News & Press: Member Highlights

Teen Plays Piano for Seniors to Earn Boy Scout Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge

Wednesday, June 6, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Julianna Ems
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HOUSTON, June 5, 2018 – Each Saturday during lunch you’ll find Clayton Smith, 15, stroking the keys of the black baby grand piano at Parkway Place (a faith-based senior living community in Houston) while residents clap and sing along to the classical tunes or Broadway hits. The Westside High School student is spending his lunchtimes at the senior living community to earn his Citizenship in the Community merit badge. He has been a Boy Scout for five years and hopes to achieve Eagle Scout status. Earning the Citizenship in the Community merit badge brings him one step closer to that accomplishment. Smith has been playing the piano for nearly a decade and came up with the idea to perform for seniors at Parkway Place after visiting the community with his school band. The media is invited to watch Smith perform for the last time on Saturday, June 9 from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“I love music, and I enjoy sharing my talents with the residents of Parkway Place,” said Smith. “When I was deciding how to earn my merit badge, I knew I wanted to involve music. I was familiar with Parkway Place because I live near the community, and I performed there with my school band. The residents’ reactions have been wonderful. I was surprised to learn some of the residents were musicians themselves, so they have a deeper appreciation for the music. The residents get involved while I play, and I’ve noticed they really love the Broadway hits and the church hymns. They sing along while they enjoy their lunch, and that’s fun to see. I am thankful that Parkway Place gave me this opportunity to perform for its residents.”

The music is entertaining for residents, but it also is therapeutic. Here are just five of the many benefits music has for seniors:

• Motivates movement
• Rekindles positive memories
• Calms nervousness
• Encourages happy thoughts
• Promotes social interaction

“Having Clayton perform over the last month was inspiring,” said Susan Phelps, executive director at Parkway Place. “He is very talented, and the residents enjoyed listening to the different types of music he can play. He even learned new songs specifically for the residents. I know he positively impacted the lives of residents in our community. We are happy to help him earn his merit badge, and we wish him success as he works towards Eagle Scout status.”

Buckner Villas, a Buckner Retirement Services senior living community, is a faith-based nonprofit community located on a 25-acre campus in North Austin. The community offers a variety of living options, including spacious apartment floor plans and villas with a flexible and affordable fee structure.

As a continuing care community, Buckner Villas accommodates all needs by making sure each individual’s level of required care is met by offering independent and assisted living services, memory care and skilled nursing care. The senior living community is conveniently located near shopping centers, golf courses and medical centers.

Residents can enjoy access to a library, wellness center, heated spa, gardens, delicious dining, indoor swimming pool, walking trails, an arts and crafts center, a cozy bistro/café, and a BE Well Program to enhance the eight dimensions of wellness. The community also has an on-site life enrichment coordinator, wellness director, full-time chaplain, on-site worship services, beauty/barber salon and bi-weekly housekeeping service. For more information about Buckner Villas, please visit the community website at or call Paul Clark at 512.836.1515.

Buckner Retirement Services, Inc. is one of the largest not-for-profit senior living organizations in Texas dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for senior adults and their families by promoting an active, healthy Christian lifestyle while maintaining their independence and dignity. Buckner Retirement Services is part of Buckner International, a global faith-based ministry serving more than 350,000 people each year in the United States and 8 countries worldwide.


Chelsi Smith/Amy Jones, The Point Group.                                         
Phone: 214-378-7970 ext. 238/302                                                                      
Mobile: 956-358-3300 / 469-261-7544 /