Sunday, May 20, 2018

Step Falls Wildflower Hike on Thursday

This Thursday, May 24, Lynne Zimmerman will lead a leisurely, easy, one-mile (round trip) hike along beautiful Step Falls to identify wildflowers and enjoy the waterfalls. Be sure to bring appropriate footwear, water, bug repellent, and a camera. Sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, this event is free and open to the public. Meet at 1:30 pm at the Step Falls parking area on Route 26 near Grafton Notch. For more information contact Liz Wooley (ewooley@myfairpoint.net).

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Pairs and Spares: Dining Out at Nonna's Kitchen

On Wednesday, May 23 at 6:00 pm join your Western Mountains Senior College friends for dinner at Nonna’s Kitchen in Gorham, New Hampshire.  Nonna's Kitchen features authentic, made from scratch Italian cuisine in a cozy, comfortable setting, and it's only half an hour west of Bethel.  Members are welcome to bring a guest - it's a great way to introduce someone to our senior college! To sign up and make carpooling arrangements, contact Kay Rector (kaymail3333@gmail.com or 207-824-3333) by May 17.



Saturday, April 28, 2018

Down Home Maine: New Ideas, New Practices in Education

The older ones among us can remember memorizing our multiplication tables in grade school and making doorstops and flour scoops in wood and metal shop in junior high. Later as parents we may have thrown up our hands at the frustrating mystery of the New Math our kids or grandkids were dealing with.

But now, what does 21st century learning look like? And what is a "maker space"? The landscape of learning is challenged to be "agile" and "nimble" and "experiential." But what does that really mean for the student learner and the learning environment?


Come learn about the trends in 21st century education from Sara Shifrin, Director of Gould's Marlon Family IDEAS Center. This second presentation in Western Mountains Senior College's 2018 Down Home Maine series will be held on May 8 at 4:30 pm in Alumni Auditorium in Gould Academy's McLaughlin Science Building. Down Home Maine presentations are free and open to the public.

Sara Shifrin, on right, speaking with two students at Gould Academy's IDEAS center.

Brown Bag Lunch Discussion: U.S. In the World: Are We Helping?

Recently retired U.S. diplomat Lucy Abbott will facilitate a Brown Bag Lunch discussion on connections between our foreign and domestic policies. Lucy has, in three decades of service, developed strategies on advancing our energy and environmental goals, on protecting Americans abroad, and on navigating the contradictions that arise when our foreign assistance, security, economic and political objectives are in conflict with each other.

Bring your lunch and join the discussion on Tuesday, May 15, from 12:15-1:30 pm in the Bethel Inn Library. Brown Bag Lunches are free and open to the public. RSVP to Liz Wooley (ewooley@myfairpoint.net) so that we can set up enough chairs.

May Events

Tuesday, May 8
Down Home Maine: New Ideas, New Practices in Education
What does 21st century learning look like? And what is a "maker space"? The landscape of learning is challenged to be "agile" and "nimble" and "experiential." Sara Shifrin, Director of Gould's Marlon Family IDEAS Center, will speak about the trends in 21st century education, and what these mean for the student learner and the learning environment.
Tuesday, May 8; 4:30 pm; Alumni Auditorium, McLaughlin Science Center, Gould Academy.

Tuesday, May 15
Brown Bag Lunch: U.S. In the World: Are We Helping?
Recently retired U.S. diplomat Lucy Abbott will lead a discussion on connections between our foreign and domestic policies. Lucy has, in three decades of service, developed strategies on advancing our energy and environmental goals, on protecting Americans abroad, and on navigating the contradictions that arise when our foreign assistance, security, economic and political objectives are in conflict with each other. Free and open to the public. RSVP to Liz Wooley (ewooley@myfairpoint.net).
Tuesday, May 15; 12:15-1:30; Bethel Inn Library

Wednesday, May 23

Pairs and Spares Dining Out
Join with other couples and singles for the Pairs and Spares dinner at Nonna’s Kitchen in Gorham, New Hampshire, about half an hour west of Bethel. Members may bring a guest. To sign up and make carpooling arrangements, contact Kay Rector at kaymail333@gmail.com or call 207-824-3333.
Wednesday, May 23; 6:00 pm; Nonna's Kitchen, Gorham, NH.

Thursday, May 24
Down Home Maine: Step Falls Wildflower Hike
Lynne Zimmerman will lead a leisurely, easy, one-mile (round trip) hike along beautiful Step Falls to identify wildflowers and enjoy the waterfalls. Be sure to bring appropriate footwear, water, bug repellent, and a camera.
Thursday, May 24; 1:30-3:00; Step Falls (on Route 26 near Grafton Notch).


The following events are not sponsored by Western Mountains Senior College, but may be of interest to our members.

Tuesday, May 1
Red Cross Blood Drive at Telstar High School
Sponsored by the Telstar Chapter of the National Honor Society.  FMI: NHS advisor Sarah Southam (southams@telstar.org).
Tuesday, May 1; noon-5:00 pm; Telstar High School Gymnasium, Bethel.

Saturday, May 5 and May 19
Bird Walks at Mahoosuc Land Trust
Get to know our local birds by joining James Reddoch, MLT member and birding enthusiast, on two Saturday bird walks. We hope to document all of the bird species on Valentine Farm. Experience is not required and there are binoculars available for use. The walk will be along a flat, gentle trail with good access to water, field and forest habitats.  FMI: www.mahoosuc.org.
Saturday, May 5 and May 19; 8:00-10:00 am; Valentine Farm Conservation Center, 162 North Road, Bethel.

Sunday, May 6
Mahoosuc Community Band Spring Concert
Under the direction of Patricia Boyle-Wight our local community band presents its annual concert of traditional and popular music. Free and open to the public; donations gratefully appreciated.  Refreshments following concert.
Sunday, May 6, 4:00 pm; West Parish Congregational Church, Bethel.

Wednesday, May 9
A Day in the Life of a Tiny-House Builder
Gould Academy Junior Luke Hayward began building a tiny house to culminate his 8th grade year at the Eddy School. Since then he, his father Chris and his grandfather Gary have worked together to construct his house, using creative methods to keep costs and environmental impact low. They'll share the process and results of their project. Part of the 2018 speaker series sponsored by Norway Savings Bank. FMI: www.mahoosuc.org.
Wednesday, May 9; 7:00 pm; McLaughlin Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel.


Monday, May 14 and May 21

Creating a Pollinator Garden 
Help Mahoosuc Land Trust create a pollinator garden at Valentine Farm. Attend a two-part gardening course on the basics of pollinators and designing beneficial gardens. All are then welcome to help plan, plant and maintain the garden during weekly work nights throughout the season. Class participation is not required to volunteer in the garden. To learn more and to register for the class, please call Mahoosuc Land Trust at 824-3806.
Monday, May 14 and May 21; 5:30-7:30; Valentine Farm Conservation Center, 162 North Road, Bethel.

Wednesday, May 30
Community Supper

Come and join the people of the community for a delicious meal. No charge, all are welcome.
Wednesday, May 30; 4:30-6:00 pm; Bethel Alliance Church, 251 Walker’s Mills Road, Bethel.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

To Your Health Program on How to De-stress Well Received

by Rosabelle Tifft

Thirty participants from Waterford, Rumford, Norway, and Greenwood, in addition to Bethel, heard tips on how to de-stress at a program held on April 12 at the West Parish Congregational Church in Bethel.

The first presenter, Ellen Crocker, retired psychotherapist, reviewed stress symptoms, signs and causes, and a stress test. She said, “Stress isn’t always bad. In small doses it can help you perform under pressure, and motivate you to do your best. You can protect yourself and improve how you think and feel by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms of chronic stress, and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects.” Participants were given a number of handouts on this topic.

Wendy Youmans, LCSW and 500 hour level Kripula yoga teacher, led the group in breathing exercises and meditation, as well as basic yoga stretching. Participants found closing their eyes while doing yoga movements very helpful and relaxing.

Jewel Clark, professional musician, said that music occupies your mind in a way that distracts from stressful thinking. She entertained with musical numbers, had a sing-along with the audience, and taught them to yodel.

In their evaluations of the program, participants praised the presenters for an enjoyable, relaxing and fun evening. They agreed that each presenter gave good tips on de-stressing.



To Your Health Committee members Jan Stowell and Rosabelle Tifft; presenters Ellen Crocker, Wendy Youmans and Jewel Clark.  Photo by Peter Musso.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Adaptive Toolkit on Display in Telstar Room 133

Have you “played with” the Age-Friendly Community Initiative (AFCI) Adaptive toolkit, purchased through an AARP competitive grant? This is a display of tools for home use, including kitchen helpers and aids to facilitate vision and manual dexterity. Many of the tools are for sale at Brooks Brothers Hardware, and a take-home catalog notes other retailers where all tools may be purchased. The toolkit is being displayed throughout the six communities (Bethel, Gilead, Greenwood,Hanover, Newry, and Woodstock) and at local events. It is on display now until May in Telstar Room 133; stop by after a class or come for an AFCI chat on Tuesday, April 10, 12:15-2:00 pm.

Best of Acadia Week

College of the Atlantic, in partnership with Acadia Senior College, is hosting a special residential program, The Best of Acadia Week. The program, which runs from July 15-21, includes housing, all transportation, activities, and meals during the week. The College of the Atlantic kitchen does a great job at accommodating all diets and providing fresh and nutritious meals.

Attendees will meet in the morning with Atlantic Senior College members for talks (we have lined up a few of Maine college presidents). In the afternoons College of the Atlantic will be taking the group out and about to see some of the highlights of our area. There is a moderate level of activity for active adult learners. Participants come and enjoy themselves while learning something new!

For a full description of the program see Acadia Senior College’s website The Best of Acadia Week. Questions? Contact Laura Johnson, College of the Atlantic Director of Summer Programs, 207-801-5635.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Distressed about Stress

Ellen Crocker, Jewel Clark and Wendy Youmans

To Your Health of Western Mountains Senior College will present a program, “Distressed about Stress,” on Thursday, April 12, from 4:30 to 6:00 pm at the West Parish Congregational Church Chapel, Bethel. Presenters include Ellen Crocker, retired psychotherapist, Wendy Youmans, licensed clinical social worker and 500 hour level Kripalu Yoga Teacher, and Jewel Clark, professional musician.

Ellen will discuss the causes and symptoms of stress and offer suggestions about coping with stress. She says, “Stress is self-generated, due largely to the expectations we place on ourselves. Much of what bothers us is beyond our control. However, how we deal with it, and how we react is under our control.

Wendy will give an introduction to yoga and meditation followed by breathing exercises and meditation with the audience. She will demonstrate basic yoga and stretching that anyone can do. Wendy says,”My approach to yoga is to offer an opportunity for increased self-awareness, stress relief, fitness, and community connection and, hopefully, a healthy dose of laughter.”

In discussing the role of music, Jewel says, “When you listen to music, especially when you’re participating yourself by singing or playing an instrument, it occupies your mind in a way that distracts from stressful thinking. Also, physiologically, it can prompt your brain to produce ‘endorphins,’ a hormone that helps you to feel good."

Jewel came from a family of musical performers, including Yodeling Slim Clark, Blue Eyed Celia, and Wilf Clark and feels her musical interests and abilities were simply inherited. She has experienced how music can positively affect both the performer and the audience in those moments of “connection.” Jewel especially loves encouraging “listeners” to “participate” during her performances, because when they join in, they really seem to enjoy the act of singing themselves.

The program is sponsored as a community service by To Your Health of WMSC with the collaboration of Bethel Family Health Center and MSAD#44/Continuing Education. The public is invited and admission is free. For more information contact Rosabelle Tifft (824-2053).



Sunday, March 11, 2018

Thanks from the Bethel House

Karen Mills sends out a big thank you to all those who responded to her request for donations of puzzles and craft materials to use at the Bethel House. The response has been overwhelming! They now have as much as they can use, as storage at the Bethel House is tight. Your donations are greatly appreciated by the residents - we certainly do have a great group of senior college members.  Thank you all, and Karen says she is sure you will hear from her again!