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April 4, 2020

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Golden Adventurers enjoy a snowshoe hike around the YMCA’s Stoney Pine Trail during their January adventure.
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Golden Adventurers enjoy a snowshoe hike around the YMCA’s Stoney Pine Trail during their January adventure.
2/15/2020 7:30:00 AM
YMCA active older adults program to feature snowshoe hike
Stephanie Kuski
River News Features Reporter

With cabin fever running rampant at this time of year, finding a reason to leave the comfort of your cozy home can be difficult. But the active older adults program at the YMCA of the Northwoods provides a tempting reason to brave the winter chill.

Every third Tuesday of the month at 1 p.m., the Golden Adventurers meet for various group activities that are often held outdoors and always exciting.

The next adventure is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18. The group will take a guided snowshoe hike along the YMCA's Stoney Pine Trail that will end with a bonfire and roasted marshmallows.

In March, the Golden Adventurers will tour Wild Instincts, a local wildlife rehabilitation center, with Mark Naniot; in April they will visit Three Sons LLC, a family-operated farm in Hazelhurst that grows vegetables aqua- and hydroponically; and in May the Adventurers will celebrate spring with another hike.

Marilyn Duschl, coordinator of the active older adults program, said the Golden Adventurers meet every month to experiment with new adventures.

"The goal is to help seniors experience different things in the Northwoods, things they might not necessarily try on their own," Duschl said. "I usually try to keep it somewhat educational, but not always."

She said she has found that active older adults often want to try new activities like snowshoeing but don't want to try it alone. In this way, Duschl said they can experiment in the comfort of a group. Some individuals who have joined the snowshoeing adventure never snowshoed before, Duschl said, which was great because the trail is short, you can go as far as you want and snowshoes can be provided if necessary.

Most of the adventures are free and carpooling from the Y to the site is also an option, she added.

"The monthly adventures are really open to anyone in the community," Duschl said. "You don't have to be a Y member to join. We welcome anyone to participate with us."

In addition to the Golden Adventurers' monthly meeting, the active older adults program also offers various programs throughout the year. The first Wednesday of each month, Duschl coordinates a Lunch and Learn program that features a new speaker every month as well as a themed potluck lunch.

Last month, the group held a discussion on e-cigarettes and vaping, and the theme for the potluck lunch was community chicken soup. In March, Naniot will talk about Wild Instincts prior to their tour later in the month. In addition, Duschl leads creative workshops which feature arts and crafts activities like acrylic or oil paintings, and group exercise classes geared towards seniors. Bus trips to various locations, including to see a Brewers game and visit the Crane Foundation, are also coordinated by Duschl via the active older adults program during the summertime. The group plans trips to the Dells in the summer and Christmas shows in the winter, Duschl said, so there is something for everyone at every time of the year.

For more information on the active older adults program, visit the YMCA's website, Facebook page or stop in to register.

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