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Garrett Institute for Lifelong Learning

Garrett Institute for Lifelong Learning

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


GILL is a member driven organization whose mission is to enrich lives by offering a wide variety of stimulating educational, cultural, and social programs geared toward a diverse community of adults primarily 50 + years, but open to all.


GILL is administered by its own Board of Directors, run in affiliation with the Continuing Education and Workforce Development division of Garrett College, supported through membership and program fees. Members work together to determine the interests and needs of the group. A program committee is then charged with the tasks of bringing the class to fruition- finding instructors, defining the scope of curriculum and other logistical duties.

Not a member? Join Now! Contact 301-387-3069.

Winter 2018 - Starting mid-February

GILL Course Descriptions

Sessions are free to GILL members, but registration is a must 301-387-3781
Date: April 2nd (Tuesday) 10 -11:30 am

Come get a tour of the HART facilities which include a veterinary wing, a deluxe boarding area and an adoption wing for cats and dogs. Learn about this business model that strives to use the profits from the vet and boarding side of the business to pay the expenses of a no-kill shelter. Discover the volunteer opportunities that include work in the Pick of the Litter retail shop, the transport program that moves animals between many shelters, fund raising and the adoption wing volunteers who walk dogs and play with kitties who need love while waiting for their forever homes.

Titles: An Underwater Art Museum Teeming with Life and Dive Into An Ocean Photographer's World

Discussion leaders:

Location: HART for Animals

Cost: $6

if you would like to bring something for the animals, donations ideas can be found at Scroll to the bottom for the ‘desperately needed’ items.

Date: April 12 Friday 10:15am – 12:30 pm

Since the early 19th century Europeans have visited salt mines or caves to promote better health. Over 30,000 pounds of salt was imported from Pakistan to create the salt cave we will visit. We’ll relax in zero gravity chairs, listen to soothing music and breathe the mineral saturated air for 45 minutes. Dress comfortably. Slip on shoes are easier. Space is limited to 8, so sign up now!

Location: Meet at McHenry Con Ed parking lot to carpool to Bruceton Mills, WV at 10:15am

Cost: $20

Date: April 13 Saturday 8:30am – 12:00pm

Visit the GILL table at the Garrett County Health fair. What better way to stay healthy but to keep your mind engaged in new topics, make friends while you enjoy social outings, and move your body while chasing one of Garrett County’s naturalists through the woods in search of nature’s wonders. That’s what we do with GILL- come join in.

Location: CARC

Cost: Free

HEALTH FAIR SPECIAL!!!! Join GILL today and your annual $10 membership will start immediately and run through June 2020!

Date: April 18 Thursday 12:00 – 2:00pm

TED talks provide a platform to individuals on a diversity of topics. The goal of TED is to spark conversation, connection, and community. The talks are presented without bias and without a commercial, political, or religious agenda. Bring a dish to share (soup will be provided). Come enjoy lunch, a TED talk, and a discussion of the presentation.

Location: SOC

Cost: Free! Bring a dish to share (salads, bread, sides or desserts)

Presenter: Sue Fowler with Bob Newman featured soup maker

HEALTH FAIR SPECIAL!!!! Join GILL today and your annual $10 membership will start immediately and run through June 2020!

Date: April 25th Thursday 11:00am - 1:00 pm

Join us at a fun painting party! You will have your choice from two designs on a pre-traced 16” x 20” canvas. Choose your design at the time of registration. All materials will be provided. If you have always wanted to paint but have never tried or if you just love to paint this will be a great experience. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3!!!! Dawna will be giving each step instructions, so you don't need to know how to paint to join our party. Please wear clothing that you don't mind getting dirty, an apron is always an alternative. We look forward to seeing everyone's finished canvas.

Register early, please. Space is limited and we need time to order materials. Choose one from: Northern Lights or Red Sunflower

Location: SOC

Presenter: Dawna Rodeheaver

Cost: $35

Date: May 1 Wednesday 8 -10am

Pull on some good walking shoes that won’t mind the morning dew and join Connie Skipper a seasoned birding enthusiast for this 2-hour birding excursion. You’ll be surrounded with spring birdsongs while you learn to identify a wide variety of species. We will walk about a mile on an uphill slope (not both ways 😊) but at a slow pace to find our feathered friends. Bring binoculars, if you have them, and some water.

Register early, please. Space is limited and we need time to order materials. Choose one from: Northern Lights or Red Sunflower

Location: Sang Run Kayak Launch area - go 1/ 4 mile past the Sang Run State Park Friends Store @ 3735 Sang Run Road, McHenry to parking area for Upper Yough kayak access. You missed the parking area if you get to the bridge

Presenter: Connie Skipper, Retired Park Ranger

Cost: $12

Date: May 4th Saturday 10am -noon (rain date, May 11th)

The day will start in a classroom setting for a review of the rules and regulations for safe boating. Are those life jackets still legal? How do you prepare the grandkids to be safe on a vessel? Where are there towing restrictions on the lake? Bring your questions. The session will continue as we go out on a pontoon boat, provided by Bills Marine, to practice some strategies for smooth operation. Space is limited to 10, so sign up early!

Bob Newman has been boating on Deep Creek since childhood, worked for a local marina for over 40 years, and teaches the MD Safe Boating course at Garrett College. He’s also an expert- level trailer backer-upper, ELTBU. (Bob’s also pretty good in forward.)

Location: Bills Marine 1867 Deep Creek Dr., McHenry (behind McHenry Burger King). Please park across the street from the showroom

Presenter: Bob Newman, ELTBU

Cost: $12

Date: May 8th Wednesday 11am - 2pm tour, hike and lunch (meet at Con Ed Parking lot at 10am)

If you have ever wondered what a Yurt looks like inside and out, then this tour is for you! Besides exploring a Yurt you will have an opportunity to walk (hike) on one of the many trails around the Lodge. 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 George Washington used. Then have a lunch outdoors (if the weather cooperates) or indoors. Bring your own bag lunch for a picnic or have lunch ($15.00 average cost) inside the beautiful Lodge Restaurant.

Location: 1600 Mt. Aetna Road, Frostburg, MD. 301-689-3200

Presenter: Elizabeth Williams, Lodge Staff

Cost: $6 (plus any extras you may choose)

Date: May 15 12:00 – 2:00pm

If you’ve seen GILL program schedules over the past 5 years, you know this is a favorite and repeated regularly. Un- Hot Topics offers an opportunity to enjoy lunch and a lively discussion at the same time. We will again assemble at UNO's to discuss topics du jour (while avoiding politics and religion), while deepening friendships with new and 'rerun' GILL members.

Location: Uno's

Presenter: Ann Stuck

Cost: FREE except for the food you order for lunch

Date: May 22 Wednesday 2:00- 3:00 pm (we will meet there at 1:45pm)

Winter weather cancelled this trip in January and February, so we’re trying again! Come visit a local, artisan 'cow cheese' making facility. We’ll learn how cheese is made complete with a large viewing window to watch the cheese making process. Varieties include: Fresh Mozzarella, Creamery Feta, Cheese Curds and several Cheddars blended with coffee, an herbal blend, hot pepper, beer, or wine. You may take some time to explore the market or come before the tour to try lunch at the Farmer’s Table Eatery. Call ahead to order: (240) 979-0620 (Ext. 1005)

Location: 97 Locker Lane, Grantsville

Coordinator: Suzanne Harle

Cost: Free

Date: May 29 Wednesday 10am – noon

Treat yourself to a walk in the wilds with Garrett College’s Director of Wildlife & Natural Resource Technologies, Kevin Dodge. He’ll help us find plants and flowers that you may never have noticed while he also communicates with the local bird population overhead. Guaranteed to be an entertaining an enlightening outing with a seasoned professional but our destination and focus are a mystery!

Location: TBD

Coordinator: Kevin Dodge

Cost: $12

Date: June 5 Wednesday 10am -noon

Come along for this easy hike to locate and identify a variety of local mushrooms. Wear good walking shoes and bring along a collecting basket and small knife for collecting specimens. We’ll end our hike at one of the pavilions to take a closer look and learn techniques for identifying different mushrooms.

Location: Deep Creek Lake State Park - meet at Discovery Center Parking lot

Coordinator: Andrew Eiswert

Cost: $12