Elderhostel Notebook #33 Sept 16, 1998

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    From the Editors Notebook

    Elderhostel News and  Reviews


    Editor's Notebook

Still plugging away on a back-log of reports. I have started a
new web site for information about general travel related
learning opportunities for seniors.

It is at http://members.aol.com/gngtolearn

   Elderhostel News and Reviews

	Suomi College - August 9-14, 1998
	  Howard Ayer (heayer@worldnet.att.net)

The College is in Hancock Michigan, on the Keeweenaw Peninsula of
the Upper Peninsula. The College, founded in 1896 by Finnish
immigrants, now offers a 3 year (nine semester) baccalaureate
degree in addition to two year programs. It is a small, pleasant
campus on the hill overlooking the Keeweenaw waterway. The
waterway connecting the two sides of the peninsula is a relic of
the copper boom days. The area was the site of the first mineral
boom in the 1850's (they don't count the 49 gold rush) when rich
copper deposits were found. The mining boom lasted into the
1920's, but in the 1930's with the copper mines closed
unemployment soared to 70-80%.

The three programs were The Internet, Raku Pottery, and Beach
Ecology of the Keeweenaw. In addition there was an evening
lecture on Finnish history, with music on the traditional 36
string Kantele. The instructors were competent, interesting and
helpful. Everyone left with ceramics they had made on site and at
least a basic knowledge of how to find things on the Internet.
Some of the participants had never used a computer, so there was
a certain amount of very basic material that the instructor had
to provide in the Internet class. The ceramics instructor
assumed, in general correctly, that none of us had ever made
anything and gave simple demonstrations of techniques that
allowed us all to have fun and make things. The unusual effects
produced by the Raku technique resulted in some very decorative

The quarters were in a dormitory, with adjacent rooms sharing a
bath between. The rooms were pleasant, and quiet. Meals were in
the college cafeteria  as it was in between semesters the
elderhostel had the cafeteria to itself. The meals were ample,
and included some Finnish delicacies that most of us had never
experienced. Those with adequate self control could avoid gaining
weight; few such were observed. The swimming pool in the Paavo
Nurmi Center was available before breakfast and was used by a
number of the participants. 	The Monday evening program was
about 45 miles away at a lodge in Copper Harbor, one of the ferry
terminals for Isle Royale. It was a magnificent log structure
constructed by the WPA as the lodge for a nine hole golf course.
There was an outstanding lake trout dinner  one of the high
points of the trip. Another evening program was a cruise on the
waterway to Lake Superior and back on the Park Service boat that
takes passengers and supplies to Isle Royale  a ranger lecture
on shore erosion was a bonus.

As in most elderhostels, the participants were as interesting and
as much fun as the program. Most were from the Midwest, but there
were also hostelers from Washington DC, Arizona and California.
Only a few had Finnish heritage, one of the factors that caused
Elsie to choose the program.

All in all, an enjoyable and educational elderhostel.

Elsie and Howard Ayer


London of Dickens/Museums and Galleries

This the best international EH I have attended. It was held in
late July, and the weather was perfect. Sunny, cool enough for a
jacket, and not much rain. Housing was in Rosebery Hall in
Islington, a student residence for the London School of
Economics. Bus stop is nearby which is convenient for exploring
during free time. No extra charge for single rooms. Sink in room,
one shower and toilet for every four rooms. There were a few
ensuite accommoations for couples. Food was excellent, best I
ever had at an EH. Amenities include laundry room, lounge, and
bar. All staff at this EH were very helpful. Many of the lectures
were held in the field given by Kevin Fluge. They were all
excellent. Dickens was the subject of the first week; museums and
galleries the second. I have only one mild complaint about this
EH. It was almost too much of a good thing. The days were so full
that even the physically fit among us were pretty well exhausted
by the end of the two weeks. One can always skip something to
rest, I suppose, but all the offerings were so great, we didn't
want to miss anything. I rate this a 9+.

E-mail PNestor@aol.com for more info.


Rockpile Museum, Gillette, WY (Intergenerational) Living The
Legends Of "Little House on the Prairie" August 16-22, 1998 Frank
  Bene'Jablonski	fjablon@snet.net

This program had 6 boys, 11 girls, 16 grandmothers, and 6
grandfathers participating. We came from all sections of the US.
The primary text was the "Little House" series of books by Laura
Ingalls Wilder. (It is recommended that you read one or two books
in this series before attending the program.) The program is
offered twice a year, in June and August. Lodging: At National 9
motel in Gillette, double rooms, private bath, ac, cable tv,
refrig, mw, pool. No maid service but opportunity to change
towels daily. Comfortable low cost motel with clean rooms, close
to stores and downtown area. Meals: Family or "institutional"
foods, served buffet, picnic, or cafeteria style, at motel or
various areas on field trips. No choices, but varied and
wholesome meals, catering to likes of children and most adults.

Daily field trips (via school bus) to a buffalo farm, coal mines,
cattle and sheep ranches, "adventurarium", planetarium, parks,
and Devils Tower National Monument. A well planned and very busy
schedule, often carrying on into the evening hours. Primary
lectures concerning pioneer life in the old north- midwest
("Little House On The Prairie") by Colleen Ferries, supplemented
by local ranchers, coal miners, a naturalist, and artisans
(quilting, cooking, beading, wool spinning). Travel: Getting to
Gillette is not easy. Airports in Gillette, Casper, Sheridan, and
Rapid City (SD), are small and flights are infrequent or
difficult to schedule, especially on week ends. Air connections
are generally made via Denver and low cost fares are

Summary: Any adult attending an this kind of an elderhostel has
to recognize that the program's primary purpose is to promote
interaction with one's grandchild while providing interesting and
educational experiences for all. As such, the educational level
is largely aimed toward the younger participants, and at times,
has the adults wishing that they were somewhere else.

The visit to the Rockpile Museum made for some interesting
experiences. Lectures by an animal naturalist, and a "cowboy"
were good. And the day-long trip to Devils Tower was worthwhile,
despite the long ride in an un-a/c school bus. The arts and
crafts sessions, playground, and swimming pool activities were a
little hard on the grandfathers (and some of the grandmothers)
but great for the children. Our 8-yr old, Corey, had a great time
and we loved having had the opportunity to experience this
adventure with him.


bc-stone@juno.com (Robert D. Stone)

Facilities: The summer sessions are at the University of Toronto
in a dorm. The accommodations are typical college dorm with
shared bath down the hall. Hotels are used when school is in

Food: College Cafeteria, Good

Course: Excellent. There were three plays and a variety of
presentations. They gave an insight into the theater business
with a combination of actors, owners, writers and teachers.
Highly recommend the program. A great way to see the city and
visit Canada.

"Side trip - Nigara Falls" You may want to stop there and need an
excellent family restaurant. Try the "Falls Manor Inn" on Lundy
just south of the QEW highway. Great food at reasonable prices.


HALIBURTON FOREST   WILD LIFE RESERVE, 66370 bc-stone@juno.com
(Robert D. Stone)

Facilities: Rustic remodeled lumber camp buildings with three
rooms for six people with one bath, family room   kitchen This is
a problem but workable.

Food: Listed as a cook shack but good. A new restaurant is
planned for '99 for the site. Good food.

Program: Exceptional if you want to see the northland with good
programs. Talks on bears, visits to a Wolf Center with a wolf
pack in a 15 acre enclosure. Excellent facility. There was a
presentation on bats that was very interesting. This included
attaching a light to a bat so you watch it fly and catch insects
at night. We were also able to see the Northern Lights . 	A
trip to the forest included visiting the lumber operation and
sawmill. They explain the current management of the timberland.
This includes a maple syrup area.

The highlight of the week was the Thursday program which started
with canoe lessons, trip across two lakes and a beach picnic with
swimming for the hardy individuals. They have constructed "A Walk
In The Clouds" which is a suspended walkway 70 feet up in the
trees. You have a rock climbing outfit with ropes clipped to
cables for security. Everyone who participated felt that it was a
special event and worth the time and effort to make the trip.

The staff work hard to make sure everyone has a good time and
learns about this area of Canada. Highly Recommended program,
understand the accommodations are not like a Holiday Inn but are
clean and reasonable comfortable.

"Sidetrip" You may want to stay over in the lake area near
Georgian Bay. Try the Beacon Shore Bed   Breakfast. Jacquie   Bob
have a new home on the lake with two bedrooms for guests. They do
a fantastic breakfast in beautiful surroundings.

Their e-mail is E-mail rbdesign@csolve.net


Royal City Wisdom Center, Victoria, British Columbia.
jliimatta@virginia.k12.mn.us (Joan Liimatta)

We stayed at the St. Michael's University School and ate at their
cafeteria. The school is a private Prep School which has about
250 boarding students during the school year and another 550 day
students. While we were there they were hosting Asian students in
English Language classes. There were not a large number of them
so it did not present any problems. They stayed in a different
building than we were lodged in. The lodging was
adequate....single beds, but they were quite comfortable, private
baths. No amenities like phone, TV or Kleenex in the rooms.
Towels were thin and soap bars very small but they worked. The
food was excellent....many choices for breakfast, always a couple
choices for other meals and always soup and a salad bar.

Our topics were:

T'ai Chi: We learned about the basis for the exercises and
learned the basic principles and a few moves. We spent about an
hour each day doing T'ai Chi and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The
instructor was Charles Blackwell who was also the coordinator for
the week. He was very good, and worked slowly with us. Also
emphasised that if you can't stand you can do this sitting.

Mind, Health and Spirit: A series of different speakers who
integrated the idea of mind and health and spirit. Some ideas
from other cultures and lots of interesting food for thought. We
had a gal in who talked about Fung Shui and everyone just loved
her presentation. Also, a couple of local artists who had
interesting stories and attitudes which influenced their
painting. Also a retired professor from a Universtiy in Victoria
who talked about his experiences, among which was a meeting with
the Dali Llama.

Gardens of Victoria: We visited the Government House Gardens and
the Pacific Rim Gardens as part of the course. Also, arrangements
were made for those of us who wished to visit Buchardt Gardens on
our afternoon off. These gardens were worth the trip themselves.
Along with the gardens of Government House, we got a tour of the
house and tea there. We also spent some time touring around
Victoria and getting glimpses of all the beautiful gardens and

This was a very good elderhostel for people who are open to some
different ideas and just looking for relaxation. Our group of 40
plus elderhostelers were very interesting people and as always
provided us with many delightful conversations. This was the
first Canadian elderhostel I have attended and I thought it was
very good.

Joan Liimatta

Subject: biking in France

From: Evelynhk@aol.com

I did the Loire Valley bike trip this summer. What a great travel
group. We visited 8 castles in our travels, studied the
royalty,etc, had a great time. The trip helped to make my biking
better than ever. This is my 3rd biking trip in Europe, and it's
my favorite way to travel so far. I hope to get a little snipet
in the notebook.



from : rgibby@juno.com

Attended a great Elderhostel in Marquette, Michigan which is on
the northern coast of Michigan right on Lake Superior! Beautiful
country and small towns, friendly folk. This was like our first
Elderhostels in that we stayed 6 nights and had a graduation
ceremony replete with music, a catered dinner and entertainment.
No need for air conditioning there which was a very good thing
indeed as we stayed in the dorms which had none! But we did have
a private bath (we insist on those as do most of us). The
programs were mining, history, legends of the area which included
a young lady who had written her Masters' thesis on John Voelker,
attorney, Michigan Supreme Court Justice, author of "Anatomy of a
Murder" and defense attorney in that trial. The film starring
Jimmy Stewart was filmed on location in Marquette and we visited
the courthouse where it took place. Some new words were added to
our vocabulary: Neganee, pasties (not pastries), sisu, cudighi,
Ishpeming, Toivo and Eno. Anyone from the U.P. would probably
know them.

Ella Gibbons


From: "Camille Rothenberg" (crothen1@san.rr.com)
Subject: Ft. Davis/Copper Canyon

Last May my husband   I went to the Elderhostel in Ft. Davis, TX
with it's emphasis on Copper Canyon in MX. This was a fantastic
EH trip, and we have been on several. It was a full house. The
accommodations were terrific in a lovely historic hotel in Ft.
Davis and while in MX in very top notch hotels. Both the
coordinators on this trip were excellent. We saw a lot of the
history of the Ft. Davis area and then went on a nice air
conditions bus to Chichuaua City in Mx, spent the night, and then
early the next morning took the train to Copper Canyon.
Everything went smoothly and we learned so very much about the
Tarahumara Indians and their culture. All the food was fantastic
both in Mexico and TX. We highly recommend this trip!


From: MWLewis989@aol.com
Subject: Hawaii

We are attending the EH at University of Hawaii, Hilo and Waikiki
on Nov. 8-21. Has anyone attended EH there, and any suggestions?


From: Gerleon@aol.com

Am interested in knowing how the Elderhostel at Madison,
Wisconsin is? I'm not sure that this is a true Elderhostel, but
we are thinking of going there next summer. Any comments would be


editor's note: The program at Madison is part of a series around
  the country called Senior Summer School. For information about
  this and other elderhostel-like programs check my other travel
  web site at http://members.aol.com/gngtolearn


From: BIGTANNER@aol.com

Elderhostel has really made big change and improvement in our

We started Elderhosteling in 1993. We had attended six different
Elderhostels, including one overseas to India and Nepal, when we
happened to meet Marty Knowlton (one of the Elderhostel founders)
at an Elderhostel in Costa Mesa, Ca. sponsored by his Center for
the Study of the Future. We live in Simi Valley, Ca., close to
Ventura, Ca, where the office of CSF is located. Marty and Joann
Kimble (cofounder with Marty of CSF). invited us to be on-site
coordinators for them.

CSF has operated from Santa Barbara to San Diego and we have
worked almost all of the sites. We just finished coordinating our
72nd Elderhostel since 1994. We enjoy the classes. We may be
partial, but we believe CSF has the best instructors you can
find. The lodgings are all good, including the food, but the
highlight has been the Elderhostelers.

The personnel in the CSF office are exceptional. Marty has sort
of retired, but is still around a lot. Joann has moved to San
Diego (supposedly to retire) but is working as much down there,
working with Elderhostels for San Marcos University. David
Bianco,(Marty's cofounder of Elderhostel) is now in charge and
along with Marcia Rhoades run the operation with a terrific
office staff.

Our friends ask us "How long are you going to keep doing this ?"
We tell them, "as long as it's fun", so we don't plan on stopping
as it keeps getting better. We are 71 and 68 and our next goal is
100 Elderhostels and then we'll set another goal.

Janet   Jim Tanner
Simi Valley, Ca

From: helen@k12.oit.umass.edu (Helen Sternheim (UMass)
Subject: Some Elderhostel Reviews

Elderhostel Reviews

My husband and I have attended nine Elderhostels in the past two
years. Most were well run and had interesting programs.

One of our favorites so far was one sponsored by the CAPE COD
MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY. The program had a combination of
lectures and field trips about Cape Cod. Each day had an outing
as well as a lecture an was very well run. Each evening there was
an additional optional program at the Inn. Housing was at "The
Old Sea Pine Inn" a lovelybed and breakfast. For lunch each day
there was a box lunch. Breakfasts were buffet style and suppers
were served with a seafood and another choice for each meal. We
attended this program in the sprig of 1997.

Another well run and interesting program was sponsored by the
HULBERT OUTDOOR CENTER/LYME New Hampshire. The program we
attended was conducted at Dowd's Inn, a nice Bed and Breakfast.
The program had walking for fitness with a very good teacher and
a 20-30 minute walk each morning after breakfast. This was often
followed by an outing to a museum or nature center. The program
was varied and very educational. There was an optional evening
field trip to the Dartmouth Art Museum and Library. There were
also several evening programs at the inn. We attended this
program in the summer of 1997

We also attended an Elderhostel at the College of New England in
Bitteford ME during the summer in 1997. We stayed in comfortable
dormitories and ate in the college cafeteria. The program
included Bird Watching, Coastal Ecology and The Right Brain. We
especially enjoyed the bird watching and coastal ecology portions
of the program. There were several optional evening programs. We
enjoyed attending an organ Concert in downtown Portland and a
separate trip to the Portland Art Museum.

This summer we attended "The Way Life Should Be: A Maine Sampler"
at Bates College. Housing was in a college dormitory and was
adequate. Food was in the college cafeteria and was excellent; it
had many low fat and vegetarian choices. The program had many
lectures and two field trips. Most of the lectures were
excellent, and the trips to the South Portland Sea Museum and
Lighthouse and to the Maine Art's Festival in Brunswick were very
good. We also had a very interesting morning learning about
cemeteries and visiting two Lewiston Cemeteries. There was no
formal evening programs, but elderhostlers were able to attend
the dance programs that were scheduled at Bates.

I would recommend attending any of the above programs; they were
all quite enjoyable. We also have always enjoyed meeting the
other program participants.

Helen Sternheim
Amherst, MA 01002