NEW MSCN HEADER (With border)
Issue No. 20
October 2011
The MSCN Newsletter

Welcome to your October newsletter!


Autumn illustrationThis month's newsletter is brimming with news and photos about Senior College happenings around the state! We have articles about field trips taken by members of Augusta Senior College, Gold LEAF Institute, and Lewiston / Auburn Senior College, as well as some great photos from the trips. Acadia Senior College reports on their participation in Celebrate!250, an observance of the 250th anniversary Mount Desert Island's first permanent settlement. This month's Poet's Corner offers a poem from a member of Downeast Senior College.

We've had recent inquiries about the Maine Association of Retirees' senior college membership benefit offered to its members who are also Maine Senior College members. You'll find information on the benefit in this issue.

We've included information about  a workshop Encorps Leadership Corps is offering on Inspired Board Leadership on October 19 at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. A link to full information is included in the article.

Also, the University of Maine Center on Aging is seeking Washington County residents to participate in community discussions on the topic of impaired driving among older adults. Check out the details below!

October brings a final month to enter this year's Poet Laureate and Photography competitions. It's an opportunity to showcase your creativity! We need to receive your submission by November 1. For information on how to submit a poem or a photo, please see the articles about  the contests.

Thank you to all of our dedicated correspondents who have been sending us the news from their senior colleges. We love hearing from you!



Kali Lightfoot

Executive Director

Maine Senior College Network   

UMA Senior College Class Studies Historic Maine Forts

UMA Senior College class field trip to Ft William Henry

Led by instructor Tom Feagin, students in the University of Maine Augusta Senior College course "Historic Maine Forts" took a field trip to Fort William Henry at Pemaquid Colonial Village in New Harbor on September 14. They were accompanied by Historian Tom Desjardins of the Maine Department of Conservation.

The State of Maine possesses a number of forts from various historic periods, starting in the colonial period and extending to World War II. These forts serve as excellent focal points for the study of the history of America as well as the history of fortifications and weaponry. Many of the forts are well-preserved as historical sites, and almost all are located in scenically beautiful locations.

How did Maine obtain these forts? In 1922 President Calvin Coolidge decided to sell some Federal real estate and offered a good deal to Maine's Governor Percival Baxter. For the grand sum of $19,479.50, the State of Maine acquired Forts Machias, Knox, St. George's, Edgecomb, Baldwin, Popham, McClary, and the Sugarloaf Islands (a couple of rocky bumps in the Kennebec River off of Popham Beach).  Maine has been able to preserve these sites and has added other sites such as Old Fort Western in Augusta and Fort William Henry.

2 UMA Senior College students at Fort William HenryA forts course allows students to not only take interesting field trips to beautiful locations across the state, but also to examine the history of Native American relations, colonial wars between Britain and France, American foreign policy, as well as fascinating facts about naval warfare and the history of artillery. Not to mention learning about that dashing seaman known as the "Sea Wolf of the Confederacy," Charles Read. 

In addition to the trip to Fort William Henry, the class will visit Forts Edgecomb, Popham, Baldwin, Pownall, Knox, George, Western, Scammel, and McClary. The history of these forts reflects many of the tensions in American life throughout the country's history. These tensions persist into the present day, and the course will illuminate the kinds of choices which Americans have faced and still face.

-submitted by Tom Feagin for Augusta Senior College.
The MSCN Photo Contest:
Enter By November 1

photo of autumn leaf on beach rocksThe deadline for entering a photo in the Maine Senior College photo contest is coming right up -- November 1. Fortunately, September in Maine offers many opportunities for taking beautiful photographs of "Outdoor Maine," the contest theme. It's the season of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows blending with greenery in the scenery! If you enjoy capturing this wonderful scenery with your camera, it's a snap to enter MSCN's first photography contest.

If you are a member of a Maine Senior College you are eligible to enter. One entry per person, please, and the submitted photo must be previously unpublished. Your photo may be submitted in digital format as a .jpg file or as a photo print. If you submit a photo print and wish to have it returned to you, you must enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Please email your digital entry as an attachment to or, mail your photo print to:
Kyle Allen
Maine Senior College Network
University of Southern Maine
PO Box 9300
Portland, ME 04104-9300

Be sure to include your name, where your photo was taken, and tell us which Maine Senior College you belong to. Deadline for entries is November 1, 2011. The photographer of the image judged the top pick will receive a Sony 8" digital photo frame, and the winning photo will be published in the December MSCN newsletter.
They Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends

Illustration of jumping cat and dogIn yet another connection to the Farmington-area community, Gold LEAF members recently visited the Franklin County Animal Shelter to learn what providing for homeless animals is all about.

While a community's stray and abandoned animals are often a forgotten population, this isn't the case in Franklin County said shelter director Heidi Jordon. The shelter's number one priority is adoption of animals, and it's a mission they perform with a high degree of success. Only a very few have to be put down, and those are mostly diseased or aged animals.

Though at any given time the shelter manages the care of more than 100 critters, most of them eventually find homes. Jessie Geis, the facility's animal care manager and staff veterinary technician, is one of the people who provide top-rate care for the cats and kittens, dogs and puppies. Her job and that of other staff is to provide a humane and comfortable place at the shelter during the time the animals are temporarily homeless.
Gold LEAF members donate to local animal shelter.
Gold LEAF members brought a number of donations with them during their recent visit to the local animal shelter.

"The class was both fun and informative," said
Gold LEAF member Mary Anne Collard, "not the least because they let the kittens out. There were four of them, running and jumping around on the floor and under the chairs. It was great entertainment."

Gold LEAF members were given a tour of the facility, learned about funding, got to meet the assorted critters, and came away with a better understanding of how they could make a difference in the life of homeless animal.

- Submitted by Richard Matthews for Gold LEAF Institute.
Lewiston-Auburn Senior College Takes to the Road!

A group from Lewiston/Auburn Senior College set off in the rain September 15 to see Sally Struthers in "Legally Blonde" at the Ogunquit Playhouse. It was L/A Senior College's first day-long excursion! Despite the pouring rain, spirits were high and chatter about the musical and upcoming classes took over. The show was hilarious. A bonus was a previously arranged backstage tour led by the Playhouse's associate producer, Jayme McDaniels.

L/A Senior College on the road to Oqunquit Playouse.
Gene Gilbert, standing, conducted the all-important roll call at every boarding. Front are Barbara Randall and Jeanine Arey; back are Elinor Goldblatt and June Spear.


Jayme took the group through the scene, set, and costume changes, and explained the importance of having the props at the right place for a quick pick-up. The actors' dressing rooms were next on the tour, and many in the L/A group were amazed at how cramped and crowded they were! Jayme also explained in great detail how sets are constructed, set up, and then removed by stagehands who work around the clock to make way for the next show coming in.


The closing show of this season is "Miss Saigon," and Jayme elaborated on the extensive set the show requires. He revealed a few details about how the helicopter's movements would be captured. Ah, the magic of theatrical illusion!


Another bonus was Sally Struthers coming backstage to greet the Lewiston/Auburn tour and she thanked everyone for coming to the show. One had to be quick with the camera for a shot, but Sally was sweet and gracious about being photographed.


Rachel Morin and Sandi Croft led the trip, and Gene Gilbert conducted the all-important roll call at each bus boarding. The evaluation sheets were glowing, and more excursions have been requested, even overnights! L/A Senior College is now considering a trip to the Tower Hill Botanical Gardens in Boylston, MA, next June.


- submitted by Rachel Morin for Lewiston/Auburn Senior College. 

Acadia Senior College Particpates in Celebrate!250

Some 250 years ago, in 1761, settlers Abraham Somes and James Richardson sailed from Gloucester, MA,  to what is today known as Mount Desert Island, Maine. While they were not the first human inhabitants -- that distinction belongs to the Wabanaki people who visited seasonally for thousands of years -- their industry, perseverance, and drive sowed the seeds for a rich and vibrant social, political, and economic history that continues to be written to this day.

To mark the 250th anniversary of Mount Desert Island's first permanent settlement,  a collaborative group of MDI organizations developed plans for a year-long celebration with a wide array of memorable, fun, educational events. Acadia Senior College volunteers found that working alongside other island non-profit organizations to plan and carry out the Celebrate!250 initiative was a pleasure that will no doubt lead to additional collaborative ventures as we move forward.

Acadia Senior College's ambitious Celebrate!250 themed Summer Selects series of four programs exceeded expectations for attendance and enthusiasm. Several programs played to standing-room-only audiences.

In July,  Dr. David Schildkret developed two lectures that applied his unique gardens-music-art theme to our particular island story: "The Music of Acadia," and "The Art of Acadia." These can be viewed on iTunesU or You Tube.

Also in July, Bunny McBride and Dr. Harald Prins, the authors of Indians in Eden: Wabanakis and Rusticators on Maine's Mount Desert Island, 1840's-1920's,  gave a talk, "Wabanakis at the Fjord," co-sponsored by the Abbe Museum.

In August, Dr. Steven Katona spoke to a packed house on "Measuring Ocean Health at Global and Local Scales: A New Paradigm and Method."

Many hands worked to make the Acadia Senior College series a success. Creative efforts included an eye-catching brochure and individual posters for each program, ads and press releases to local papers and websites, and additions to the Celebrate!250 Facebook page.

Just for fun, some of the more creative people in our group made a Mr. and Ms. MDI hanging for ASC members and others to insert their face and have a photo taken.

- Submitted by Jude Lamb for Acadia Senior College in Bar Harbor.
ME Senior College Membership Reimbursement is a MAR Benefit

The Maine Association of Retirees (MAR), an organization of retired state and local government employees, offers to reimburse its members for up to $25 toward the annual membership fee for a Maine Senior College. Qualified retirees and people currently employed by state and local governments may join MAR by visiting the MAR web site and completing a form.

Maine Association of Retirees full membership is available to retirees from Maine state government, teachers, and local/municipal government; and beneficiaries (any person receiving pension benefits from the Maine Public Employees Retirement System). MAR also allows for associate membership for those who receive pensions from other public service employment in other U.S. states, and have a primary or secondary residence in Maine.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about obtaining reimbursement from MAR for a Maine Senior College membership:

Q. Can any MAR member receive reimbursement for a Maine Senior College $25 annual membership fee?
A. Yes, any active MAR member can receive reimbursement for their annual membership fee to a Maine Senior College (up to $25 per annum) by forwarding a copy of their receipt (showing their name and  the amount paid for their annual registration fee), along with their mailing address to MAR:
Maine Association of Retirees
280 Maine Avenue
Farmingdale, ME 04344

Q. Is there a date by which applicants must apply for  MAR membership to qualify for the reimbursement of a Maine Senior College membership fee?  
A.  No.
Move Your Board to Inspired Leadership

Encore logoEncore Leadership Corps (ENCorps)  is offering a workshop for volunteers who may be struggling with less than enthusiastic board members. The workshop is free for ENCorps members and $10 for nonmembers, however you may sign up to become an ENCorps member at the event and participate for free.

Deb Burwell, of Paddling the Rapids LLC, will lead the workshop, which will be held on October 19, from 6-8 p.m. at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. Download a pdf flyer for more information, or contact Patti Foden at 207-262-7928 or by email:
U Maine Center on Aging Seeks Washington Country Residents
for October Focus Groups

Bright ideas illustrationThe University of Maine Center on Aging is holding
community discussions in Washington County in
Danforth, Calais, and Machias on the topic of impaired driving among older adults and invites community members in these and surrounding areas to participate. They would like to know more about what you think about this issue:
  • How do you define impaired driving?
  • What are the resources available for addressing impaired driving? 
  • Who should be involved in addressing the issue?
The input provided by participants will help the Center on Aging understand the issue of impaired driving among older adults and will aid community members, organizations, and the government to better address the issue.

Each community discussion will run for approximately an hour and a half, and  there is space available for 15 individuals at each location. Participants will be entered in a drawing to for  a $25 gift card from Walmart and light refreshments will be served

For information on locations, dates and times of the focus groups, download a pdf flyer or contact  David Wihry by phone, 207-262-7928,  or by email:
You Could Be The Next MSCN Poet Laureate!

illustration of beatnik poetDo you write poetry? Are you a member of a Maine senior college? Then you could be the 2011 MSCN Poet Laureate!

It's easy to enter -- just submit a piece of your unpublished work (one poem per person, please) to: MSCN, Attention: Kyle Allen, P.O. Box 9300, Portland, ME 04104, or email your poem to Kyle at Be sure to include your name, contact information, and note at which Maine Senior College you are a member.
The deadline for submissions is November 1, 2011. The winner will be announced and their poem will be included in the December MSCN Newsletter, and the 2011 MSCN Poet Laureate will receive an Amazon Kindle e-book reader.
The Poet's Corner

Dance of the Birthday Bouquet

Changing water, trimming stems
I bid good-bye to one rose, stock, greens.
Next time it's one monkshood's turn,
The others soon follow.
Twelve days from arrival
Bold red zinnia have bowed heads to age,
Ruby alstroemeria blooms
Sprinkle mahogany surface below
Though departed from stems, still colorful.
Those left in vase, promising to carry on,
Join green pompoms of unknown variety
To waltz with Dusty Miller.
Watching are two ivory roses, crinkled with age,
Old nuns at this dance.

- by Dartha C. Reid of Downeast Senior College
In This Issue
UMA Senior College Class Studies Historic Maine Forts
Enter the MSCN Photography Contest!
They Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends
L/A Senior College Takes to the Road!
Acadia Senior College Particpates in Celebrate!250
Maine Association of Retirees and Maine Senior College Network
Move Your Board to Inspired Leadership
U Maine Center on Aging Seeks Washington County Residents for Focus Groups
You Could Be The Next MSCN Poet Laureate!
The Poet's Corner
Don't forget to go to the Maine Senior College Network website to find out what is happening around the state!

Maine Senior College Network 
Maine Senior College Network

Acadia Senior College

Augusta Senior College
Bridgton Senior College

Coastal Senior College

Downeast Senior College

Gold LEAF Institute


Lewiston-Auburn Senior College

Midcoast Senior College

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Penobscot Valley Senior College


Senior College UMaine Hutchinson Center

St. John Valley Senior College

Sunrise Senior College 
Western Mountains Senior College

York County Senior College
The Maine Senior College Network Display Boards are available to any senior college that would like to borrow them. For more information, check out the link below.

About Us
Maine Senior College Network
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, Maine 04104-9300
(207)780-4317 (fax)
Kali Lightfoot
Executive Director
Anne Cardale
Director of Communication 
Director of Conferences

Kyle Allen
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Deadline:  Third week of each month for the following month's edition