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The Story of Elderhostel

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From its headquarters in Boston, Elderhostel, Inc. administers an international network of educational programs for people over 60. In just over 15 years, Elderhostel has grown from a summer program for 220 in New Hampshire to a worldwide movement with some 236,000 participants a year in 50 countries - more than a thousandfold increase! The Story of Elderhostel chronicles this explosive growth and captures the contagious enthusiasm of half a million hostlers. Eugene Mills was president of the University of New ...
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1993 Paperback 874516005. Brand New;

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Overview

From its headquarters in Boston, Elderhostel, Inc. administers an international network of educational programs for people over 60. In just over 15 years, Elderhostel has grown from a summer program for 220 in New Hampshire to a worldwide movement with some 236,000 participants a year in 50 countries - more than a thousandfold increase! The Story of Elderhostel chronicles this explosive growth and captures the contagious enthusiasm of half a million hostlers. Eugene Mills was president of the University of New Hampshire when Elderhostel was founded there in 1975. Since 1977 he has served on the Board of Directors of the organization. From this unique vantage point, he describes the program's inception and launch, and the overwhelming response it received from the outset. At a time when many older people were enjoying better health and financial security than ever before, Elderhostel was among the first to respond to their need for intellectual stimulation and adventure. In telling the Elderhostel story, Mills highlights the program's greatest asset: its people. An avid hosteler himself, he draws on his own adventures and interactions with fellow to bring participants the Elderhostel experience to vivid life. First-person accounts from hostlers, teachers, and administrators directly communicate their excitement and camaraderie. Mills describes a broad sample of domestic and international programs, conveying both the diversity of the offerings and the unity of the Elderhostel experience. Mills concludes by placing the Elderhostel phenomenon in the context of society's attitudes toward older citizens. In our youth-oriented culture, seniors have too often been undervalued or dismissed. But "the hundreds of thousands of Elderhostelers in programs around the world," Mills notes, "reflect a positive, motivated, participatory attitude that is a direct refutation of the American myth of the 'used-up elderly'".
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mills, former president of the University of New Hampshire and board member of Elderhostel, has produced a modest, readable portrait of the university-based education and travel program for senior citizens, which now has 300,000 alumni. The author offers portraits of the Elderhostel experience--an Arizona program covers subjects from lexicography to the social history of mining towns--and details the history of the program, starting with its founding in 1975 by two iconoclastic educators. Though he sometimes dwells too much on the organizational details of Elderhostel, Mills doesn't ignore the people; he offers composite sketches of six Elderhostelers, some of whom came seeking companionship, some intellectual stimulation. Also included are accounts from teachers who are happy to teach ``folks who simply want to know.'' Mills suggests that Elderhostel occupies a special niche in a country where healthy elders seek engagement, though he notes that to date participants have been mostly upper-middle class. Specialists in senior citizen issues as well as those involved in Elderhostel should find the book interesting. Photos not seen by PW. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874516005
  • Publisher: University of New Hampshire Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Introduction 1
I The Plot
1 Prologue: Inside the Elderhostel Experience 11
2 The Vision 26
3 The First Summer 33
4 Unsolicited Generosity 42
5 Instant Momentum 47
6 A Cause for Celebration 55
7 The 1980s: A Decade of Expansion 64
8 Elderhostel Today 82
II The Characters
9 Six Elderhostelers: Portraits of Engagement 95
10 Elderhostelers Write about Their Experiences 107
11 Teaching Folks Who Simply Want to Know 124
III The Theme
12 Elders in America: The Context for Success 149
13 Elders Teaching Elders: The Institute Movement 161
14 "The Strange Success of Elderhostel" 171
Appendix: Elderhostel Board of Directors (as of March 4, 1992) 183
Notes 187
Index 191
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