Heading out, followed by engagement within- Shakopee

To the movies

Once a small group of Shakopee site movie goers saw the “$5 Tuesdays” were back, they headed out to see “Sonic 2” and “The Lost City,” said Day Support Services Manager Ali Brown. “Going to the movies has always been an important outing that has brought joy to so many.” While staff were unable to take all 80 participants at once, the hope is to get in at least one movie for those who want to get back out there. Planning has begun by asking those who might enjoy taking in a movie. “Can you say ready, set, action?”

‘Bunny Bait’ goes sweet and salty

Ever wondered what the Easter Bunny munches on? Some ProAct participants in Shakopee learned how to make ‘Bunny Bait,’ not only for the Easter Bunny but for themselves. “Our go-to cooking instructors, Sue and Kallie, hit each area to lead this extra class,” said Brown. The bait consists of popcorn, pretzels, almond bark, M & M’s, marshmallows, and sprinkles. “I think we hear Peter Cottontail hopping down that bunny trail trying to steal our bait 😊”

Favorite Polka group returns

Finally, since moving and with COVID loosening up, Concertina Players returned to ProAct in Shakopee, playing the best polkas around. “Participants were extremely excited to see them walk through the door and set up their sets,” said Manager Ali Brown. When asked what he liked most about seeing and hearing the Concertina Players, Pat Hron said, “I just love it, Ali, just love it,” as he danced and sang along.

The players visit the first Wednesday of each month. Setting up at 9:15 a.m. to perform at 9:30, the time flew by and no one wanted them to stop. “But all the dancing made us hungry so they stopped playing at 10:45 a.m.”

Caring for Earth conversations

On the days leading up to Earth Day, there were many discussions about how to take care of everyone’s environment, or as the participants call it, Mother Earth. Some of those included talking about recycling and littering, bees and butterflies- how important they are, and how the trees help people to breathe. “You could also see projects like a bee craft hanging our new World Map, said Brown. “A few dressed in their blue and green to celebrate, just like Sabine and Sam. We all agreed, this is a team effort to keep our Earth healthy!”

Bee crafting educational

Shakopee had a fun time learning about bees during Earth Day week, Brown said. “You could see a swarm of bees buzzing around each area as most made their own. This craft worked on skills such as following instructions, being patient to wait one’s turn with supplies and picking a spot for the nest. The best part though was, “making them, said Brown. “It was fun to color, paste and hang my bee” said Katie.

Decade of ‘Volunteer Bob’ Fridays back in person, highly engaging, active

Bob Greeley has been a “Friday Volunteer” fixture for over 10 years in Shakopee and the participants love when he visits, Brown explains. He rarely misses a Friday and even volunteered virtually during COVID. When Bob arrives, he makes sure to visit all participants then settles down to read stories and tell jokes. “You could even hear him call bingo numbers at times,” said Brown.

“When his time comes to an end, you can all of a sudden hear counting . . . Bob does pushups to promote health and, over the years some participants have tried to keep up with him!” People wanted to do something special for Bob and knowing he is a big Minnesota Gophers fan, decided that a ball cap was appropriate. When Bob arrived on Friday, April 22, a large group gathered to greet and thank him for being a special part of ProAct. “Thank you, Bob for brightening our Fridays, we truly enjoy your visits!”

Indoor gardening with a ‘fairy’ twist

Shakopee participants were itching to get outside, but this nice Minnesota spring weather is making it difficult, said Brown. “Since we aren’t able to get outside to visit gardens, we decided to create our own, a Fairy Garden.”

Participants learned that fairy gardening is a craft that sprouted from “miniature gardening.” The practice can be traced back to the 1950s, when it was created by a woman named Anne Ashberry. She wanted to develop a gardening method that was accessible to the elderly, people with disabilities, and those without a yard. When out on “loop walks,” people visit the garden and discuss the details, what they’d like to see added and asking if they can make another, Brown explained.

80s fashions rock the dance floor

Individuals danced and danced late in April. An “80’s Dance Party” rocked. “We had many dress the part with big hair, leg warmers, headbands, band t-shirts and heavy makeup,” said Brown. “Music is always a big part of our day; it can set the tone.” Participants enjoy all sorts of genres, and it can either be calming or pep up their moods. “As long  as we have the voice and listening ears, we will keep singing and dancing.”