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Road Scholar

Road Scholar is the name for the programs developed and offered by Elderhostel, Inc., the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.Our mission is to empower adults to explore the world's places, people, cultures and ideas, and in doing so learn more about themselves. A fellowship of learning and the joy of discovery are the hallmarks of the Road Scholar experience.

Road Scholar offers 5,500 educational tours in all 50 states and 150 countrires. Alongside local and renowned experts, experience in-depth and behind-the-scenes learning opportunities, from cultural tours and study cruises to walking, biking and more.

For information about Road Scholar programs offered by the Intentional Growth Center, email Dianne Dantzler, Road Scholar Program Coordinator, at, or call 800-482-1442, ext 384. 

To get access to full program descriptions and to register, contact the National Road Scholar Office at 1-877-426-8056 or online at, or follow the links below for specific programs. 

Additional Information about Road Scholar (PDF)

Directions to Lake Junaluska.

2016 Road Scholar Programs

April 3-8, 2016 | Program #22134

Marilyn McMinn McCredie: Mythology in Modern Society - Instructor Marilyn McMinn McCredie will lead you through a program of song, dance and stories that compares and contrasts Appalachian folklore and history with contemporary American lifestyles.

Flora MacDonald Gammon: Scottish Country Dancing - It's up on your toes for the jigs, reels and strathspeys of Scotland's traditional social dancing! Return to the origins of our big circles, squares and contras. The history of the dance is also included. If you can walk, you can dance!

Bobbie Pell: Scottish and English Narratives - Through song, storytelling and poetry, delve into the ancient stories of honor, betrayal, mystery, comedy and true love sprinkled throughout the literary legacy of the British Isles. Focus on the European ballads collected by Dr. Frances Child and American variations collected by Cecil Sharpe and Dame Olive Campbell. Learn poetic form and structure of balladry to create your own narrative ballads. 

Registration Closed.

April 24-29 & September 11-16, 2016 | Program #21338

Flora MacDonald Gammon: Brave Hearts, Bonnie Princes: Music in Scotland's History & Culture - Use the songs of Scotland to delve into the history of a magic land. Who are the people of Scotland? What are some of the significant periods of Scottish history that have influenced our culture in America? 

Ann Lough: Southern Mountain Musical Traditions - Survey the rich tapestry of Southern Appalachian music and its cultural significance. A delightful and participatory exploration of balladry, folk songs, dulcimer, and shaped note singing.

Lee Knight: Cherokee of Yesterday & Today - Walk through hundreds of years of Cherokee culture and history including one of America's darkest tragedies, the Removal of tribes to the West, and into the present. Bring your questions about the Principal People, the Ani Yvnwiya. 

Registration Closed. April 24-29

Register Now! September 11-16

May 8-13 & September 18-23, 2016 | Program #20552

"Great Smoky Mountain National Park: An American Treasure" - The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is the most visited park in the nation. Do more than just visit! Experience this national treasure in a memorable way as you hike trails, visit the Cherokee Reservation, spend time at a Ranger Station and help with ongoing research into the effects of air pollution in the park. Go into the Cataloochee Valley to visit buildings dated from the 20th century and observe the elk reintroduction project first-hand.

Registration Closed. May 8-13

Register Now! September 18-23

July 31-August 3, 2016 | Program #16415

"Cherokee Culture in the Great Smoky Mountains: Oral Traditions and Performing Arts" - Cherokees have lived in the mountains of North Carolina for thousands of years, developing an alphabet, written language and culture that blended with the natural environment. Experience their unique heritage during field trips to the Cherokee Indian Reservation and formal class instruction led by native Cherokees.

Register Now! July 31-August 3

July 17-20, 2016 | Program #15162

"Folkmoot USA: North Carolina's International Folk Festival" - Enjoy a true behind-the-scenes look at Folkmoot USA, an international folk festival steeped in tradition and dedicated to celebrating the cultures of countries around the world through music and dance. Folkmoot- an Old English word meaning "meeting of the people"- has featured performers from more than 100 countries since its inception in 1984. Attend performances, participate in a workshop with one of the groups and even learn a folk dance!

Register Now! July 17-20

August 21-26, 2016 | Program #22135

Flora MacDonald Gammon: My Family Came From Ireland, So Why Am I Scots-Irish? - Explore the origins of the Scots-Irish, using stories and songs of their culture. What was life like in Scotland? What brought them to America and made them a driving force? Special emphasis on the Southern Appalachian connection.

Walter Ziffer: Jews and Christians in Dialogue - Explore the religious/theological beliefs and practices that unite and divide Christians and Jews as we try to better understand both groups and explore possibilities toward advancing the Jewish-Christian dialogue. 

Marilyn McMinn McCredie: Mythology in Modern Society - Instructor Marilyn McMinn McCredie will lead you through a program of song, dance and stories that compares and contrasts Appalachian folklore and history with contemporary American lifestyles.

Register Now! August 21-26

October 9-14, 2016 | Program #21857

Ann Lough: Celtic Legacy - From ancient times the Celts have given the world an incredible gift of beauty, inspriation and passion for life through their unique art, lively jigs and reels, achingly beautiful airs, historical story cycles, folklore and unique spirituality. Spend a delightful and insightful week exploring each of these contributions. 

Chris Behre: Civil War: The Common Soldier - Examine local reaction to the War as we discuss equipment, camp life, the Cherokee Legion, Stoneman's raid, the surrender of Waynesville, Kirk's raid and other local events. 

Marilyn McMinn McCredie: The Boogeyman, Witches and Mountain Haints - Get a tingle up your spine with famous, infamous, traditional, and even personal superstitions, ghost stories, and ballads with a noted folklorist and musician steeped in local culture. 

Register Now! October 9-14

October 23-28, 2016 | Program #22136

Flora MacDonald Gammon: Bon Fires, Magic Wells and Spirits of the Air - Search the Celtic past to understand ancient festivals such as Halloween, New Year's Eve and May Day. See how these festivals are incorporated into the Christian Church in Scotland and how they evolved into today's holiday observances. 

Anne Lough: I Hear America Sing - A delightful journey through our American popular music. From the Psalm singing of the Pilgrims, explore the folk music tradition, the Black musical experience, Stephen Foster, Vaudeville, and early musical theater.

Michael McCoy: Classic Movies - Survey studio classic sound era from 1930-1950. View complete films representing main studios, like MGM, and various genres including musical, comedy, and western.

Register Now! October 23-28

November 27-December 2, 2016 | Program #20308

Flora MacDonald Gammon: Scottish Christmas Customs (Scottish Tea) - Untie the bow and open a fantastic present as we take a look at our holiday, Christmas and New Year's traditions from Britain. The emphasis is on the Celts and Scotland, from Celtic festivals to the coming of Christianity and the Reformation to modern day. Included is a Scottish tea, so wear your tartan and be prepared for homemade culinary delights!

Lee Knight: Appalachian Christmas - Explore the Christmas customs of the Southern Appalachian peoples, including the Cherokee. Enjoy stories and songs, and learn about foods, traditions, and ways of coping with the winter darkness.

Michael McCoy: Christmas Movies - With literally hundreds of movies available for analysis, discuss and view portions of not only the best-known Christmas films but also some of the more obscure works.

Register Now! November 27-December 2

Nature Hiking in the Southern Appalachian Mountains | Program #17288

September 11-16, October 9-14 and October 16-21.

Lace up your hiking boots and explore the scenic trails and natural wonders of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains in a small group with a hiking naturalist who will reveal the wonders of wildflowers and mountain life. In this program you will...

  • Hike to spots above 5,000 feet, like Standing Indian Mountain and Wesser Bald Fire Tower, and take advantage of exquisite views to learn about the area. 
  • Walk on sections of the famous Appalachian Trail, including Muskrat Creek Shelter portion, Winding Stair Gap and Dick's Creek Gap.
  • Study the natural history of the area with a local trail and nature expert on sections of the "Chunky Gal" Trail and en route to High Shoals Falls.

This progam is at the Hinton Center in Hayesville, NC. Participants will stay in modern facilities at Hinton Center, which is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking Lake Chatuge. Alcohol/smoke-free facilities. 

Register Now!

Stay tuned for 2017 Road Scholar dates to be announced soon!