|About the Book|
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 movementMoreFrom 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 programs 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 programs 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 societys attitudes toward older citizens. In our youth-oriented culture, seniors have too often been undervalued or dismissed. Butthe 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.