The “Great Summer Brain Build” 3 Easy Steps for Keeping Your Community Engaged and Challenged This Summer

two women outside together leaning on a fence



Summer is near, along with its eternal promise of fun days in the sun and some well-deserved down time. Isn’t it funny that, no matter how old we get, we shift into “summer mode” when the weather warms? You’d almost think we were getting out of school!

Chances are your community calendar slows down for the summer as well. Perhaps you have learned to schedule less as residents or members take advantage of the warmer weather to travel, or you are adjusting to accommodate staff vacations. Or maybe you have just gotten used to lightening the load as June approaches.

You know what doesn’t slow down for the summer? Our brains! We continue to need stimulation, challenge, and connection to keep our thinking sharp, stay social, and help our minds thrive – no matter the date on the calendar. And while no one wants summer assignments (always dreaded in my household!), simply downgrading the chances everyone has to engage can lead to brain drain.

Here’s an idea – host a “Great Summer Brain Build” instead!

This year, why not flip the script and challenge everyone to spend the summer having fun while building better cognitive fitness? A “Great Summer Brain Build” is the perfect way to keep everyone brain healthy while still taking a bit of a scheduling break. You can give folks the tools they need to stay sharp and vital, no matter where they go over the summer months. And you can support their ability to achieve their own personal brain training goals while building affiliation and happiness with all you have to offer – the very essence of person-centric wellness (and key to retention).

Ready to get started? Here are 3 simple steps to offering a “Great Summer Brain Build” in your community.

1.Think outside the boxes on your calendar. Find new, creative ways everyone can use that can be done independently, are portable and require less time. No need to overload the summer schedule! Try express “pop up” workouts that build specific thinking skills, like attention or speedy thinking. Or offer single session virtual classes to master memory for a specific concern, such as names. Ask folks to pick a brain-related wellness pursuit and commit to doing it for their “build” goals. You can even add a community-wide challenge with daily workouts folks do on their own for “points” they earn over the summer.

2. Keep everyone connected. Drive motivation and affiliation by keeping everyone connected to each other and your “home base,” no matter where the summer takes them. Instead of content-driven classes, host drop-in sessions that allow anyone participating in your “Great Summer Brain Build” the chance to check in for support and comradery when they are around. Keep everyone connected through social media with a dedicated group folks can join to share their brain-boosting adventures, ideas, articles and more. Encourage folks to find a “partner in crime” for the brain build – not only are they more likely to meet their training goals in the company of another, they are also more likely to be happier while doing it!

3. Schedule a time to celebrate success. One thing you should definitely put on the calendar? A time to bring everyone together to celebrate the success of your “Great Summer Brain Build.” Let everyone know well in advance when the program will end so they can plan to complete their target goals accordingly. A celebration gives closure to your program and allows folks to applaud their and each other’s achievements. And it’s perfect not only as a wrap-up event, but also a great time to kick off your fall brain training offerings!