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Learning at the Lake

Program Number: 21427RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/23/2015 - 3/27/2015; 4/17/2016 - 4/22/2016; 5/1/2016 - 5/6/2016; 6/5/2016 - 6/10/2016; 6/19/2016 - 6/24/2016; 6/26/2016 - 7/1/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/22/2016; 7/31/2016 - 8/5/2016; 8/7/2016 - 8/12/2016; 8/21/2016 - 8/26/2016; 9/25/2016 - 9/30/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/14/2016; 10/16/2016 - 10/21/2016;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Price starting at: $725.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Multi-Topic
Meals: 12; 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Vegetarian    

The shore of sparkling Lake Geneva is the perfect setting for a learning adventure with gifted instructors who are passionate communicators in a fascinating array of topics. Experience programs that are intellectually stimulating but easy on the body and joints. Relax on covered decks with fresh breezes or try out the lakeside walking path.


• Enjoy courses in history, music, politics, literature and biographies of people who have changed our world.
• Absorb stimulating information, rethink old ideas and gain new perspectives.
• As a special highlight, attend a cultural event.

Activity Particulars

Minimal walking required; participants are welcome to explore nature paths or lakefront.

Date Specific Information


INSIDE THE OFFICE OF THE U.S. PRESIDENT: Often called the most powerful person in the world, the U.S. President’s role has evolved significantly from the one stated in Article II of the Constitution. Explore the President’s role as Commander-in-Chief with noteworthy events related to declaring war and making peace. Discuss foreign policy success and challenges. Learn more about the Electoral College and interesting election results among other topics. Attend a world premiere performance of the new play “Five Presidents” at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater in Milwaukee.


NOEL AND COLE: Witty, charming and sophisticated, these are just a few words to describe Noel Coward and Cole Porter. These composers and songwriters both led fascinating lives and created memorable musicals like "Anything Goes" and plays like "Hayfever". Attend a performance of Coward's play "Fallen Angels" at the Milwaukee Chamber Theater.


HISTORY OF GLOBAL TRADE: The Silk Road was just one trade route used to transport goods, services, and wealth between people and countries. Global economies are more interconnected than ever before. Look at the history of trade and commerce along with the concept of money as a way to store wealth.


FINE ARTS AND MUSIC: Join esteemed instructor Greg Athnos for a special program to celebrate his 40 years teaching for Road Scholar. This week will be an All Greg - All Week format with some of Greg's favorite topics. Included this week will be the music of Gilbert and Sullivan along with a matinee performance of "Pirates of Penzance" at Skylight Music Theater.


A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM: Explore the importance of the summer solstice to early Celts and Christians. Discuss the significance of Stonehenge and bon fires. Delve into William Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" when the line is blurred between the real world and the fairie world.


EXPLORING AMERICA DURING THE 1960s: JFK and Johnson were in the White House dealing with the Cold War, Civil Rights and Vietnam while the Beatles, Motown, Laugh-In and the Smothers Brothers took care of everything else. This decade is one of hectic change compared to the 50s. Attend a performance of "Rockin' at the Fireside" at The Fireside Theater.


DUOS: COMEDY TEAMS, POLITICAL COUPLES AND MUSICAL PARTNERS: Learn about comedic timing from teams like Burns and Allen. Delve into the public and personal lives of presidents and first ladies like the Washingtons, Adames and Roosevelts. Explore Broadway composing teams like Rodgers and Hart. Attend a performance of “Singin’ In the Rain” at The Fireside Theater in Fort Atkinson.


EVOLUTION OF THE AMERICAN MUSICAL: Trace the development of the American musical from its beginning in the music review to the golden age of musicals with great story and music. Progress to the spectacle production and conclude with today's hit shows based on popular movies. Attend a performance of "Singing in the Rain" at The Fireside Theater.

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 located on beautiful Geneva Lake in a 51-acre wooded site. Beautiful lake shore walking path for viewing historic mansions.

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

Greg received his bachelor’s in music education from Northwestern College and his master’s from the University of Michigan. He also studied at the University of Oslo and was an associate professor of music at North Park University in Chicago. Greg continues a busy lecture schedule and leads art appreciation study groups to Europe.
Christine Brookes

Christine Brookes is a Lake Geneva native who received her bachelor’s in education from the University of Michigan and master's in education from Viterbo University, specializing in language arts and reading. She has performed at the Bristol Renaissance Faire and with several community theaters.
Ellen Langill

Dr. Ellen Langill earned a bachelor’s degree in Latin from Grinnell College, where she was a National Merit Scholar, and a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Wisconsin. She has published more than 15 books and articles in the fields of legal and business history and the story of specific companies and organizations. Several of her books have won both regional and national history awards, including her 150 year history of Milwaukee law firm Foley & Lardner. Dr. Langill teaches in the history department at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Meals and Lodgings
   Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor
  Lake Geneva, WI 4 nights
 Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor
Type: Conference Center
  Description: You'll be staying at the Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp. Since 1947, this faith-based camp and retreat center has been committed to providing excellent facilities and programming to the youth, families and adults who come to this lakeside location. Situated one mile west of downtown Lake Geneva on 52 beautiful wooded acres, the camp and retreat center offer an ideal location to learn, relax and create lasting relationships. The historic property includes several buildings left from the Sturges Estate created around the time of the Great Chicago Fire when wealthy families built their summer "cottages" at the lake and stayed for the summer season. Today, the Lake Geneva area is still known as Chicago's Summer Backyard. Guests are encouraged to explore the grounds and walk along the public access lake shore path. The path goes all the way around the lake (23 miles total) but even walking a small portion you'll see historic and modern homes, all beautifully kept.
  Contact info: 1724 W Main Street
Lake Geneva, WI 53147 USA
phone: 262-248-3600
  Room amenities: Each guest room contains a radio/alarm clock, hair dryer, telephone with voice mail, soap, shampoo and lotion. This retreat center does not have televisions in their guest rooms; as a retreat center they do not want any distractions to get in the way of you getting the most from your program experience.
  Facility amenities: Geneva Bay Retreat Center is a self-contained facility with 32 guest rooms, meeting space and dining room all in one building. An elevator provides access to all three levels (meeting and dining room in the ground floor level with two floors of sleeping rooms above). Free internet (wi-fi) service throughout the building. Due to the topography of the area, mobile phone signals may not always be reliable. Relax with new friends in two lounges, one with a television with basic news channels. No alcohol permitted on site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $80.00 Call 262-248-3600, ext. 333 for additional nights availability.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $80.00 Call 262-248-3600, ext. 333 for additional nights availability.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in available from 4:00 p.m. at retreat center. You will be staying at Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor that night.
  End of Program:
Program concludes after lunch at 11:30 a.m. You will be staying at Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. COVENANT HARBOR WAIVER. This form cannot be completed online. You'll find the form before the Participant Information Form in your pre-program materials. Complete and return to the address provided.
  Parking availability:
Free surface 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.


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


From Airport




Car Rentals
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1 hour 15 minutes 




55 miles


A variety of rental companies operate at the Milwaukee Airport including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Driving Directions
  From Chicago to Lake Geneva Take the I-294 N towards Milwaukee (there will be tolls). Take I-94 W (You are actually going north) to Milwaukee (There will be tolls). Take the Hwy 50 W exit to Kenosha/Lake Geneva. Follow Hwy 50 W approximately 28 miles to Lake Geneva. Stay on Hwy 50 W one mile and turn left into the Covenant Harbor Bible Camp entrance. The entrance is just before Highway 50 widens from two lanes to a four lane highway.
  From Madison to Lake Geneva Take I-90 south to I-43 north. Follow I-43 north to Hwy 50 east (Lake Geneva). Follow Hwy 50 for about 10 miles. As you enter Lake Geneva you are coming down a big hill and the highway will narrow from four lanes to two lanes, at this point the Covenant Harbor/Geneva Bay Centre entrance is on the right. Continue down the drive and bear to the right at the fork, up the hill to Geneva Bay Centre (three story red brick building). Passenger drop off to the left, parking to the right. Travel time approx. 1 hour 30 minutes.
  From Milwaukee to Lake Geneva Take I-43 south to Exit 36, Hwy 120 East Troy/Lake Geneva. Take Hwy 120 south 13 miles to Lake Geneva (three stop signs). Continue straight into Lake Geneva, do not follow Hwy 120 around the city, instead continue straight onto Broad Street to the second stop light (intersection of Broad St and Hwy 50, the lake will be directly in front of you). Turn right on Hwy 50 and proceed west one mile (the lake is on your left) to the Covenant Harbor Bible Camp/Geneva Bay Centre entrance on your left (lakeside). Look for the red "Welcome Road Scholar" sign. The entrance is just before Hwy 50 widens from two lanes to a four lane highway. If you see Snake Road you've gone too far. Continue down the driveway and bear to the right at Heinzelman Way, continue up the road and park in front of the thee-story brick building (Geneva Bay Centre).
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 and Check-in / Program Registration / Welcome Dinner / Orientation
(Monday, March 23)

Note: Check-in available from 4:00 p.m. You are welcome to arrive as early as you like, but accommodations will not be available before the noted time.

 Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
 Dinner: In the dining room on the lower level, our dinner buffet offers a rotating variety of hot entrees, sides, as well as salads and dessert. Find a seat and take your glass to the beverage center for your choice of soda, coffee, tea (hot or iced), and water.
 Evening: Orientation: In our private meeting room, the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have.

Indicated times are approximate. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. The Group Leader will often be available during free time to accompany informal excursions, activities, or meals that have been excluded from the program cost. You are welcome to join if you like, with any associated costs on your own.

Continue getting to know your fellow participants and find out what you have in common beyond a love of learning as we celebrate Road Scholar's 40th Anniversary and Covenant Harbor's 25th Anniversary of offering Road Scholar programs this year.
Accommodations: Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Inside the Office of the President
(Tuesday, March 24)
 Breakfast: In the dining room at 8:00 a.m., our breakfast buffet offers a variety of rotating choices such as an egg dish, breakfast meat (such as bacon, ham, sausage), hot and cold cereals, fruit, toast, bagels, muffins, yogurt, milk, juices, coffee (regular and decaf), tea, and water.
 Morning: Presidential elections have always brought key national issues, like war and peace, to light. We will focus on several key elections such as John Adams in 1800, James Polk in 1844, Lincoln in 1860, McKinley in 1896, Wilson in 1916, FDR in 1940, and LBJ in 1964. It will be a historic journey through the heart of our political discourse.
 Lunch: In the dining room at 12:30 p.m., our lunch buffet offers a variety of rotating choices such as salad bar with lots of fresh toppings, sandwiches and wraps, casseroles, soups, cookies and dessert bars, along with milk, coffee (regular and decaf), tea (hot or iced), and water.
 Afternoon: Explore the relationship between the President and the Supreme Court.
 Dinner: In the dining room.
 Evening: Evening Entertainment: TBA.
Accommodations: Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Milwaukee Field Trip / City Tour / Afternoon Theater Experience "Five Presidents" at Milwaukee Repertory Theater
(Wednesday, March 25)

Note: Listening devices available at the theater.

 Breakfast: In the dining room.
 Morning: After boarding our motor coach, we'll begin the day with a quick drive along Snake Road, a 2.5 mile loop that winds past split rail fencing and unique gate houses to many of the historic properties along Geneva Lake.

Next, we will drive into downtown Lake Geneva where your Group Leader will point out several historic buildings and tell their histories.

Then we'll depart for Milwaukee. Our 1 hour 15 minute trip will take us northeast along Interstate 43 through countryside doted with small farms, small towns, and corn fields.

Upon arriving in Milwaukee, your Group Leader will again get on the mic as we pass some of Milwaukee's iconic architecture.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in Milwaukee, enjoy a plated lunch before the show.
 Afternoon: Matinee Theater Performance of FIVE PRESIDENTS: Since 1954, Milwaukee Repertory Theater has been creating theatrical productions of the highest standard. Today, we'll take in a matinee performance, and world-premiere, of the play "Five Presidents" written by Emmy-Award winning writer Rick Cleveland. Obliged to gather together on the day of Richard Nixon’s funeral, four “exes” and one “current” vent frustrations, revisit old grievances, and reveal the toll that it takes on any person foolish enough to seek the highest office in the land.

After the performance, we'll re-board our motor coach and return to Lake Geneva.
 Dinner: In the dining room.
 Evening: Evening Entertainment: TBA.
Accommodations: Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Inside the Office of the President
(Thursday, March 26)
 Breakfast: In the dining room.
 Morning: Continue our discussion of the affect of elections on presidential policy.
 Lunch: In the dining room.
 Afternoon: Inside the Office of the President.
 Dinner: In the dining room.
 Evening: Evening Entertainment: TBA.
Accommodations: Geneva Bay Retreat Center at Covenant Harbor
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Inside of the Office of the President / Program Wrap Up / Program Concludes
(Friday, March 27)

Note: Check-out is by 11:00 a.m.

 Breakfast: In the dining room.
 Morning: The American Presidency: Favorite Fictional Commanders-in-Chief: There’s a list for everything on the Internet. Find out how your favorite film (or TV) President compares to news polls and fan favorites.

Program Wrap Up: Share your favorite parts of the program and what you'll take away from this experience.
 Lunch: In the dining room at 11:30 a.m. This concludes our program.

We hope you enjoy all your Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. We encourage you to join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at Best wishes for all your journeys!
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
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

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity

Author: Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

Description: The Presidents Club, established at Dwight Eisenhower’s inauguration by Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, is a complicated place: its members are bound forever by the experience of the Oval Office and yet are eternal rivals for history’s favor. Among their secrets: How Jack Kennedy tried to blame Ike for the Bay of Pigs. How Ike quietly helped Reagan win his first race in 1966. How Richard Nixon conspired with Lyndon Johnson to get elected and then betrayed him. How Jerry Ford and Jimmy Carter turned a deep enmity into an alliance. The unspoken pact between a father and son named Bush. And the roots of the rivalry between Clinton and Barack Obama.

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