'Road Scholars' Flock To Winter Learning Programs

Northwoods Road Scholars

Road Scholar is a brand within the Elderhostel program intended for adults who want to travel, learn and stimulate discourse and friendship among other people for whom learning is the journey of a lifetime. 

This is an institution that has had 5,500 multiple-day travel programs attracting 95,000 participants, enjoying a wide variety of subjects. while providing comfortable and inexpensive lodging.

There were 34 different winter outdoor adventure programs with 800 participants in 2013.

There are Road Scholar offerings this winter at Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont. Northwoods in Wisconsin, Sundance Resort in Utah, Yellowstone National Park in Mont. and Sun Mountain Lodge in Wash.  

The Trees For Tomorrow program (Road Scholar program #7310) is set for Feb. 9-15, 2014 and this organization has been offering natural resources education workshops to students, teachers, adults, and others in the heart of Wisconsin’s Northwoods since 1944. 

It is located in Eagle River, Wisc., a small northern town about a six hour drive from Chicago. All instructors are carefully selected based on their knowledge, experience, and ability to teach adult groups. They have taken courses in each area of instruction to provide participants with a high quality learning experience.

This is a week of classical XC skiing and snowshoeing on trails in Northern Wisconsin. Ski instruction is provided for all skill levels. Naturalists will lead participants through an exploration of the unique ways animals and plants adapt to the difficult winter conditions of the north. Multiple route options will be available for each ski tour. Evening programs will focus on the biology and ecology of animals that call the Northwoods home.

The group will snowshoe in a beautiful old-growth forest, visit Bond Falls waterfall, and learn orienteering skills to practice while snowshoeing. They’ll experience the Kovac Planetarium, the world’s largest rotating mechanical globe-style planetarium and snowshoe at night along a candle-lit trail. 

Participants will also XC ski at Anvil National Recreation Trail and have an opportunity to see birds of prey up close. Cost for the workshop is $599 per person (for a double room) or $629 per person (for a single room), which includes: lodging, meals, instruction, field-trip. and rental equipment. 

Guests stay on-site in rustic dormitories that have comfortable bedrooms. Each dorm has central bathroom facilities and a lounge with a fireplace. Meals are served in Trees For Tomorrow’s historic dining hall that overlooks the Eagle River chain of lakes.

Annually there are many Road Scholar programs in Yellowstone National Park, but the variety of Road Scholar programming is best exemplified at Vermont’s Craftsbury Outdoor Center. They’ve got three yoga programs (one each in January, February, and March) that incorporate outdoor activities such as XC skiing and snowshoeing. 

There is an Introduction to Astronomy program Jan. 21-25 featuring an exploration of the cosmos in space and time and celestial bodies. A program for Film & Fiction is Jan. 26-31 has participants viewing a variety of film genres with a North Country theme and discussions following each film. The group will also read short fiction set in northern settings by contemporary authors ranging from contemplative to humorous with following discussions. 

A New England Music & Dance program is Feb.2-7 and again Feb. 9-14 to learn the history of traditional country dance and song from New England, the Canadian Maritimes and beyond with live music and a contra dance, too. All of these programs include outdoor activities on the Craftsbury trails with cross country skiing, snowshoeing and plenty of fun.

For questions or to enroll to any Road Scholar programs, call toll free at 800-454-5768, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or visit the website www.roadscholar.org to view a myriad of programs to select among hundreds of national and international regions.

Photo: Road Scholars with their instructor at Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Vermont (Craftsbury Outdoor Center)

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