adults ‘drum, hum, strum’ during week of summer camp

The drum circle prepares to play during the Summer Camp Showcase.

Older adults ‘drum, hum, strum’ during week of summer camp
September 07
10:24 2023

Kids have nothing on the adults who attended summer camp at Brown & Douglas Active Adults Recreation Center the week of July 31 – Aug. 4. Billed as “Drum, Hum, Strum Music Camp for Adults,” the week was filled with activities including learning drumming, the dulcimer, hand bells, karaoke and an art class designing record album covers. It all concluded on Friday, Aug. 4, with a Suite Showcase where the campers performed for an appreciative audience.

Serena Mumford, center supervisor, said in an email that when planning for the center, she wanted to have a summer camp for older adults. She had tried a summer camp in 2021, but the attendance was low due to the continuing effect of the pandemic.

In a conversation with Annie Lassiter and Aja Gregory, part-time staff with the center, she shared her idea of a three-week summer camp with each week having a different theme. They were immediately on board with the idea and helped to develop the camp schedule.

Week 1 was themed “Make It, Take It,” where participants learned to make body care products with aromatherapy essential oils; a fresh fruit summer dessert; strawberry jam where Virginia Lopez of the Agricultural Extension Agency taught the science of canning and how to make fruit spreads; painted rocks donated by Vulcan Materials with Dana Whicker instructing; and Shrinky Dink jewelry with participants from the public library’s outreach librarians.

It was hard to top Week 1, but they did! With a theme of Drum, Hum, Strum: A Music Camp, each day featured a different activity. Aja Gregory, who is a full-time music teacher, took the lead for this week. She taught participants how to play the tubano and djembe drums, the dulcimer, and hand bells. One day’s activity involved listening to the music of North Carolina musicians such as John Coltrane, Roberta Flack, Thelonius Monk, Nina Simone, Maceo Parker and others and letting their music inspire participants to create beautiful album covers. Soulful Sing-along was a day of karaoke.

The crowning event was definitely Friday’s Suite Showcase which allowed the participants to show off the musical skills they acquired during camp. You can view a video of the performance on The Chronicle’s website.

The last week of camp, Aug. 7-11 was “Moving and Grooving: A Dance Camp.” Classes included an introduction to ballroom dancing by Luba Nemcow, instructor from The Shepherd’s Center; line dancing led by Robyn of the Jazzy Ladies Line Dance Group; Jamming with Jalena led by Jalena Roseboro; Shimmy with Jimmy, a dance fitness class, which is a regular class at the center; line dancing with Pam, another regular class; Zumba and dance with Natarshia Wolf, who is a dancer with H.Y.P.E. line daners and a Silver Sneakers instructor; and the wrap-up, a Line Dance Party!

Lynn Breeden, a frequent summer camper who performed at the Suite Showcase, said, “I think it was refreshing and enlightening. It brought out our gifts, gifts we didn’t know we had. Adult summer camp brought back our youth. It stimulated our minds!”

Another participant who has attended numerous sessions of Summer Camp, Catheryne Scott and also performed at the Suite Showcase, said, “It made me feel young. I’m groooving! “ (She emphasized grooving!) 

At the end of the Suite Showcase on Aug. 4, Mumford thanked all the instructors and participants for putting on such an inspiring and fun show and to all the people who came to watch the performers. “We have a wonderful world because of you people who are in it,” she said. 

Want to learn more about the activities at Brown & Douglas Active Adult Center? Visit and click on Recreation Center Programs, Brown  & Douglas, or email Serena at

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