Road Scholar : Home
A Study in Shared Heritage: The Amish and Mennonites

Program Number: 12343RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/22/2013 - 9/27/2013; 5/10/2015 - 5/15/2015; 9/20/2015 - 9/25/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Sturgis, Michigan
Price starting at: $669.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

In the heart of a thriving Amish and Mennonite community, explore the sociology, history, spirituality and values of these people, through stories and dialogue with a colorful Mennonite historian. Learn what makes the Old Order Amish and Mennonites distinctive and at the same time what we have in common. From a traditional “Thrasher’s Meal” at an Amish home to visiting Amish enterprises, immerse yourself in a way of life that is a refreshing contrast to the modern world. As a special feature, enjoy nature activities, such as bird-watching, at the on-site nature center.




Highlights

• Learn how the Amish lead their daily lives during field trips through this beautiful farmland region.
• Visit with a young Amish couple who operate their own Amish store, specializing in herbs and natural health remedies.
• Meet the proprietors of Amish shops featuring quilts, dry goods, baked goods and furniture.



Activity Particulars

Minimal walking and standing on this program.




Date Specific Information

9-22-2013

Learn about Amish and Mennonite cooking, and make homemade noodles. We will enjoy them now and you will be able to take some home and enjoy later! Learn about the style of cooking that has been enjoyed through the years in every traditional Amish and Mennonite home.



9-20-2015

Learn to make homemade noodles and Amish peanut butter. You`ll enjoy both at our noon meal, and take some along home with you to enjoy later! You`ll also take home your own miniature noodle dry rack and the recipe so you can make them on your own at home.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Amigo Centre, a Mennonite retreat center.




Sturgis

Named after Judge John Sturgis, who settled here in 1827, the town is located near the Indiana border about 50 miles south of Kalamazoo in the heart of a thriving Amish and Mennonite community. The original site of the judge’s home can be seen at Pioneer Park.



Accommodations
Comfortable and quaint retreat center, hotel-style rooms with private bath. Free Wi-Fi is available.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Sharp

Since 2005, John Sharp has been teaching and writing history at Hesston College in Kansas — his alma matter. Prior to this, he served as the director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives in Goshen, Ind. John shares his knowledge of Amish life and culture with Road Scholar and other educational organizations. He has edited Gathering at the Hearth: Stories Mennonites Tell, and written the centennial history of Hesston college published in 2009. He awaits the publication of his new book, a biography of Orie O. Miller, perhaps the most important Mennonite leader of the twentieth century. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication from Goshen College, and a master of divinity degree from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind. He is married to Michele Miller Sharp, a 1977 graduate of Goshen College, now a physician assistant in family practice. They have three adult children in Colorado, Kansas, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Amigo Centre & Retreat
  Sturgis, MI 5 nights
 Amigo Centre & Retreat
Type: Conference Center
  Description: Christian Camp and Conference Center located on 400 acres of diverse geography. Very peaceful location. Beautiful setting with a view of the lake and surrounding woods.
  Contact info: 26455 Banker Rd.
Sturgis, MI 49091 USA
phone: 269-651-2811
web: www.amigocentre.org
  Facility amenities: Public laundry. Internet available if you bring your own laptop.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Check in time: 4:30 PM
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 PM Check-in begins You will be staying at Amigo Centre & Retreat that night.
  End of Program:
12:00 PM You will be staying at Amigo Centre & Retreat the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Medical Release forms will be sent to each registered participant.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free and participants have full access to their vehicles.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Sturgis, MI
  Nearest city or town:  Sturgis, MI 6 miles south.
  Nearest highway: M-66.
  Nearest airport:  Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport (AZO), Kalamazoo, MI.
  From End of Program
  Location: Sturgis, MI
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Kalamazoo, MI

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Leisure Limousine and Sedans
phone: 269-343-0848
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$125.00
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

40 miles

 
Driving Directions
  From Kalamazoo (North on 131) Take 131 south to West Broadway road in Three Rivers. Turn left on West Broadway and follow signs to M-86. Follow 86 through Centreville to Nottawa. In Nottawa, you'll turn right onto Nottawa Rd. Follow this until you come to a stop sign. Turn left and go approximately 1/2 mile. Amigo drive is on the right (look for the sign).
  From the North on M-66 highway Coming south on M-66. Turn right on Banker Rd (Approximately 4 miles south of M-86) STAY ON BANKER it will turn left at the Amigo sign, just after the curve. The Amigo drive will be on the left side about 1/2 mile after the final turn.
  Indiana Toll Road Take Exit 121. Go North on State Rt. 9 which becomes Centreville Rd. Continue North through Sturgis on N. Centreville approx. 4 miles. Centreville Rd. comes to a T with Featherstone Rd. Turn right on Featherstone and go about 1/4 mile to Rommel Rd. You will begin to see Amigo Centre signs at that point. Turn left on Rommel and go until the stop sign. Turn left on Banker Rd. STAY ON BANKER it will turn to the left at the Amigo sign. The Amigo drive will be on the left side about 1/2 mile after the final turn.
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: Registration & Tour/Orientation
(Sunday, September 22)
   
 Afternoon: Registration and walking tour
 Dinner: Dinner is in the Dining Hall at 6:00pm. Meals are buffet style with a variety of dietary needs in mind. Our staff seeks to create tasty, home style meals that are good for you, too!
 Evening: Orientation at 7:00 pm. We will review the schedule for the week as well as the facilities and resources that are available during your free time. Emergency procedures and general questions will be covered, along with ample time for introductions of participants for this program and meeting your hosts and resource team.
   
Accommodations: Amigo Centre & Retreat
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Amish-Mennonite Heritage Class Field Trip-Visiting Menno Hof in Shipshewana, eating dinner at Amish home
(Monday, September 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in the Dining Hall beginning at 8:00 am. Enjoy delicious hot entrees with the addition of fresh fruit. We prepare our eggs in a variety of ways throughout the week, plus breakfast meats and options such as pancakes, baked oatmeal, or French toast.
 Morning: Amish-Mennonite Heritage class What is "Anabaptist" and where do the Amish and Mennonite traditions begin?
 Lunch: Lunch is in the Dining Hall at 12:00 pm. Enjoy delicious meals complete with salad bar and dessert.
 Afternoon: Field Trip to town of Shipshewana, IN.
 Dinner: At 5:00 pm, we will enjoy a "Thrasher's Meal" at a local Amish home. This delectable repast recalls the experience of Amish thrashers who worked together each year at harvest time followed by a delicious meal. We'll bring our pie back with us to Amigo - to enjoy a little later in the evening!
 Evening: Return to Amigo Centre and enjoy a relaxing evening making new friends or simply enjoying your surroundings.
   
Accommodations: Amigo Centre & Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Amish-Mennonite Heritage Class-including a visit with an Amish couple
(Tuesday, September 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in the Dining Hall beginning at 8:00 am. Enjoy delicious meals with fresh fruit, hot breakfast foods including eggs, meat and a variety throughout the week of pancakes, baked oatmeal, or French toast.
 Morning: Amish-Mennonite Heritage class
 Lunch: Lunch is in the Dining Hall at 12:00 pm. Enjoy delicious meals complete with salad bar and dessert.

After lunch, you'll have an opportunity for an informal nature walk along some of our many trails where you can enjoy the peace and beauty of the woods and lakeside. You might even see a deer!

 Afternoon: Amish-Mennonite Heritage class: we will meet with a local Amish couple who are prepared to share their story as well as answer questions you may have.
 Dinner: Dinner is in the Dining Hall at 5:00 pm. Get ready for some of our delicious desserts -- sure to tickle your palate -- Grasshopper Pie or Brownie Cheesecake, to name a few!
 Evening: CAMPFIRE & PONTOON RIDES: Beginning around 6:00 pm, we will have a campfire with pontoon rides by the boat house near the Retreat Center. You may enjoy a leisurely ride on Perrin Lake, and/or gather around the campfire, singing songs, roasting marshmallows, and making S'mores. (Everybody wants s'more!) We will alternate groups on the pontoon to allow everyone to participate.
   
Accommodations: Amigo Centre & Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Morning of Free time - to visit the amazing Flea Market and Auction in Shipshewana...or other sites in the area. We'll give you list at the start of the week! After lunch we'll go on a Field Trip-visiting a local Amish farm, an Amish business, and an Amish School.
(Wednesday, September 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in the Dining Hall at 8:00 am. By now you'll be asking for some of our recipes -- baked oatmeal or homemade granola, everyone's favorite!
 Morning: Free Time
 Lunch: Lunch is in the Dining Hall at 12:00 pm. Enjoy delicious meals complete with salad bar and dessert.
 Afternoon: Field trip to local Amish community
 Dinner: Dinner is in the Dining Hall at 6:00 pm. Dessert could be Blueberry Crunch or Apple Crisp...both scrumptious!
 Evening: SHARE YOUR TALENTS & TALES: We will gather around 7:00 pm for our very own "Talent Show." Bring a story, poem, song, hobby, or whatever you would like to present (for up to 5 minutes). We will also have time for you to share stories of other Road Scholar programs you have participated in and would most recommend.
   
Accommodations: Amigo Centre & Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Amish-Mennonite Heritage Class
(Thursday, September 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in the Dining Hall at 8:00 am. In addition to the other tasty options, perhaps some coffee cake or rolls today.
 Morning: Amish-Mennonite Heritage class: How mealtime has changed through the centuries. Briefly traces the evolution of mealtime over the centuries to discover where our idea comes from that mealtime is so important for families. How did it become one of the basic structures of civilized life, and who says so? Why dinner is not a good word for some families. A look at some of the negative associations with dinner time (minding manners, discipline, kids texting through a meal).
 Lunch: Lunch is in the Dining Hall at 12:00 pm. We provide a variety of home style meals throughout the program. What has been your favorite thus far? Please be sure to let us know what you have liked the best.
 Afternoon: Amish-Mennonite Heritage class: How Mennonite cooking has changed through the centuries. Moving from oral tradition and “little of this and that” and eventually to recipe boxes, church cookbooks and today’s blogs, this session will look at some of the best known of Mennonite cookbooks and how they tie to Mennonite theology and teachings. Homemade: Making noodles and why it is worth it. Sessions today include hands on experience of making homemade noodles!
 Dinner: Dinner is in the Dining Hall at 5:00 pm. Our closing dinner of the program will be a special occasion for celebrating the camaraderie of shared experiences and new friendships.
 Evening: EVENING PRESENTATION: Pigtails and Ponytails: Growing up Mennonite. We will gather around the quilting frame to help knot a comforter for charity and listen as Melodie and Carol share stories and photos of their experience growing up in Mennonite homes and a Mennonite community fifty years ago. How did the activities and foods of home, church, and community mark the seasons of their lives and influence them today? How is Mennonite life different today than it was in the 1950’s? The evening will include favorite Mennonite snacks from the 1950’s.
   
Accommodations: Amigo Centre & Retreat
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Amish-Mennonite Heritage Wrap-up
(Friday, September 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is in the Dining Hall at 8:00 am. Last chance to taste that delicious homemade granola...we're sure you'll want to purchase some to extend your Amigo memories.
 Morning: Final Amish-Mennonite Heritage class: Briefly look at some of today’s trends to making more homemade things whether for dietary restrictions, desire to know what goes into the food we eat, to save money, etc. How to find resources. Wrap-up and closing
 Lunch: The program concludes with lunch in the Dining Hall at 11:30 am.

We trust you have enjoyed this new learning adventure and will return for other rewarding Road Scholar programs in the future. Happy Trails to you until we meet again!

   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Sturgis, MI River County Tourism Bureau
Your guide to Southern Michigan For additional information, visit www.rivercountry.com
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.

Suggested Reading List


Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy


Author: Donald Kraybill, Steven Nolt, David Weaver-Zercher


Description: A story of the forgiveness and grace that followed the school shooting in Nickel Mines, PA. "Amish Grace" explores the many questions the story raises about the religious beliefs that led the Amish to forgive so quickly.



The Riddle of Amish Culture


Author: Donald Kraybill


Description: "The Riddle of Amish Culture" provides some clues and starts some conversation to better understand how the Amish answer some of life's questions. The differences in cultures are explained and unpacked in the this book.



The History of the Amish


Author: Steven M. Nolt


Description: "The History of the Amish" presents the deep and rich heritage of the Amish People.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768