Elderhostel Notebook #42, March 15, 1999

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information about Elderhosteling and other learning experiences
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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews

      Calvin Center, Hampton GA
      Barry University, DelRay Beach, FL
      Eckerd College/St. Petersburg, FL
      Cuba Elderhostel
      Myrtle Beach, SC- Leroy Springs Foundation
      Deerhaven Camp and Conference Center/RV, Deland, FL
      Belize Service Elderhostel
      Oklahoma University- All Roads Lead to Rome
      Fort Clark Springs, Texas
      San Francisco Arts and Humanities


    Editor's Notebook

The EN web site is undergoing extensive revision and downsizing
as I prepare to drop one of my service providers.

Its new location will be  http://members.aol.com/EHnotebook

The "Virtual Elderhostel" and "Photo Album" will be dropped but I
hope to include some photos later in a new downsized and
simplified  photo section.

There wasn't enough room for all reports this issue- but will get
the ones left over in the next issue, and  will include some
editorial material regarding various aspects of recent changes in

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

Calvin Center, Hampton GA (South of Atlanta)

Facility: Budgetel category. Two single beds, private bath.
Little space to hang clothes. Three small drawers in desk. Walk
to the Cafeteria.

Classes: Excellent. Jimmy Carter, MLK and POW's of all wars.
Culminating in an all day field trip to Americus, Plains,
Andersonville and the new POW Museum. (One teacher did chronology
of events and the next did the practical personal information)

Staff: Undergoing changes and disorganized currently, but
pleasant and helpful. Clean towels once weekly. Needs better

Food: Very good, but no choices. All made freshly on site.


Barry University/Duncan Conference Center, DelRay Beach, FL

Facility: Impressive. Rooms are plain but clean. Three small
drawers in desk and little closet space (about 3 ft.)

Classes: Excellent. All presenters on "Fabulous Florida" were
impressive and enjoyed. Experts in their respective fields. Both
field trips were very well moderated by the coordinator enroute
and on site.

Duncan Center Staff: Courteous and friendly. Towels changed daily
and baskets emptied too.


Eckerd College/St. Petersburg, FL

Facility: New one will be ready in April so any current problems
will be remedied.

Classes: Disappointing. One teacher was replaced at the last
minute and so was the course. Did not receive notification until
we returned home! Opera class was good. Teacher knew her subject
matter and could sing also. Humor in Literature sometimes got out
of hand with hostelers taking over the class. Both field trips
were worthwhile.

Elderhostel Staff: Coordinator not overly helpful or friendly on
a group basis, but on a one to one was very nice, but you don't
always have the opportunity. Coordinators change weekly which is
disadvantageous. Should have a full time staff member of the
college for continuity and better coordination of classes,
students, faculty etc.

Food: Cafeteria style with many choices. Very good. Fruit was
available at all meals and could be taken out.

This was our second time at Eckerd and the first experience was
much better with outstanding faculty.


Cuba elderhostel

We have just been back for a week from the second elderhostel
ever held in Cuba.

The accomodation was ok but not great and the same for the food.
Some of our visits were great and some a bit boring, especially
when officials all had to greet and be translated. One great one
was to the Martin Luther King Centre, where we visitd with a
group of elders who were doing psycho-drama. It gets people out
of depressions and also increases their mobility. One eighty year
old, who said she could hardly move when she arrived, showed us
that she could lie on the floor with her feet over her head.. We
had numerous performances of dance and music, all of which were
enjoyable. On our first Saturday night, some went to a baseball
and some to an opera, which the opera buffs said was quite up to
standard. The second Saturday night, most went to ballet, which
was also good. The rural section included a citrus co-op, a dairy
farm, a rural high school, and a biological reserve. In all it
was worth the trip to examine another culture.


Myrtle Beach, SC- Leroy Springs Foundation

In January of this year I went to Myrtle Beach, SC.  The
Elderhostel host was the Leroy Springs Foundation.  (Remember
those Springmaid sheet ads back in the 40's and 50's?)  The
accommodations were terrific.  They have a large area with
several five to six story buildings right on the beach.  I was on
the third floor of one with a balcony overlooking the beach.
There was also an indoor pool and exercise room.  We ate in a
cafeteria which was part of the complex.  The food was only all
right, but everyone still had a healthy appetite.

The classes were in jazz, Shakespeare and politics, and ocean
ecology.  The jazz and ecology classes were terrific.  The
ecology classes included field trips to a state park located
right next to us on the beach and a dunes area. The instructors
were very  informative and personable.  I differed in
educational and political philosophy with the Shakespeare
instructor, but everyone else liked him.

When I arrived, the airlines had lost my suitcase.  Debbie
MacDonald who ran the program was right there with some of her
own athletic clothes for me to wear in case in it didn't show up.
 Fortunately I didn't have to take advantage of her offer, but
how nice!

The weather was just right for walking on the beach with a
jacket.  I have decided that I could spend the rest of my life
looking for shells on an ocean beach.  I would recommend this


Elderhostel # 09201-0124-01 January 24 to January 30 1999
Deerhaven Camp and Conference Center/RV, Deland, FL

Subject Matter:

Exploring a Florida Spring and Stream by Canoe Global
Environmental Challenges-Explore The Big Issues

Deerhaven Camp and Conference Center is in the Ocala National
Forest north of Orlando. We drove there from Illinois in our
motorhome and lived in our RV during the program. Deerhaven has a
nice shaded campground with full hookups and large grassy
campsites The restroom and shower facilities are clean and well
maintained. Laundry facilities are available on site. They also
have cabins and a motel on site where most of the participants
stayed. We did not see the inside of the cabins or motel rooms so
can't comment about them, but heard no complaints either. Classes
and meals are taken in the large comfortable conference hall.

Each day began with a nice 45 minute walk though a different type
of forest habitat each morning for those interested (almost
everyone was). Meals were satisfactory, served cafeteria style.
There is a small lake on site where we were coached and then
practiced canoe maneuvering skills. We made two trips to
Alexander springs for canoeing on the Alexander Springs River.
Our final graduation trip took us down the gentle river with a
break for lunch.

The presentations on Global Environmental issues were well done
and carried our interest. We came to know quite a different part
of Florida that most tourists don't see. We later heard it
described as "the real Florida". The Elderhostel had a relaxed
pace. During free time on Friday afternoon we had time for a
trip, in our car, back to Alexander Springs to snorkel in the 72
degree water sans Alligators.

My wife and I can recommend this Elderhostel site and other
participants we talked to had glowing reports of the other
(photography, birding, etc.) learning experiences offered. (See
catalog for a complete class schedule and details)

Ralph and Jo Lindblom, RalphL9@aol.com

Belize Service Elderhostel

Have just returned from our first Service Elderhostel and must
say after last year's church mission trip to Kentucky rehabing an
old house (with Teens!), this was a piece of cake! We
participated in the Oceanic Society Expedition's Belize
dolphin/manatee research project on Spanish Caye, Belize last
month and I dare-say it was one of the best of any of the
previous 30 or so Ehs (although none other were service) that I
have been on.

Don't let the terse program/site description put you off, both
are just fine. We really expected to have thatched huts with
compost toilets from the description of the cabanas but fine
cabins built over a sea of turtle grass accommodated all 18 of us
in airy, modern rooms with modern bathrooms. So what if the
generator was turned off at 10am and didn't come on again till we
returned for lunch or dinner and evening lectures and went off
again at 10pm till 6am. The cool breeze through our waterfront
cabins insured comfortable nights and the warned against bugs
never did bother us at all spurning our "Skin So Soft' oiled

The food was adequate, local fish, fruits, veggies and lots of
rice and beans. The "resort's that is a bit of a misnomer, 'tis
more of a "diver's camp") staff are friendly and helpful and the
surrounding environment incredibly relaxing. The best part
however is the research activities, the researchers and local
boatmen. We all participated in collecting environmental data
utilizing simple intstruments and contributing observations
regarding dolphin/manatee presence. This is NOT a "swim with
Disney show" but rather hours of watching and waiting that are
rewarded with an unobtrusive monitoring of the animal life.

Of course there were also incredible snorkeling opportunities and
some of the most varied and healthy coral that I have ever seen
in 20 years on the reef at Goff's and Sergeant's Cayes. Ditto for
the fish, including large eagle rays, barracudas and large
schools of queen angels (not to mention the one cowfish, or was
it hogfish?). There were two groups of us doing different
research projects that week Helpful hint....the ones studying
coral reefs were led by a young strident voiced graduate student
who was fixated on stomadapods (you don't want to know). Suffice
it to say that they dig a lotof digging and hauling and screening
of coral rubble and came to be known as "Habitat For Stomadipods"
whereas we were dubbed the "Lucky Duckys".

This was worth the extra money that the service programs usually
charge and would recommend it to active people that are able to
get up and down small boat ladders. The only drawback, done to
save even more $ by the Oceanic Society methinks is the lack of a
coordinator or volunteer host, this chore unfortualtely fell to
the oldest and probably most tired of the researchers just
because Karen was solicitous of all our well-being. Do consider
this program, especially if researchers Karen or Heidi are there.


Oklahoma University- All Roads Lead to Rome

As we thought about a trip to revisit Italy, we came across a
program in the Elderhostel catalogue on "All Roads Lead to Rome."
This certainly looked like it might be excellent preparation for
such an overseas trip...and it certainly was! The content at the
EH Feb. 28-Mar. 5 which was at Oklahoma University couldn't have
been better. Excellent lectures covered various phases of Roman
and Italian history, architecture, literature, art, opera. One is
reminded of how influential is the legacy of ancient Rome in so
many ways. Examples are still seen in remaining ruins but also in
architectural forms, law, language. Moreover, Dr. R. C. Davis has
a theory that American writers and artists at the turn of the
century, for example, Henry James, Hawthorne, and Twain, found in
Rome a certain mystique about the power of this past civilization
in contrast with a disturbing material progress then underway in
America. And this might give us pause about our own perspective
about modern life perhaps lacking stability in a time of frantic
technological advances. Having such top notch university
professors to draw on made this our 10th EH a very stimulating
experience. Last lecture was on St. Francis and St. Clare to wrap
things up.

Throughout the week the food in the special dining room was a
good and varied menu of Italian fare. Continental breakfasts in
the motel did get a little monotonous. Our accomodations were in
the Sooner Hotel which is in a large continuing education
complex, adequate but not fancy. There were 23 in attendance for
this EH. At the final night banquet we were treated to some
wonderful operatic arias by OU students. At the present time
there is a transition in the leadership of Elderhostel at OU
which left a few loose ends here and there, mostly covered by a
local volunteer couple with us during the time. Several in our
group had been to previous programs on Sweden and France related
themes. There are some expanding plans in the works at OU as well
as repeats of other programs.

So now we are well prepared to depart March 22 for stays in the
Sorrento and Florence areas, traveling, traveling with Grand
Circle Tours. Ciao!

Bill   Lee Longman


Fort Clark Springs, Texas Jan. 10 - Jan. 15, 1999

Fort Clark Springs is an historic military fort originally built
in the 1850s. It was an active calvary post from 1852 until 1946
(with horses until 1942). A number of well known army officers
served there. J.E.B. Stuart, Hood, Longstreet, and McClellan were
young officers there prior to the Civil War and Col. George
Patton and General Wainwright were some who served there later.
Also at Fort Clark at one time were the Buffalo Soldiers,
infantry and calvary, and the Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts. The
fort is now a gated community, owned by a home-owners
association. The former officers' homes are now private
residences, and other buildings used for various purposes. There
is a golf course, an RV area, and several subdivisions inside the
original fort area.

We stayed in an original stone barracks which is now a modern
motel. The rooms were quite adequate with private baths. Meals
were served in the former Officer's Club, which is now a
restaurant. The meals were quite good - buffet breakfast, usually
a sandwich and salad for lunch, and full fixed menu dinner at

We learned about the history of Fort Clark and other Texas and
western forts (there were a lot of forts in Texas in the 1800s)
from retired army Lt. Col. Bill Haenn, who now lives in one of
the restored officer's homes in Fort Clark Springs. He has a
passion for military history, a deep love for the fort, and
really did an excellent job in presenting the history. Much of
his material about life at Fort Clark he had gotten from previous
elderhostelers who were descendants of some of the officers who
had served at Fort Clark in the 1800s. A journal that an officer
kept of everyday life at the fort was passed on to Col. Haenn by
two elderhostelers, the officer's granddaughters.

We spent an enjoyable day at Alamo Village, the site that John
Wayne built to film the movie, "The Alamo". The location and
buildings are still being used for movies. The instructor for the
day, Richard Curilla, was a most interesting fellow who does a
lot of different things at the Alamo Village and has played bit
parts in a number of the movies filmed there. We ended the day
with a barbecue dinner in the village.

We also spent a day in Uvalde, Texas, home of John Nance Garner,
vice president under Franklin Roosevelt. We visited the Garner
museum, and The First State Bank of Uvalde. The bank, whose
principal owner is former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe, is really
a museum of western art which also houses two original Rembrandt

On Thursday after a visit to a local Cowboy and Indian Museum, we
went to Del Rio, a town on the Mexican border. There we visited a
museum and a local winery, the oldest winery in Texas. We ended
the day with dinner at a restaurant in Ciudad Acuna, Mexico.

This was a good elderhostel and I would recommend it,
particularly anyone who has been in the army or has an interest
in military history. Brandi Floyd, the coordinator, and her
assistant, Marie Hepline, are both very young and new to
elderhostels but did a fine job. Things went very smoothly.

San Francisco Arts and Humanities

We have recently returned from an EH at the San Francisco Arts
and Humanities new Bijou Hotel site.  One of our courses was on
the history of jazz, taught by Dee Spencer who was a delight and
I think we all learned a lot about how jazz has developed and
progressed since its beginning.  We had a theater course and saw
two plays.  One a production of the American Repetory Theater
(very good) and another an experimental production (very bad.)
The third course, Americans in Paris, studying the Lost
Generation in Paris following WW1...Hemingway, Fitzgerald,
Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach, Harry Crosby.  Fascnatin stuff,
especially so taught by Charles Fracchia. The hotel was
interestingly remodeled with a movie theater theme, with red
velvet draperies , art deco furnishings in the lobby along with a
small theater which showed movies (some new, some old) that had
been filmed in San Francisco over the years.  Each room was named
after a movie.  The food was catered and very nice.  We love the
SF Arts and Humanities programs and I think this was our 8th
Program there.


From: Evelynhk

Hi all.

Just returned last night from San Antonio elderhostel. I had such
a fine time. The trip was fine. The weather was delightful
(that's always important to me.) We were well entertained with
studies of Texas history, especially related to the Alamo, texano
culture, Riverwalk, 2 art museums, cattle auction, and much more.
We stayed on the outskirts of the city, on trolley line, (25
cents) also in pleasant walking distance, I walked many times.
The motel was okay, food was cafeteria style mostly, I was well
fed, quite happy with it. lecturers/guides were outstanding. We
were a group of 40 from all over, except Texas. I'd recommend to



There are two EH in Savannah.  One in town, the other outside a
few miles.  I went to the one outside Savannah.  We were put up
in a local motel, which was very satisfactory.  Meals were in the
University cafeteria and had much to be desired.  What kind of
chicken sandwich do you want?  The classes were great, as were
the field trips. It is suggested you read "Midnight at the garden
of good and evil", as it is a true story and happened within our
generation.  Walking tour of Savannah, and trip to various forts.
 If you have a car, no problem.  Otherwise it's a good long walk
from motel to the university.  You'll probably be able to hitch a
ride with some other EH folks.  If you're not fussy about your
meals or where they are served, the rest is very enjoyable.


From: "Dick Vandegrift" rhvan@nothinbut.net

Hello Jim,
We would like to hear what people have said about the programs
offered by Hagerstown Community College/Shepherd's Spring. Aug
22-27 The Civil War Experience of a Border Community The French
and Indian War The C   O Canal Mystique

Helen   Dick Vandegrift

Would like help in   getting some  thoughts from anyone who have
experienced the   Elderhostel- Alaska: Wilderness,  Glaciers and
Native Culture program. There is a 10 and 15 day  cruise outlined
on the  Elderhostel Website...  leaving from Juneau. This cruise
is being sponsored by the Univrsity of Alaska, Fairbanks. This
does not appear to be the inland cruise, that I have  heard much
about. Any comments (or suggestions) from former 'students' -
with your experience,: any negative or positive comments will be
appreciated.   I have been on many Elderhostels,  and
fortunately, experienced  the 'Far better than I expected'    and
very few  of,  'wish I  hadn't' . I don't mind 'roughing' it,
so, YOUR comments, please!

Many thanks,
Shirl B


Some friends of ours are interested in trying Elderhosteling and
have picked AGE, Inc./Mount Pocono, Pa. as a potential site.
Specifically, the program is 38005-0718-01.

Do you have any information on this site?

Thank you.

Ed Miller


From: Tom McPherson tommcp@swbell.net

Am interested in information regarding the Lane Community College
Elderhostel in Florence, Oregon.

Respond to tommcp@swbell.net

I would like to hear from anyone who has taken the Catalina
Elderhostel trip. We are going there in June. Thanks.

Mary Hull    MHull32@aol.com


I would like to read someone's thoughts about the program
sponsored by Trinity College:  Rome, The Eternal City.  My
husband and I will be going there in April, 1999. How much time
was spent on field trips, where they went, how much free time
they had and was there enough free time to see things that were
not covered in the course.  How were the accommodations. Things
like that.  thank you.  Carol Harting



We are looking for Elderhostels in the Vancouver area for
July-August. We are considering the following combinations

Ecoventures/Royal City/South Vancouver Island Circle #61394
(Voyage of Discovery) and Royal City Wisdom Center,
#61451(Emppress Hotell-Birds,etc.-Spirit etc. or
Ecoventures/Ladysmith, #61398 (Ocean Kayaking.