Elderhostel Notebook #68 June 17, 2000

Welcome to Elderhostel Notebook, the e-zine where hostelers
compare notes on elderhostel programs.

EN is an independent project, appreciative of but not associated
with Elderhostel Inc.          http://www.elderhostel.org

EN has a WWW site at           http://members.aol.com/EHnotebook

To subscribe to the e-mail edition  and/or to submit reviews of
programs taken send an e-mail to the editor, Jim
Olson, at                      EHnotebook@aol.com

Please keep all correspondence in simple e-mail text format.

    From the Editor's Notebook
Several of the programs in this issue are in sites that appear to
be no longer listed in the catalog as Elderhostel program sites.

There is a natural and general turnover of program sponsors and
sites and with many new sponsors and program types being offered
it is impossible for the Notebook to keep up with the changes and
present any kind of accurate, comprehensive overview.

Our archives go back to 1996 so many of the programs reviews  are
probably not accurate in terms of changes that may have taken
place since the review was made.  In some cases, programs, or
sponsorships have been dropped, programs updated, directors
and/or instructors changed etc.

One of the ways to get value from reading reports of defunct
programs is to note the location and sponsorship, keeping in mind
that it is always possible from time to time to do a self guided
program utilizing some of the resources mentioned in the report.

In many cases the sponsors of programs also do other educational
activities you may be able to partake in as well. Ghost Ranch, in
New Mexico, for example, while it offers many Elderhostel
programs also sponsors other programs as well.

I hope the Notebook might also serve as a genesis of
correspondence with others who share similar program tastes.
Unfortunately, the e-mail addresses of those who send in reports
on various programs is also subject to change so it is not always
possible to correspond with someone whose interests in
travel/learning matches yours.

Along this line we were saddened to learn that one of our
readers, Ervin Ashford, was recently killed in a plane crash in
Guatemala while doing volunteer work in that country.

It would seem that "The Greatest Generation" is still taking
casualties in its efforts to create a better world.

    Program Reviews

          Culver-Stockton College - Canton, Missouri
          AMIGO CENTRE-Sturgis, Michigan
          Bay Area Classic Learning/ Pacifica
          SAN PEDRO CENTER-Winter Park, Florida
          Turkey The Odyssey of Civilization
          UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME -South Bend, Indiana
          Illinois Valley Community College--STARVED ROCK STATE PARK

April, 1997
Norwegian Immigration

SITE: Museum Buildings containing
items (outstanding and unique collection, I appreciated
especially the religious and seafaring ones) from Norway and
parts of the U.S.

Motel, several miles from the site; we were shuttled

in the museum buildings area------Lectures on Norwegian History;
Hands-on Norwegian food preparation; Hands-on wood carving and
rosemaling; Norwegian Christmas customs and decorations

ENTERTAINMENT: Local high school costumed dancers

MEALS: Breakfast in motel (cold cereal, fruit, hot beverages,
sweet rolls, bread for toast)--- Lunches and dinners in an old,
transplanted Norwegian church, prepared from scratch and HOME

DIRECTOR Cindy Johnson was most
helpful and attentive to our needs. Shuttle bus driver was always
in a good mood and enjoyable story teller

OVERALL: An excellent ethnic experience but not the best for
handicapped seniors (lots of movement and shuttling)


Culver-Stockton College - Canton, Missouri

I attended an Elderhostel program at Culver-Stockton College June
4 - 10, 2000.

While I generally select one that has been recommended by others,
either through the Notebook or personal recommendations from
other Elderhostelers, I chose this one because of the dates,
location, and one particular subject (Immigrants, Then and Now).

What a pleasant surprise!  This is way up at the top of the 12
other EH programs I have attended.  We stayed on campus - don't
quit reading now.  The dormitory rooms were spacious and
perfectly comfortable with private bathrooms for every two

Our Coordinator, Bob Giulani, was energetic, always available and
one of the best organized I have encountered.  We were met by
five college students who assist Bob; they welcomed us to
Culver-Stockton and carried our bags to our rooms.  The large
reception room was beautiful - upholstered high-back chairs for
everyone - this is where we had our orientation and all classes
and activities.  Adjoining is a reading room and another room for
cards, games, etc.

All three professors were just excellent - the instructor on the
Immigrants program compared present day immigrants with our
grandparents, and the conflicts and trials they both have
endured.  He was a spellbinding speaker and provided much food
for thought, lots of discussion among all of us after his lecture
each day.

Our other programs were:  19th Century Entertainment and Five
Great American Composers.  Each instructor was enthusiastic about
his subject.  We learned about vaudeville, Chataqua, burlesque,
and about the troupes that traveled the country to offer
entertainment to rural and small-town America during that time,
many names with which we are very familiar as they later
performed on radio and T.V.  We visited a Theater Museum with a
huge selection of memorabilia about that era.  Our class on
Composers had a nice mix of lecture and discussion of each
composer, along with recordings  of their musical contributions.
I am probably making this review much too long, but can't leave
without mentioning the food - excellent quality and variety,
presented in a beautful, artistic way.  The table decorations
were so unusual, I won't elaborate - just suggest you go to
Culver-Stockton and find out for yourself.  You will be
delightfully surprised.

Canton, Missouri is across the river form Quincy, Illinois and
about 25 miles north. I think they have two more EH programs this
summer.  They do about five a year - all summer programs.

Jan Hutchinson  (JanClyde@aol.com)


AMIGO CENTRE-Sturgis, Michigan-Amish/Menonite Program- -October,
1997 lmjr34@yahoo.com

SITE: Retreat Center on gorgeous private lake north of
Shipshewanna, Indiana

ACCOMMODATIONS: Very favorable with sink and toilet in room;
extremely clean and comfortable .

MEALS: Excellent, home cooking served buffet style, always
preceded by a prayer of thanks (excellent practice) CLASSES:
Amish/Menonite Lifestyle and Land Management Issues on Private
Lands presented by Goshen (Indiana)College teachers.

FIELD TRIPS: To Shipshewanna, Indiana, Visitor Center; Menonite
Family Farm for supper (prepared and served by all the members of
the family); visit to one-room Amish school house (saw the
teachers/students in session)

COORDINATOR Jan Kauffman and senior Menonnite couple (live ins)
attending to all our needs. This site and program is sensitive to
handicapped Elderhostelers--very favorable.

OVERALL EVALUATION: Very worthwhile and informative about a
unique lifestyle.

LEONARD ROGUS lmjr34@yahoo.com


Bay Area Classic Learning/ Pacifica/ Jewish Area Studies -
May 14-19, 2000

BACL operates Elderhostel programs at four different sites in the
San Francisco area. We had done one at Pacifica before. This time
we selected one that was designated as Jewish Area Studies. My
wife and I were among at least five gentiles who attended this
program. We felt very welcome and honored to be a part of the
group. The group of 34 people also included at least four
holocaust survivors.

We returned to Pacifica specifically for another dose of John
Rothmann. He taught a course on the Middle East Conflict. John's
courses are not for everyone. He is a very intense lecturer who
will not accept questions during his presentation. He does leave
ten minutes at the end for the questions that have come up. He
sometimes upsets people, there aren't many people sleeping during
his course. When he was in his twenties, he was a member of the
White House staff of Richard Nixon.

Ken Blady taught a course on "Exotic Jewish Communities Around
the World". His course was not as well organized as John
Rothmann's, he accepted questions and let himself get off course
while answering questions during the lecture. He covered the
world migrations of Jews over the centuries and how they would
acquire language and local physical traits while retaining their
Jewish identity.

Joe Marchi taught a course on "The Jewish Contribution to the
American Musical". This was a light hearted course that let us
sit back and really enjoy the music from someone who came aglow
with the music as he presented it.

We also had a delightful evening of Jewish music as sung to us by
Barry Reich, a cantor from a local synagogue.

The food was fairly standard hotel fare, served buffet style in
our meeting room. There were salads available at each meal.

The hotel is directly on the ocean and there was time to stroll
the beach, but the beach was rather limited and without direct
access. We could watch the surfers catch the waves.

There was only one field trip. The first time we did Pacifica,
the field trip was a very extensive bus tour of San Francisco. On
this Jewish program, parts of the tour were deleted so that we
could visit two beautiful synagogues.

There was one free afternoon, when people were given free Bay
Area Rapid Transit passes so that they could explore San
Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland or other cities that are served by

We will continue to watch the catalogs for other courses taught
by John Rothmann and work them in if we can. If you are not sure
who the instructor is for a course, you can get that information
from www.bacl.com.

Bob and Grace McAllester
Santa FE, NM


  SAN PEDRO CENTER-Winter Park, Florida-
  December, 1997
SITE: Catholic Retreat-very spacious, well kept grounds with
forest and private lake

ACCOMMODATIONS: Motel like rooms- very comfortable and convenient
to classroom	MEALS: Buffet style CAUTION: Drinking water in
area is not normal taste, but safe CLASSES: Rogers and
Hammerstein presented by a very talented singer and
director--Alan Bruun (we had several gifted performers in the
group and presented a Sound of Music skit for the instructor
which was really entertaining to all; Music Therapy and Guided
Imagery -- an unusually soothing presentation by an experienced
nursing home activities therapist Norma Jo Vaillette; Famous
Prophets and Kings presented by the Center Director--Franciscan
Brother Terence O'Neill whose sense of humor and enthusiasm
really made this a delight;

FIELD TRIP: To downtown Winter Park, a very upscale gift shop
mecca	Since this location is close to the Disney Complex and
Cape Cannavarel, we stayed over a few extra days to take in Epcot
and Cocoa Beach area; Br. Terence accommodated us with a rustic,
but very complete , comfortable and clean private cabin away from
the Elderhostel quarters. The complex has a gorgeous chapel and
we were invited to join the religious friars in their prayers
which were inspiring.

OVERALL EVALUATION: It rained every day we were there so we had
to dodge the raindrops; had the weather been more cooperative, we
would have enjoyed this program more.



Turkey The Odyssey of Civilization.

This is without doubt one of the best trips of all time. The
program was exceptionally well run with Lelay as guide and Selim
as driver. I recommend both.

Turkey is a beautiful and fascinating country. The land reminds
me of Californiarich, fertile valleys, miles of orchards,
beautiful mountains and coastline, and vineyards. But California
doesn1t have Cappadocia, one of the most astonishing places on
earth with strange formations caused by erosion into which people
have burrowed for homes and churches for centuries; early
Christians hid out here to escape their Roman persecutors.

Istanbul has a beautiful setting like San Francisco or Seattle
with water all around, but it is also much more colorful and
exotic with its many beautiful mosques with minarets and the call
to pray broadcast out five times a day. The people are very
friendly; I was walking down a street in one town and a man
passed me and said, "Hello! Welcome to Turkey!" School children
are very eager to try out their English, which they start
learning in 3rd grade. The historical sites and ruins in Turkey
are incredible.

Thirty-six different civilizations have risen and fallen there,
the earliest dating back to about 7,000 B.C. I especially enjoyed
seeing Troy and Ephesus, but other ruins surprised me in their
beautiful settings and rich history, including places where Saint
Paul and Alexander the Great visited.

I understand the October trip has openings, and it should be a
perfect time of year, past the summer heat. Turkey is clean.
People are forever washing their cars and scrubbing down gas
stations, and most of the restrooms are marble. The hotels all
had private facilities, and with the exception of one, which was
the best for that location, were comfortable and clean if not


***** editor's note: The three following programs are at sites
that appear to be no longer listed as program sponsors.


SITE: Motel like complex in the Camelback Area of Scottsdale --
Excellent Private Olympic Size Swimming Pool (absolutely
essential in 102 degree daily temperature)

ACCOMMODATIONS: Motel like--adequate

MEALS: Common area (in separate building) with late breakfast
(can't enter dining area until door is unlocked)

CLASSES: In large air-conditioned room in separate building
Miracles by Hilda Villaverde (very emotional and moving);
Spirituality in Literature by Sandra Hennigan (well done with
handouts); Hospice by Sr. McIntyre (very slow, quiet, sometimes

ENTERTAINMENT: None (group had to chip in extra to get Tai Chi

FIELD TRIP: Local college concert (you had to use your own

RELIGIOUS CHAPEL: Excellent daily Catholic Mass in a beautiful

OVERALL EVALUATION: Good for handicapped if you can tolerate
heat/air-conditionung extremes

Leonard Rogus	e mail	lmjr34@yahoo.com

June, 1997

SITE: Huge college campus with many worthwhile features

ACCOMMODATIONS: Small rooms in a dormitory Alumni Hall (there
were many families with small children) sharing baths and showers
a distance from rooms; NO AIR-CONDITIONING --extremely
uncomfortable if you are there during a hot, humid week

CLASSES: Long walking distances to separate buildings; rooms were
adequate LECTURES WERE OUTSTANDING---Cardinal Newman (Liberal
Education Philosophy) by Dr. Katherine Tillman; Shakespeare's
Mid-Summer Night's Dream by Dr. Paul Rathburn (knowledgeable and
humorous); Moral Crises in Medicine by Dr. David Solomon (he has
a most fascinating background and is a very open-minded person)

MEALS: Long walks to separate cafeteria buildings but food was
way above average-large variety and plentiful

ENTERTAINMENT: You were on your own --campus did have some
happenings to chose from

OVERALL EVALUATION: Definitely not for handicapped persons
Lectures, as mentioned, were outstanding and the campus is
beautiful	Leonard Rogus lmjr34@yahoo.com


  Illinois Valley Community College--STARVED ROCK STATE PARK
  March, 1997

SITE: Beautiful canyons/cliffs along the Illinois River with
outstanding, well-kept grounds

ACCOMMODATIONS: Spacious,excellent, private, self-contained rooms
in a beautiful, rustic lodge --All lends itself to seniors who
are handicapped

BONUS: A beautiful indoor swimming pool with sauna

CLASSES: History (involving the Indians of Illinois) of the
Starved Rock State Park (well-presented by the park director);
Mammals of the Illinois River Valley; Herbs for seniors; Native
American Museum items (presented by a senior Native American from
the local tribe); hands-on craft creation (facilitated by a very
gifted craftsman) and the highlight of the day-----Water
Workout--Gentle Exercises in the swimming pool

MEALS: Waitress served; limited menu

FIELD TRIPS: Hiking in treacherous, but beautiful canyons; a
visit to the local area museums

ENTERTAINMENT: A local balladeer serenading us around a glowing
fireplace (indoors)

DIRECTOR Jan Philips was most conscientious and attentive to our

OVERALL: Very worthwhile for those who love the rustic outdoors
and Native American lore