Barry Selkirk had tears in his eyes as he looked around the room full of kids mingling with the residents at Simon Fraser Lodge.
"It makes my day," said Selkirk, when asked what it meant to him to see so many young smiling faces coming by to spend some time with seniors like himself, part of Highglen Montessori elementary school's intergenerational studies program.
Selkirk's sentiments were echoed throughout the room. For two hours, about 40 kids aged five to nine shared their young wisdom and carefree attitudes with the residents and staff as they made paper crowns and shared cookies and juice.
Ron Smith, a 12-year resident of the lodge, is a man of few words but had no trouble keeping the kids at his table laughing. Highglen has been sending kids to the lodge regularly for the past 20 years and he always looks forward to those days.
"It's nice to see the kids," said Smith.
"Ronny likes to sing with us," said seven-year-old Vegas McCarville.
Irene Lakusta knows some of the residents don't get visitors very often and they mark the school visits on their calendars with anticipation.
"Some days are very lonesome," said Lakusta.
"I love kids, we don't see many kids around here. I was here last year when they came by and got a picture and I still have it on my wall at home."
Ella Dougherty formed an instant bond with seven-year-old Trinity Hansen, who had the honour of placing her newly-crafted crown on Dougherty's head.
"The kids are so comical, you get such a good laugh out of them," said Dougherty, who showed a steady hand with a green felt pen staying within the lines as she coloured the paper leaves.
"We don't see them often and it's nice to have them around. I like kids and I don't have grandchildren of my own yet. They come and visit and tell stories, we have lots of fun with them."
Trinity certainly appreciated the attention Dougherty gave her.
"Ella is my new best friend, my only best friend," said Trinity. "Me and my class were here two days ago and I didn't meet Ella the first time. She's the bestest senior ever, and I like having fun with her."
Highglen teachers Janice Butchart and Jody Maher accompanied the kids on their morning field trip, along with a handful of adult volunteers. Butchart's own children visited the lodge when they attended Highglen and made lasting friendships with the seniors.
"Some of the kids don't have grandparents here in Prince George so it's a chance to connect with seniors and it also gives them an appreciation of the contribution the seniors make in our community," said Butchart. "The seniors see these young people and it brightens everybody's day.
"This program has been going on at Highglen for 20 years and these students will come with their primary class for three years and perhaps beyond that when they are intermediate students, so they have the potential to be coming for seven or eight years. I think it's one of the best things we do."