Garrett Institute of Lifelong Learning

Information and Registration: 301-387-3069

If you have a curious mind and love learning, please join this like-minded group.  There are no entrance requirements, no tests, and we don't grade - this is learning for the fun of it!

Our goal is to provide a curriculum of intellectually stimulating learning opportunities and special events geared toward persons 50 plus years, but open to all ages.


GILL is administered by its own Board of Directors, run in affiliation with the Continuing Education and Workforce Development department of Garrett College, and supported through membership and program fees.  Members enjoy access to the CEWD computer lab, GC library, mailings, and to GILL programs.

Members work together to determine the interests and needs of the group.  An elected Board of Directors is then charged with the tasks of bringing the class to fruition - finding instructors, defining the scope of curriculum, and other logistical duties.

Fall 2014 Sessions as follows:

Harpers Ferry – “John Brown’s Holy War”

Day One, Nov. 6, 9:30-11:30, GC McHenry campus, participants will attend a two hour presentation that will discuss the journey that led John Brown to attack the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry. Cost: $10 
Day Two, Nov. 7, 8:30am-5pm will be a field trip to Harper’s Ferry, W.VA., that will include time to explore the town and have lunch on your own and then have a guided tour of the historic site, led by a local expert. Cost $35 (participants also will need to pay an additional $5 Nat’l. Park entry fee at the entry gate or enter for free if they have a Nat’l. Park senior pass)    
*Participants can ride a GC van or drive themselves to Harper’s Ferry. The van will leave GC McHenry campus at 8:30am, stop at the Northern Outreach Cntr. (next to the Hilltop Market on Rt. 40) in Grantsville for a pick-up at 9am and arrive in Harper’s Ferry by noon.

Presenter: Dick Carroll

French & Indian War

Oct. 16, 9-11am, GC McHenry campus, participants will attend a presentation that will discuss the cause and course of the war that began less than 40 miles from Garrett County. Cost $10

Allowing time for travel and lunch (11am-1pm) on the way to Ft. Necessity, the day will continue with a locally guided tour (1-3pm) at the actual site where the first shots of the war were fired and to the place where a young George Washington surrendered to the French.

Cost $25, both morning presentation and fieldtrip (participants also will need to pay an additional $5 nat’l. park entry fee at the entry gate or enter for free if they have a Nat’l. Park senior pass) 

*Participants can ride a GC van or drive themselves to Ft. Necessity (off Rt. 40 in Farmington, PA). The van will return to the GC McHenry campus by 4pm  

Presenter: Dick Carroll

Fly Fishing –“Fly Fishing for Beginners”

Oct. 15, 9am-12, participants will learn the basic art of fly fishing, including casting, “reading” the water, equipment, fly selection and an introduction to fly tying. Come enjoy a morning on the Savage River with a lifelong devotee to the sport of fly fishing. Cost $15

Presenter: Mike Evans (owner of Savage River Outfitters)

Participants will meet at Savage River Outfitters, 2721 Savage River Road, Swanton, MD

Garrett County History 18th-20th Century

In a series of four sessions, Oct. 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4, 4-5:30pm, GC McHenry Campus, participants will learn about the settlement and history of Garrett County. How did the early settler’s quest for land in the 18th century affect economic development? What was the impact of railroads in the county and how did they contribute to Western Maryland being a resort community and a “spa of the presidents”? Bring your questions and stories to share. Cost $30 for the series

Presenter: Neal Brooks (GC professor and local historian)

– “The Almighty Automobile: A Necessary Evil”

In two sessions, Nov. 4 & 6, 6-8:30pm, participants will explore the maintenance of a car’s engine, tires, oil changes, the selling and buying of new or used cars and get winter survival tips. Questions are encouraged in this interactive presentation. Cost $12.50 per session

Presenter: Will Roszell (owner of Garrett Automotives, 55 years experience in the auto industry)

Location: Garrett Automotives, Garrett Highway, Oakland

– Two easy to intermediate guided hiking experiences will allow participants to see more of our beautiful county.

Fork Run Hike
: Oct. 21, 9:30-11:30, hikers will visit Garrett County’s newest park at WISP mountain and get a sampling of its trails. Learn about Fork Run’s history, recreational use of the property, the area’s natural history, and how Fork Run’s trails fit into the Garrett County Trails Master Plan. Cost $10

*Participants will meet at the Fork Run Rec Area parking lot, corner of Shingle Camp Road and Oakland Sang Run Road. There is a sign over the entry and it is a bumpy gravel road to the parking lot.

Presenter: Steve Storck (Garrett Trails Executive Director and lifelong hiker)

Mt. Aetna Trail System
: Oct. 29, 9:30am-12, hikers will visit the Savage River Lodge and explore a trail system that was built in cooperation with the DNR about 15 years ago. The trails are part of a military parcel that Washington used. Come hear about nature and history in the eastern side of GC. Cost $15

* Bring a bag lunch or eat at the lodge (additional $15 average cost) and stay around for a tour of the sustainable practices that the Savage River Lodge uses. (12-2pm)

*Participants will meet at the Savage River Lodge, 1600 Mt. Aetna Rd., Frostburg; Transportation not provided

Presenter: Mike Driesbach (owner of the Savage River Lodge, Garrett Trails President)


Nov. 5, 3-4pm, Hickory Environmental Center

Participants will learn about the moon, past explorers, future plans for exploration of the moon and Lunar X under Garrett County’s planetarium dome at Hickory Environmental Center.
Cost $5

*Participants will meet at the Hickory Environmental Center. located behind Northern High School. Turn off 219 into Northern High school, go left around the school towards the middle school, stay right of the middle school and the road will take you to the environmental center.

Presenter: Jason Shank, Director of the Planetarium

Cheese Making
– “Make It Yourself: Fresh Mozzarella”

In this two hour session, Oct. 14, 9:30-11:30, SOC (Oakland Armory), Oakland,MD

Participants will learn to make fresh mozzarella cheese and discuss serving ideas. The recipe and local sources for supplies will be shared. Cost $12 (for presentation and supplies)

Presenter: Lisa Davis

Life In and On the Chesapeake Bay
– In a series of four sessions, Oct. 22, 28, Nov. 5, 12, 9:30-11:30am, SOC (Oakland Armory), Oakland, using video and personal photos, the Chesapeake Bay from the Susquehanna Flats to the shoals and southern bay islands will be discussed by a lifelong bay expert. Cost $10 per session

Session 1 – Duck hunting on the Susquehanna Flats; decoy carving; “body booting” and “punt guns”

Session 2 – Oysters & oystering
Session 3 – Crabs and crabbing
Session 4 – Catching soft shell crabs; types of boats “native” to the Chesapeake; the island communities of Smith and Tangier Islands; and commercial fishing techniques

Presenter: Doug Woodburn

Technology Basics
– If this is you, this series of five sessions, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 11,

1-3pm, SOC (Oakland Armory) Oakland, is exactly what you need:

Smartphones, ipads, laptops- oh my!
What do I need? What should I buy?
I’ve already bought it, now how do I use it?
Too many buttons and strange words confuse it!

GILL comes along to unravel the device
By offering tips and solid advice!

Cost $10 per session

Session 1 – What technology do I need to do what I want to do? How do I use what I want or have? Care of the device, “lingo”, accessories, software, apps

Session 2 – Discuss and use the Internet; safety/security of the Internet, websites, podcasts, apps
Session 3- Discuss and use e-mail; setting up an e-mail, writing/sending/receiving e-mails, address books, e-mail lists, “scams’ & safety
Session 4 – Discuss and use social media; what is it? types of social media, popular social media, setting up and using Facebook
Session 5 – Two hours of free, open lab time to try things out
Presenter: Lisa Davis (tech “guru” and educator)


Mischievous Martha: True Tales from Pleasantville Orphanage Dr. Gail N. Herman and Dr. Stephen J. Herman, former president of Garrett College, will read and retell entertaining stories from the diary/memoir of Martha Fishbein Herman, Steve’s mother. Mon. Sept. 15 6:30 – 8:00pm in Con Ed bldg. Free

Joan Crawford Lecture Series Presents:

Halina Silber will speak about her experiences during World War II. She was one of over 1,100 Jews saved by the German industrialist, Oskar Schindler who convinced the Nazi’s to spare the lives of his Jewish factory workers. As a 12 year old girl Mrs. Silber worked in Schindler’s office and became one of the persons on Schindler’s list. Oct. 6 7:00 PM in the GC auditorium Free

WWII and the March to Germany -         by EF College Study Tours       May 19 -27, 2015  

Tours led by expert local guides in Bastogne, Berlin, Munich (Dachau), Salzburg, and Eagle's Nest. Visit Bastogne Historical Center, Ardennes American Cemetery, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, and more. Informational meetings in Sept./ Oct. TBD. Any questions, call GC Humanities professor, Beth Luers at 301-387-3020.


Previous Course Offerings:

Winter 2013>
Fall 2013 >
                                                                 Spring 2014 >

Where do GILL sessions meet?

    Garrett College campuses 
    · McHenry – Continuing Education Building (MCH)
    · Oakland – GC Southern Outreach Center (SOC) - former Armory
    · Accident – Career Technology Training Center (CTTC) – Industrial Park
    · Other locations dependent upon topic

For further information, please call Garrett College at 301-387-3069.

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