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Sacred and Secular: Sprites, Sinners and the Yule Goat

Program Number: 12332RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/11/2012 - 11/15/2012;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Price starting at: $659.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture; Holidays
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Before the hectic holiday season begins, take some time to learn more about the myriad traditions, beautiful music and treasured plays and films Christmas has inspired. Historical interpreters like Lady Bacon (lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth and mother of Sir Francis Bacon) and Mrs. Wakefield from the Wellington Academy in Victorian England share tales of Christmas in their times. Learn how scholars have used a fresco from The Vatican, Chinese astronomy and The Bible to search for the Star of Bethlehem.


• Delve into beloved holiday music by composers from Handel to Berlin.
• Enjoy a boisterous, Broadway-style production of “Scrooge the Musical” at the renowned Fireside Theatre.
• Learn about historic Christmas traditions, from the Yule Goat of Scandinavia to how the holiday was celebrated during the Renaissance and Victorian times.

Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing on this program.

Coordinated by Covenant Harbor.

Lake Geneva

One hour southwest of Milwaukee, Lake Geneva is a resort city whose popularity arose from its accessibility from Chicago via the railroad. With its many large summer homes, the city has been called "The Newport of the West," and it remains a year round destination for those seeking a quaint, lakeside getaway.

Conference center on 52 wooded acres with 1,150 feet of Geneva Lake shoreline. Alcohol not permitted on site.
Meals and Lodgings
   Covenant Harbor
  Lake Geneva, WI 4 nights
 Covenant Harbor
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Located on beautiful Geneva Lake in Lake Geneva. Camp and Retreat Center is located on a 51 acre wooded site with 1150 feet of lake frontage. Covenant Harbor has operated at this site since 1947 and welcomes youth, adults and families to retreat from their routines and enter into relationships with people and nature. Historic boat house on the lake as well as several other original buildings on site. Public access walking path around the lake provides close access to many of the beautiful historic mansions.
  Contact info: 1724 W Main Street
Lake Geneva, WI 53147-1652 USA
phone: 262-248-3600
  Room amenities: Phone with voice mail, free local and 800 calls, hair dryer, soap, shampoo, lotion. No TV's in room.
  Facility amenities: Self contained housing, meeting and dining. All guest rooms have individual heat/AC units, common areas are on general heat/AC system. Local phone service only. Bring cell phone or phone cards for long distance calls. TV and fireplace in upper lounge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $80.00 Call 262-248-3600 x333 for availability. Special rate for Sunday night only of $35.00.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $80.00 Call 262-248-3600 x333 for availability. Special rate for Sunday night only of $35.00.
  Check out time: 1:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM Registration in Lake Geneva, WI. You will be staying at Covenant Harbor that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after lunch. You will be staying at Covenant Harbor the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Completed health form returned to the program coordinator prior to arrival.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site for duration of program.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Lake Geneva, WI
  Nearest highway: Highway 50.
  Nearest airport:  Gen. Mitchell International Airport (MKE), Milwaukee, WI.
  From End of Program
  Location: Lake Geneva, WI
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Gen. Mitchell Int'l Airport (MKE), Milwaukee, WI to Lake Geneva


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Covenant Harbor Van Shuttle
phone: 262-248-3600 x309
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


$75 per person, $100 for two people traveling together
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour 15 minutes 




55 miles


Van Shuttle provided by Covenant Harbor from/to the Milwaukee airport on the program start and end dates only. Contact Ms. Brooke Furmanek, the program coordinator, to make your reservation at 262-248-3600 x309. One-way cost $75 per person or $100 for two people traveling together.

Driving Directions
  Milwaukee, WI I-43 South to Highway 120/East Troy-Lake Geneva [exit 36]. Turn left and drive south 13 miles to Lake Geneva, you'll pass through three stop signs at Hwy D, Spring Prairie and Springfield. Hwy 120 veers to the left and goes around the city. Do not follow Hwy 120 at this point, continue into Lake Geneva. The street name is Interchange then becomes Williams St then becomes Broad St. Turn right on Highway 50-Main St and proceed west one mile to the Covenant Harbor/Geneva Bay Centre entrance which will be on your left. Continue down the drive way and turn right at Heinzleman Way up the hill to the Geneva Bay Centre parking lot.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Welcoming Orientation
(Sunday, November 11)
 Afternoon: Plan to arrive in Lake Geneva in the afternoon. Check-in at Geneva Bay Centre at 4:00 PM. Sorry, no early check-ins. If you do arrive early you are welcome to bring in your luggage and wait in the lounge or take a walk around the grounds until your room is ready.
 Dinner: Dinner in the dining room.
 Evening: After dinner, the group will gather for a site orientation, program review, and group introductions.
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Holiday Music from Mame / Handel's Messiah / A Visit from Lady Bacon
(Monday, November 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the dining room. Hot cereal served each morning.
 Morning: Start off the program with some holiday music from the musical "Mame." Enjoy live music and video clips from the movie with Lucille Ball. Take a 30-minute break to stretch. The second lecture introduces Handel's masterwork "Messiah." Using the score and some beautiful calligraphy, discover more about this work that leaves us breathless every holiday.
 Lunch: Lunch in the dining room. Spectacular salad bar.
 Afternoon: Wrap up lecture and discussion of Handel's "Messiah."
 Dinner: Dinner in the dining room.
 Evening: Tonight we welcome Lady Bacon, lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth and mother of Sir Francis Bacon. She will share stories of Christmas from the Renaissance.
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Holiday Music from the musicals "Scrooge" and "A Christmas Carol" / The Search for the Star of Bethlehem / Amahl and the Night Visitors / A Visit from Mrs. Wakefield
(Tuesday, November 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the dining room. Pancakes this morning?
 Morning: Enjoy more holiday music from two musicals based on Charles Dickens' classic story "A Christmas Carol." First is the musical "A Christmas Carol." You might remember seeing this version on tv with Kelsey Grammer. Next look at the musical "Scrooge" that originally starred Albert Finney. Enjoy live performances of some of the songs and view some video clips. You'll be all prepared for tomorrow's live matinee performance of "Scrooge." Take a 30-minute break to stretch. The second morning lecture is about the Search for the Star of Bethlehem. Look at scholarly research using a fresco from The Vatican, Chinese astronomy and The Bible. This lecture is an eye opener.
 Lunch: Lunch in the dining room.
 Afternoon: After lunch take a look at the opera "Amahl and the Night Visitors," the first opera created especially for television. You might remember watching this holiday classic in the 1950s.
 Dinner: Dinner in the dining room.
 Evening: Tonight we welcome Mrs. Wakefield from the Wellington Academy in Victorian England. She has many stories to share including some about Wellington's most famous student, Mr. Charles Dickens.
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Theater Field Trip / A Visit from Aunt Ivy
(Wednesday, November 14)

Note: The restaurant/theater complex is ramped for easy access.

 Breakfast: Breakfast in the dining room. Scrambled eggs prepared with egg substitute.
 Morning: Enjoy a leisurely morning; go ahead and have a second cup of coffee or tea. Take a walk or sit in the lounge talking with new friends. Our motor coach will depart at 9:30 AM for The Fireside Theater in nearby Fort Atkinson. Travel time is approximately one hour. The Fireside Theater is Wisconsin's #1 motor coach stop and for good reason. The theater productions are first-class with actors from New York and Chicago, the food is delicious and plentiful and the staff welcome all with genuine hospitality. Started in 1964 by Dick and Betty Klopcic as just a pyramid-shaped restaurant, this family-run business has grown to include a 1000 seat restaurant, a 600 seat theater and unique shops. Now run by Dick and Betty's son Rick and his wife Jane, the Fireside tradition of excellence continues with 5-6 professional productions each year, fine dining and offers its guests a place to create cherished memories. The Fireside's motto: People will come to a place they have been invited and will return to a place where they have been made to feel welcome.
 Lunch: Plated lunch at The Fireside Theater served at 11:15 AM. Today's menu includes your choice of coffee, tea or milk and fresh baked bread. Please talk to your Group Leader in advance if you have food allergies or dietary restrictions. Menu: Seafood St. Jacques: Gulf Shrimp and New England Scallops folded into a White Wine Cream Sauce, topped with Garlic Butter Toasted Croutons and baked in a ramekin. Chicken Innsbruck: Skinless Breast of Chicken lightly breaded and sautéed, topped with Fresh Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Jones Canadian Bacon, Jarlsberg Swiss Cheese and Plum Tomato Wheels. Served with Sweet Potato Soufflé with Pecan Crust; Edamame Soybeans, Sweet Corn and Roasted Red Pepper. Santa's Sacher Torte: Chocolate Cake layered with Apricot Filling alongside Bing Cherry Ice Cream.
 Afternoon: MATINEE THEATER PERFORMANCE: Enjoy a matinee performance of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL at The Fireside Theater. Performance begins at 1:30 PM. For two decades The Fireside Theatre has been the number one choice for Christmas entertainment for hundreds of thousands of happy theatre-goers. So who but The Fireside could present this merry, sparkling, tuneful, boisterous, big Broadway musical version of the world’s most beloved Christmas story --– Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL? Based on the popular musical movie starring Albert Finney, SCROOGE THE MUSICAL tells this time honored tale of redemption and love as only The Fireside can – with a beautiful and rousing musical score (including the well-known "“Thank You Very Much”"), breath-taking dancing, gorgeous costumes, uproarious comedy, and heart-warming drama – performed by some of the country’s finest Broadway and regional performers.
 Dinner: Dinner in the dining room.
 Evening: Tonight we welcome Santa's sister Aunt Ivy to Covenant Harbor. She will share holiday stories from around the world, including the Yule Goat.
Accommodations: Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Holiday Music from Irving Berlin
(Thursday, November 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the dining room. Fresh fruit served each morning.
 Morning: Wrap up the program with classic holiday music from Irving Berlin. Look at the classics "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire and "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. Happy Holidays to You!
 Lunch: Lunch in the dining room.
 Afternoon: Program ends after an early lunch served at 11:30 AM. Independent departures after lunch. Thank you for choosing this Road Scholar program and joining us at Covenant Harbor. It has been our pleasure to be your hosts this week and hope you come back and visit us again. Safe travels!
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
  Lake Geneva, WI Lake Geneva Area Chamber of Commerce
Your guide to Lake Geneva. For additional information, visit
  Old World Wisconsin
Old World Wisconsin is about thirty minutes away from Lake Geneva and is the biggest outdoor ethnic museum in the country. The immigrants and pioneers who settled Wisconsin came from vastly different cultures. Yet they all shared a common purpose — the determined pursuit of the American Dream. Old World Wisconsin tells their stories by re-creating a world in which farmers, tradesmen and shopkeepers lead their lives the same way these settlers did. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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