Visit New Places, Connect, and Give Back

By Sheryl Kayne

Rosemary Williams and I met in Barnes & Noble in Westport, Connecticut attending Gabi Coatsworth’s Westport Writers’ Rendezvous, an inspirational and motivational support group. Rosemary’s writing is diverse and practical, with great tips and food for thought. Thanks, Rosemary for including Immersion and Volunteer Travel

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Connecticut Opinion;
The Fears That Pool Parties Stir

By Sheryl Kayne

I MADE it halfway through the summer without one and thought I was safe, but then it happened. ”I’m having a pool party Saturday night,” my friend Joan announced. ”This party will be really different, we are going to swim.” ”Why?” ”I am so tired of the pool parties where everyone eats, drinks and talks – everything but swim.”

”Because everyone is dressed up, with washed and moussed hair, not to mention makeup,” I almost screamed, thinking of the time invested in looking good only to have it wasted with one jump into the pool. ”Swimming turns people into drowned rats.” ”Too bad. With everyone swimming it won’t matter what anyone looks like. It will be fun! Wear your bathing suit and come prepared to swim.” …

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Vacation for a cause:
Go on a volunteer trip without leaving the U.S.

By Tripp Whetsell

volunteer vacationsBefore our own economy tanked, slinging sheetrock in some remote country for UNICEF might have seemed like the ideal vacation alternative for adventuresome travelers, those looking for a more fulfilling getaway than just lying on the beach with a copy of the latest Michael Connelly thriller.

Well, it still is.

You don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars or trek halfway across the globe to get the same satisfaction, either, says travel expert Sheryl Kayne. Her new book, “Volunteer Vacations Across America,” lists more than 200 inexpensive opportunities, from restoring native plants on Catalina Island in California to working with pot-bellied pigs in Arizona. …

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Coming and Going: Volunteering While Traveling

A Working Vacation

“We stand at a unique moment in the history of our nation.” So began President Obama’s recent speech calling on Americans to spend part of their summers devoted to community service and volunteering. Always ready to do its part, CoGo went looking for voluntourism opportunities, immediately bumping into Sheryl Kayne, who, wouldn’t you know it, is just out with “Volunteer Vacations Across America” (Countryman Press). Still, we couldn’t help casting a gimlet-eyed gaze on the whole enterprise, at least initially.

“You must get this question all the time,” CoGo said to her. “But we can’t resist: Why would anyone want to work during their vacation?

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Stained-Glass Window-Maker

By Sheryl Kayne

volunteer vacationsCarmen Moreno, 44, lifts two 6-inch pieces of pink glass from an electric kiln and places them atop one another, forming the face of St. Jude in a stained-glass window being created for the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Fort Lee, N.J.

“I painted one piece in mineral earth tones and the other in shades of black and white to create shadows and depth,” says Moreno, a freelance artist for J&R Lamb Studios in Wyckoff, N.J. (pop. 16,508).

Founded in 1857 in New York City by brothers Joseph and Richard Lamb, the studio is the oldest continuously operating stained-glass window manufacturer in the nation, having created more than 15,000 original windows and restored more than 8,000 others for places of worship, government buildings, museums, businesses and private homes…

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Sheryl Kayne’s favorite volunteer vacations

By Judy Mandell

“Volunteer travel is the best way to become part of the local scene, to give of yourself, to see the benefits of your shared skills and time, and to return home with fond memories,” says Sheryl Kayne, author of “Volunteer Vacations Across America” (Countryman Press, 2009). Here are some of her favorite volunteer vacations in the U.S.

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Mother’s Day Vs. Father’s Day

By Sheryl Kayne

volunteer vacationsMother’s Day comes in May, followed closely by Father’s Day. It’s kind of nice having the two special days of recognition merely six weeks apart. I’m particularly thankful that Mom’s come first in May, because I’m a single mom. Dads are second in June. What really bothers me is the blatant inequality of these nationally celebrated holidays. Think about it. On Mother’s Day, we feed our moms. That second Sunday in May rolls around and every restaurant in town is reserved. People everywhere are saying the same thing: It’s Mom’s special day — let’s fatten her up.

My daughters serve me breakfast in bed, bake me a cake, and take me out to a wonderful dinner. I have to eat everything they make, including the crumbs, to show how much I appreciate their effort. From morning until night, I’m fed, fed, fed.One year I received a box of chocolates. Since I never indulge in sweets in public, I hid the box, planning to enjoy the treats in private as soon as the house was quiet and they were all safely asleep. I love hunting and pecking through boxes of chocolates, guessing what’s inside, and having to take a little taste of each to find out for sure.

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