Arrange “Intellectual Camp Experience” for your customers
- “Experience-learning” is more appealing than traditional classroom learning

Many older adults today are looking for an opportunity to enjoy learning something new. Simple recreation is not enough.

In today’s service society, people seem to have more desk work than ever before. We have fewer and fewer opportunities to learn something interactively or experientially. As a result, education today is largely passive and learning tends to be a one-way process.

If you can combine intellectual experiences with leisure services like traveling, you can offer exciting learning experiences that are differentiated from the usual leisure service providers. For example, “Elderhostel” provides learning adventures to older Americans.

Elderhostel's program consists of not only the lectures in the classrooms, but also real experiences outside.

Their programs are based on themes that stimulate the intellectual interests of older adults. And for each group, Elderhostel provides a leader who will create a friendly atmosphere, along with an opportunity to meet with people of similar interests. This is how they maintain the high rate of repeaters.

Another good example is “Senior Summer School.” Those who would like to experience today’s campus life can stay at on a college or university campus for a couple of weeks. They can enjoy not only attending lectures but also exploring the area and making friends with other participants with similar interests. This program attracts many older adults who are tired of the typical sightseeing tours.

In Japan, Club Tourism and Holidays for Adults are two major learning and travel services

In Japan, there are now travel services like “club tourism” by Club Tourism Company or Otona-no-Kyujitsu “(Holidays for Adults) ” by East Japan Railway Company that includes opportunities for the participants to learn something through real outdoor experiences during their trips.

The participants are usually involved with the planning of the trip. The travel agency arranges their itinerary and sells the trips. The customers can experience what they wanted. This system works well for both parties.

Any type of “intellectual camp experience” for older adults must have the following elements.

1) An opportunity to meet other people with similar interests.

2) An opportunity to learn through real experiences along with lectures.

3) A specialized topic with professional or academic content.

4) A leader who is an expert on the topic and who will create a friendly atmosphere.

5) A system that allows customers to plan their own programs

6) Activities that are not a physical burden for older adults.

7) A reasonable price so that older adults can participate repeatedly.

Another key to the success for this kind of program is that all the participants have the similar levels of interests in the topic. It is important to give detailed information beforehand and explain about the program as much as possible to enable the participants to choose the right program for themselves.

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