There is a hidden gem that lies here in LaGrange and Troup County. For the retired population in the community who think that there is nothing left for them to do, that is simply not the case. The Active Life Center here in Troup County is an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of the senior population. While they host various activities and events throughout the weeks, one thing that the Active Life Center has found growing success with is their single and multi-day trips. Recently, the Director of the Active Life Center Dan Wooten and the Active Life Center’s Leadership Team Coordinator Wanda Stribling sat down with Troup County News to talk about these incredible travel opportunities for seniors and the retired generation.
Wooten began by talking about the program in general and of Stribling’s involvement. “We have multi-day trips and we have about four multi-day trips a year on average. Wanda is our leadership team coordinator for our multi-day trips and she is qualified because she loves to travel the world. She has travel in her blood. The two of us sit down and we look at trips and so we plan the first trip, which is going to be to New York City and Washington D.C., coming on the first week in September.”
“We put that on sale and when I got here about 7 am the whole parking lot was filled up. It was instantly filled up. We take 56 people on these multidays [trips] where we have a motor coach operator and helps to plan the trips [as well] with all of the details. Our second trip in December is to Myrtle Beach. We have started signing up for that and we still have some space to fill up.”
“We went a couple of years ago to Greece and next year they are going to France. We have been doing trips [for a while] but the popularity is growing. Older adults always enjoy traveling. We took 65 people yesterday [Tuesday, April 25th] to North Georgia. People just have a desire to travel and the sad thing we run into sometimes is where we will have a couple that says when we retire were going to travel and often times one of the mates will pass away before that or become disabled.”
“What were able to do is provide either with a day trip or the multi-day trips is that they can pair up with somebody and go on these trips. It’s all planned out for them so it doesn’t take them setting up everything like hotel reservations and all of that. It’s all laid out.”
“We also do an international trip as a part of that and France is our next one. We just came back from Switzerland, Austria, and Germany a couple of months ago. Last year we did Scotland. There are just people out there and they don’t have to be a part of [the active life center]. We’re just trying to reach out to the older adult population 55 and older.”
Stribling commented on what these trips and activities mean not only for our retired population, but also to Troup County in general. “[In our mission statement] the part that really resonates with me is the fact that it empowers independence and to extend the quality of life. [We want people] to function and enjoy their senior years.”In our travels, we always talk to other people about what we have here in Troup County and they cannot believe the things that we do, the things that we have access to. They say that there is nothing like this where they live.
The duo shared the same exact sentiment about providing this wonderful service, as Wooten noted. “We just want the community to know that if you’re 55 and older, we are here for them and are trying in multiple ways and different activities but especially this in the area of travel. We give them some options. If they have a love for travel but do not know of a group to travel with, come and be a part of us. Traveling with this group is just wonderful. It’s a blast. [There] is a good spirit that’s had in the group, people get along and support one another, and they have a good sense of humor. We get to spend breakfast together and dinners and laugh. It’s just a real fun time. It does the hear good to be able to have that kind of experience when your older with fellowship and fun.”
The Troup County Active Life Center, conveniently located at 140 Ragland Street, is so much more than a senior center. This is an organization that empowers an older generation not just through travel, but through many activities throughout the year. Our seniors are precious and have paved the way for many of us to be in places and situations where we are in our lives today. If you have a friend or loved one that is past the age of 55, please refer them to the Active Life Center for a full and well rounded experience.