Adventurous seniors gang up to seek out fun CARROLL COUNTY SENIORS

June 30, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

In a dinner theater in Columbia, or a cypress swamp in Calvert County, or a cement factory in Union Bridge -- or anywhere interesting and within driving distance of Eldersburg -- you might find members of the Wednesday Gang.

The Wednesday Gang is a seniors club formed in 1985 by Sylvia Schneider of Eldersburg. Every Wednesday, year-round, the members gather either to take a trip or plan one.

"We've been practically everywhere," she said.

The Wednesday Gang is a club for the curious.

"We've learned a lot of things," Ms. Schneider said.

Last week, the group took a Northeast Tourist Bureau farm tour that stopped at a dairy farm where the cows wear computers around their necks. Ms. Schneider said the computers were programmed to tell feeding machines to dispense individually tailored diets. "That was the most interesting thing that I think I have ever heard."

Once, the Gang visited a light bulb museum in Baltimore. Two members skipped the trip, Ms. Schneider said, thinking that if you've seen one light bulb, you've seen them all.

"They don't know what they missed," she said.

The club, which has 14 members, was started in 1985 after Ms. Schneider's pastor at Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Eldersburg asked her to start a seniors club at the church.

About half the members belong to the church.

The group established some ground rules.

"No. 1, we do not want to be political," she said. "We're tired of that."

Also, she said, "We do not want to sit around and play cards."

On trips to Washington, the Wednesday Gang has visited the Pentagon, the National Institutes of Health, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Ranging further afield for overnight trips, they've visited Cape May, N.J., Williamsburg, Va., and the wine country of New York.

The members car pool and split costs.

Sometimes the journeys take unexpected turns.

On one expedition, the group drove to Ephrata, Pa., to visit an Amish market, only to find it was closed on Wednesdays. But while scouting for a place to eat, they stumbled onto the Ephrata Cloister, where an old German sect, now disbanded, had worshiped for many years. The outing was saved.

Also, Ms. Schneider said, "We get lost a lot."

But in those situations the group goes with the flow and hangs on to its sense of humor, she said.

Eleanor Hubbard of Marriottsville, a founding member, said there haven't been any disastrous trips, or at least "none that we couldn't laugh about."

She said the Wednesday Gang helped her "a great deal" six years ago after the death of her husband, Ed, who had been active in the group. Ms. Hubbard said she had to push herself to go alone to an activity he had enjoyed so much.

"It was hard, but I kept at it," she said.

Friendships formed among the members carry over into day-to-day life, she said, and the group rallies around members who fall ill or have a problem.

New members are welcome, Ms. Schneider said.

To contact the Wednesday Gang, write to Sylvia Schneider, c/o Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, 2205 Old Liberty Road, Eldersburg, Md. 21784. Or phone the church at 795-6333 and leave a message.

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