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Welcome to Road Scholar's Lifelong Learning Quarterly — a newsletter about Road Scholar participants, instructors, programs and the latest news from the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning.
We'd love to hear from you! Do you have a story to tell about Road Scholar? Send us an email at
After 40 Years of Teaching, What’s Next for Mary Jo Olson?
River Rafting in the Grand Canyon
Rose Bowl Parade
Road Scholar in China
Forty years — that’s a good round number. In September 2012, I decided that was enough and I would retire from teaching first grade at the end of this school year. When I tell people I’m retiring, they invariably ask the same question: “What’s next?” I have had the answer to that question since before I was in first grade myself.
When I was very young, I traveled to Santa Cruz, Calif., with my parents and grandfather. The excitement of experiencing a new place is something I never forgot. In the following years my parents encouraged my two sisters and me to travel whenever we had the chance. Our family trips included the Grand Canyon, Washington, D.C. and more.
Now, Road Scholar has opened doors to even more discovery. I have already enjoyed two Grand Canyon programs (
one was floating through the canyon in a raft!
a Rose Bowl Parade program
, where we actually got to decorate one of the floats ourselves.
After my past experiences with Road Scholar, I’m sure I’ll meet other people interested in adventure and learning. And I know I’ll be taken care of and get all the information I need beforehand, so I’ll be well-prepared. I really value the peace of mind, especially when I’m traveling alone.
And next fall, after 40 years of greeting new students as a teacher, I’ll find myself in a totally different kind of classroom.
This time I’ll be with Road Scholar in China
. I’ve always dreamed of seeing the terra cotta warriors, and this is my chance. Again, I will start out on my own, but I know that I will return home having made many new friends and having had another great adventure. I look forward to being a student in retirement and the world being my classroom, thanks to Road Scholar.
— Mary Jo Olson lives in North Dakota and has taught first grade for 40 years.
A Q&A With Road Scholar Photographer Brian Ezeike
Brian's Road Scholar Youtube channel
Road Scholar photographer and videographer Brian Ezeike has been on four programs, capturing our amazing participants and their adventures for all to see. We asked Brian a few questions about what it’s like to be in the field with our participants.
Road Scholar: Which is your favorite program that you’ve photographed or filmed?
Brian Ezeike: Out of the four I’ve been on, if I have to nudge one above the others, it is the Charleston, S.C., program. Charleston had never been on my radar as a place to visit, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was quite surprised at how beautiful the city was. It has a lot to offer: history, location and character. As a photographer and videographer, I was beside myself with glee while
shooting the various amazing backdrops
. The local food was outstanding as well, which seals the deal as my favorite.
RS: What is the most inspiring thing you’ve seen on a program?
BE: The most inspiring thing I've seen on a program is the same thing I've seen on all the programs, and that is how active the Road Scholar folks are. No matter their age, they are so full of energy and adventure. Talking with them you quickly realize that whatever program you meet them on is not a one-time thing. They're constantly on the move and looking for other programs to attend. They truly live and breathe the “lifelong learning” mission.
RS: Have you seen a participant try something out of their comfort zone? What did they do?
BE: Yes, indeed.
The Maryland program was an active Service Learning program
in partnership with Heifer International. The participants were in the woods building replica houses that can be found in villages around the world. I particularly recall one participant who was quite anxious as she said she had never worked with a tool or even come remotely close to building a structure. You could see her gradually adjusting to the situation as her instructor put her to work. By the second day she was eagerly drilling bamboo and nets into wood structures and having a lot of fun doing it!
RS: To you, Road Scholar is about ...
BE: Learning, passion, being active and having fun.
RS: What has amazed you most on your programs?
BE: In the Maryland Service Learning program I met the most remarkable older gentleman. I couldn't believe how active he was and how he attacked the chores and tasks. At first I though he might be putting it on and might not keep up, but his energy level never dipped and he was always consistent. Later I found out that he would actually wake up around 5 a.m. and run a couple of miles before starting his work on the program! Road Scholar participants really are incredible people.
To see all four of Brian’s videos of his Road Scholar adventures,
just click here!
Our National Parks Story Contest: “I’d never thought I’d do that until I did it on a Road Scholar program!”
Hiking in Yellowstone
Hiking the Colorado Rockies
You might have seen
a bear in the wild
summited a 12,000 foot peak
in Rocky Mountain National Park — whatever amazing thing you did on a Road Scholar National Park program, we would love to hear about it! If we tell your story in an upcoming publication, we’ll give you a $25 gift certificate to our store. Just email your story to
It’s your Road Scholar. Share it with us in the Road Scholar Photo Contest!
Road Scholar Photo Contest
If you’ve noticed the Road Scholar catalogs you get in the mail looking particularly spectacular, there’s a reason why: They’re your photographs! You may have seen a participant making
"Friends in High Places"
in Tibet on the cover of our recent International catalog, or perhaps you saw
"Rhapsody in Blue"
while kayaking on the Bay of Fundy on the cover of an Adventures Afloat brochure. We have Road Scholar participants sending us their best photographs from all over the world, making each Road Scholar publication a work of art.
We’d love to see your Road Scholar photos, and if we select yours to be on the cover you’ll receive a $50 gift certificate and copies of the publication featuring your photograph. To enter, send an email with your contest entry photo AND a photo of yourself attached to email@example.com. Include the name of the photographer, the location where the photo was taken, the Road Scholar program it was taken on and the date. Visit
to read full contest rules, terms and conditions.
There’s no deadline, so send us your photos anytime!
The secret to healthy and happy aging is spreading across the country. Maybe it’s coming to your town next.
Get more information about Master Class
Through inspirational stories from Road Scholar participants, supported by the latest research in the fields of psychology and neuro-science, author Peter Spiers, senior vice president of Road Scholar, shows how to build an enriching lifestyle on the foundation of favorite activities in Road Scholar’s new book
Living Longer, Stronger, and Happier.
Peter is spreading the message of his book in a video presentation you can access online. Check out this webinar at
, where you can also read reviews and order the book!
comes out in paperback at the end of May 2013.
The Top 5 Reasons to Become a Road Scholar Ambassador
The Road Scholar Ambassador Program is staffed by enthusiastic Road Scholar participants who volunteer their time to make presentations about Road Scholar’s enriching travel adventures and the value of lifelong learning in their local communities and beyond. Here are the top five reasons why you should become a Road Scholar Ambassador ...
1. You’ll earn vouchers toward future Road Scholar programs.
2. You’ll meet interesting people who love learning, travel and adventure.
3. Road Scholar supports you every step of the way by providing all the materials you will need to make successful presentations.
4. You’ll spread the joys and benefits of lifelong learning and educational travel.
5. You’ll be part of an exciting team of Ambassadors across the United States.
We are accepting applications for Ambassadors now. To learn more about joining our team, send an email to
or call (617) 457-5553.
What is the impact of Road Scholar programs?
Whether educating or helping to fulfill lifelong dreams, Road Scholar programs have a profound impact on the lives of thousands of older adults every year. Here are some of the program benefits that Road Scholar participants reported in 2012 ...
92% of participants learned something new
43% were revitalized by their program experience
27% had their perspective on the world changed
25% stepped outside their comfort zone
17% fulfilled a lifelong dream
Introducing Easy-Paced International Adventures: The World is Your Oyster (Just With Fewer Stairs)
Easy-Paced Road Scholar Adventures
Are you looking for a great learning adventure in exciting locations around the world that stimulates your mind but doesn’t tax your body? We have created a collection of easy-paced International programs that involve minimal walking and few stairs, but include the same great educational expertise and camaraderie that you’ve come to expect from Road Scholar. Join us on the adventure of a lifetime!
At Your Pace: The Natural Wonders of Costa Rica
The Oct. 2-17, 2013 date of
Central Europe Discovered: Prague, Bratislava and Budapest
The June 2-19 date of
Four Scandinavian Capitals
The History and Craft of Spying With Nigel West
The Sep. 30-Oct. 8 date of
The West End and Beyond – Theatre in London
At Your Pace: The Wild Beauty of Kenya
Exploration, Conquest, Culture: Iberia and Morocco by Sea
Castles and Kilts: Stories of the Ancients in the British Isles and Norway
Want to see more easy-paced International adventures? Just give us a call toll free at (877) 426-8056 or visit
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