PLATTSBURGH - The Senior Citizens Council of Clinton County is trying something new.
On Jan. 6, program coordinator Patti Rauch introduced seniors to "Pokeno," a game similar to bingo.
"I play at home all the time with my kids," Rauch said. "Sometimes I bring different games in from home and try to get them interested so they'll play. We play bingo on Wednesdays and Fridays and there are just like four people. So, I tried to pick a different game to see if I can get them interested."
The first day of Pokeno brought in around 15 seniors. Rauch plans to continue Pokeno for a few months, every Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
The game, she explained, is fairly simple to learn.
"There are four cups. There's a center, four corners, Pokeno and four of a kind," Rauch said. "So, when you start the game, everybody has a card, it's like a bingo card, but it's used with a full deck of cards, not just numbers."
"And, you put a chip in each bucket and whoever gets the center first gets that cup," she continued. "Whoever gets the four corners gets that cup. But, every time somebody gets Pokeno, which is like a bingo, then it starts over."
The person with all the chips at the end wins.
Rauch hopes others will want to come and play, as the activity is good for seniors, for many reasons.
"They need to just get out and socialize and just come down," she said. "Plus, you're using your brain. The activity just stimulates the brain."
Rauch also hopes once seniors get interested in one activity, they'll come to the center for other activities as well.
"You don't have to be a member to come here," she explained. "There are certain activities that require membership, but games and stuff are not." She also suggests first-time seniors bring a friend to make the transition easier.
"Sometimes they're more apt to learn or they're not so shy," she said. "But, if you bring a friend a friend, then you'll realize you'll make other friends and you can start coming for lunch and different games."
For more information about Pokeno or the senior center, call 563-6180 or visit www.seniorsinclintoncounty.com.