Old dogs may resist learning new tricks, but starting this Wednesday, humans of “a certain age” will gather at the Chester Baptist Church for the latest session of Adventures in Learning (AIL), the educational program of the Shepherd’s Center of Chesterfield.
Running for eight consecutive Wednesdays, Adventures in Learning classes offer a low-cost, low-stress way for area seniors to pursue new interests, as well as deepening their appreciation of long-time hobbies and other passions.
The classes also afford many area seniors new social opportunities. Nancy Sukhia, a regular participant, voices the experience of many participants. “I especially like the comradeship that’s offered. Since moving into the area 13 years ago, I find that most of my friendships have come from the Shepherd’s Center, a place where it is easy to fit in.”
Susan McCammon, executive director of the Shepherd’s Center, echoes Sukhia’s thoughts. “When I think of the fellowship at AIL, I always think of Cheers’ theme song: ‘Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came’.”
Course offerings at Adventures in Learning reflect the diverse interests of local seniors and their volunteer teachers. Yoga, Tai Chi and Senior Strength Training classes focus on health and personal well-being, while Bible Study, “Talking Politics”, Donald Kennedy’s popular Civil War course, and Barbara Giegerich’s “Psychology for Non-Psychologists,” engage the intellect.
The majority of AIL classes emphasize favorite recreational activities, from line dancing and singing folk music to quilting and playing bridge. This session, there is even an NRA-approved course on pistol shooting, though this particular course will not be taught at the church.
Whether a senior wishes to take one course or many, a one-time fee of $25 ($15 for Shepherd’s Center members) covers tuition for the entire session. The Shepherd’s Center also provides a low-cost lunch for those who take classes throughout the day.
The Shepherd’s Center offers three eight-week sessions of Adventures in Learning during the “school year” and a six-week session during the summer. Seniors with a love of learning, as well as volunteer instructors with a love of teaching, will find an open door at the Shepherd’s Center.
A full listing of AIL courses may be found at the Shepherd’s Center website at www.shepctrchesterfield.org.  Alternatively, newcomers are welcome to drop by Chester Baptist on any Wednesday to sample classes at no charge.