Pathways to Learning at Home
Thank you for checking in to explore our 2021 Pathways to Learning at Home page.
Beginning in March 2021, Medford Leas embarked upon a yearlong celebration of our Fifty Years of Service to older adults. We are very proud of this achievement. In March 1971, the first residents moved to Medford Leas. Stay tuned for upcoming events and commemorations that will take place throughout the upcoming year.
In particular, as we celebrate this milestone, we are reminded of one of our cultural hallmarks here in the community, which focuses on engaging with others. Pathway to Learning is a perfect demonstration of this commitment to our culture-we are so pleased to at least connect and engage with you virtually, and can’t wait until we can have you back on Campus to be with us again.
Since the onset of the worldwide pandemic, Medford Leas residents and staff have stepped up to the plate to work collaboratively to develop an assortment of programming for you to enjoy from the comfort of your homes. The programming will run January through May.
As you will see, the programs include presentations from a number of Medford Leas residents, staff, and community partners. We appreciate their participation.
Again, on behalf of the Medford Leas community, we appreciate your interest and support of our programming. Over the years we have developed strong relationships with members of the community and we value these interactions. We see this current season as a way to remain in touch with you.
We all look forward to the time we can be together in person again. In the meantime, please know we are thinking of you and hope you find something of interest this season.
Please let us know if you have feedback or questions about any of the programs–or perhaps you have a topic to suggest for an upcoming program? We appreciate your sharing your thoughts. Thank you
Pathways Program firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction to the Wines of Bordeaux
Join in with Dr. D’Amico, Medford Leas Medical Director, as he hosts this program on the topic of the wines of Bordeaux. Not only is he a highly acclaimed and appreciated physician, he is also a noted connoisseur of wines.
Bordeaux produces arguably the most famous and highly coveted wine blend in the world. Like many regions with a long history, there is a lot to learn. So, buckle up for a quick zip through the grapes, appellations, climate, and history that make Bordeaux wines so sought after. It is also the home of many affordable wines, so if you would like to taste along with the program, you could consider purchasing the following wines:
Chateau Du Retout, 2016, Haut-Medoc (red Cabernet blend)
Chateau Teyssier, 2018, Bordeaux (red Merlot blend)
Augey, 2018, Bordeaux (white Sauvignon Blanc blend
Medford Leas Nature Trails
Within the 168-acre Medford Leas Campus, there are 60 acres that comprise the Nature Preserve. Approximately five miles of marked trails cover the woodlands as well as the Meadow. The Medford Leas Residents Woodlands/Trails Group works diligently throughout the year to maintain the trails and to encourage residents and staff to enjoy the extensive trail system that they have developed and maintained. Join Gerry Claffie, Medford Leas resident and Chair of the Committee as he describes their work and the trails.
Enjoy this program hosted by Debbie Lux, Medford Leas Horticulturalist, as she shares tips on how to plant a container garden that you will enjoy through the summer. Learn all about the theory of the filler, spiller and thriller that will make your container garden a hit for the season!
Historic Fair Hill
Historic Fair Hill is a peace-making green space and neighborhood revitalization organization in Philadelphia. The group has restored and reimagined a Quaker burial ground, the resting place of great abolitionists and women’s rights advocates. Through school partnerships, community events, tree planting, and seven community gardens, they carry forward their work for justice and peace.
Jean Warrington, Executive Director of the non-profit group, is joined by Sally Harrison, President of the Board of Trustees as they discuss the history, current events and goals of the organization.
The Music of Glenn Miller
Take a journey back to the forties with the music of Glenn Miller.
Miller was an American big-band trombonist, arranger, composer, and bandleader in the swing era. He was the best-selling recording artist from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best-known big bands. Miller’s recordings include “In the Mood”, “Moonlight Serenade”, “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, ” A String of Pearls”, “At Last”, Kalamazoo”, “American Patrol”, “Tuxedo Junction”, “Elmer’s Tune”, “Little Brown Jug” and “Anvil Chorus”. In just four years Glenn Miller scored 16 number-one records and 69 top ten hits—more than Elvis Presley and the Beatles did in their careers.
Enjoy as Danielle Boyd, Medford Leas Music Therapist shares some favorites.
Barton Arboretum and Nature Preserve-Celebrating Forty Years
Often around Medford Leas you may hear the expression—April is for Arboretum! It is a wonderful time of the year to celebrate the Arboretum and all that it offers. This program will highlight a bit of the history of the origin of the Arboretum as well as share various components and relationships that have developed over the years.
Stories of Slavery in New Jersey
Thanks to our Leas Forum Committee for engaging Rick Geffken on the topic Stories of Slavery in New Jersey. In this program, Geffken shares his research to explain the reasons for the little known fact that New Jersey was in 1866, the last northern state to abolish slavery,
Geffken has written numerous articles on various aspects of New Jersey history for local newspapers, magazines and newsletters. An energetic and popular speaker, he has spoken at the New Jersey History & Historic Preservation symposia, Rutgers and Monmouth Universities and dozens of libraries and historical societies throughout the Garden State.
Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The name is shared by a national civic-education program, administered and produced by the Foreign Policy Association. The Medford Leas Residents Association invites you to join in the Great Decision Series that runs through April. The programs highlight thought provoking foreign policy challenges facing American today.
A Medford Leas resident will present information related to the scheduled topic, followed by a recently produced video of experts being interviewed on the specific subject. We know how important current events are to our residents as well as members of the local community, so we hope that this series is meaningful to you.
April 1 China’s role in Africa: The Covid-19 crisis has put a massive strain on what was a growing positive economic and political relationship between China and the continent of Africa. As Chinese President Xi Jinping’s centerpiece “Belt and Road Initiative” continues to expand Chinese power, the response to the spread of Covid-19, as well as the African government’s growing debt to China, has seen pushback. What are some of the growing economic and political issues between China and Africa?
April 8 The Korean Peninsula: The Korean Peninsula is facing a defining era. Attempts by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and U.S. President Donald Trump to repair the rift between North and South have lost any momentum as Pyongyang continues to test long-range missiles for its nuclear weapons program. As the rift between the U.S. and China grows further, South Korea may end up in the middle of the two superpowers. What does the future hold for the U.S. relationship with the ROK?
April 15 Roles of international organizations in a global pandemic: The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the World Health Organization (WHO) into the limelight, for better and for worse. While some of the Trump administration’s criticism of the organization is unfair, the response to the early stages of the pandemic left many experts wanting more from the WHO. What is the WHO’s role in responding to international pandemics? What can be done to improve the WHO’s response to future global health crises?
April 22 The end of globalization?: With the passing of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s America First doctrine, protectionist policies have become more prevalent, challenging globalization. What is globalization and how will it be affected by protectionist trade policies? How will the United States and the world be affected by such policies? Is globalization really at an end, or in need of a refresh?
Artifacts- Forgotten Stories of the Delaware Valley
Artifacts-a program developed by the Leas Forum Committee is an eye-opening collection of Delaware Valley history, lovingly extracted from the region’s rich heritage of items that have not always gotten proper attention or, in some cases, have been ignored completely.
Having presented a number of times, Hal Taylor is a favorite Leas Forum speaker. He has been a graphic artist for over 30 years — researching, writing, and creating artwork for his books, including Before Penn, an early history of the Delaware Valley. Incorporating a love of history, this project reveals interesting facts related to this area.
Voices from a Pandemic
Professor Hernandez is a return presenter to our Pathways Programs. We appreciate her knowledge and skills and sharing with us again.
In Voices from a Pandemic, Professor Hernandez presents everyday voices, in poetry and prose, exploring feelings and goals as we move through this critical time, reminding us that even in isolation as we are in quarantine, we are not alone.
Ellen Hernandez is a writer who teaches English at Camden County College. She holds a B.A. in English literature and language and a Master’s in education and English literature. Her previous poetry collection, In Morocco: was published in 2019. She is currently studying the Arabic language in the hopes of returning to North Africa to work toward peace.
Music and Cognitive Fitness Exercises
Join in this program to experience the musical talents of Danielle Boyd, Medford Leas Music Therapist as she shares on the topic of how music can play a role in cognitive fitness exercises for the brain.
Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The name is shared by a national civic-education program, administered and produced by the Foreign Policy Association. The Medford Leas Residents Association invites you to join in the Great Decision Series that runs through April. The programs highlight thought provoking foreign policy challenges facing America today.
A Medford Leas resident will present information related to the scheduled topic, followed by a recently produced video of experts being interviewed on the specific subject.
We know how important current events are to our residents as well as members of the local community, so we hope that this series is meaningful to you.
March 4 – Global Supply Chains and National Security: The shutdown of global supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic brought to the fore an issue with the high level of global economic interdependence: what happens when one country is the main source for an item, say face masks, and then can no longer supply the item? Countries suddenly unable to meet the demand for certain supplies are faced with growing calls for economic nationalism. What are some of the lasting effects that the pandemic could have on global supply chains and trade? How would this affect national security?
March 11- Persian Gulf Security: The Persian Gulf remains tense as the rivalry between the regional powers of Saudi Arabia and Iran continues. Tensions escalated in early 2020 as the United States began to intervene in the Gulf, launching an airstrike that killed two Iranian military commanders. What are the historical influences that have led to these tensions? What role, if any, should the United States play? Is using military force a viable foreign policy option for 2021 and beyond?
March 18- Brexit and the European Union: With the “Brexit transition period” coming to an end, the United Kingdom formally left the European Union at the start of 2021. With negotiations between the two entities continuing to stall, what does the future of Europe and the UK look like? Will the UK survive a possible Scottish vote to leave? Who will step up and take command of Europe now that Angela Merkel is out of the spotlight?
March 25- The Fight Over the Melting Arctic: Former U.S. President Donald Trump left many scratching their heads when it was rumored that he was looking to purchase the large island nation of Greenland from Denmark. While any potential deal seems highly unlikely, the event shows the changing opinion within the U.S. government toward engagement with the Arctic region. Because of climate change, large sheets of arctic ice are melting, exposing vast stores of natural gas and oil. With Russia and China already miles ahead with their Arctic strategies, can the U.S. catch up?
How to Maximize Your Hearing and Listening
Join in to learn about new innovations and techniques!
Almost 40 million Americans have hearing loss. For most, recognizing and addressing it can be hard–but you are certainly not alone. Changes in hearing can negatively impact our participation in life and are associated with other healthcare issues including social isolation. This session will focus on how modern hearing solutions can improve not only your hearing but your quality of life. Did you know that we hear with our brains? Or that changes in hearing can make you tired at the end of the day? You will learn about that and more in this informative session. Information is power. This program will help to equip you on your journey to better hearing.
Maegan Mapes, Au.D., brings to the program 22 years of clinical experience in many different settings such as hospitals, ENT practices, and schools. She has also been an adjunct professor at Richard Stockton University for the last 4 years. Dr. Mapes is currently employed by the hearing aid company Oticon as an education and training specialist, where she educates audiologists and hearing instrument specialists about the latest hearing aid technology.
Invasive Insects in Burlington County
Presented by Park Naturalist Jennifer Bulava. In this presentation, learn about some of the invasive species of insects that have made their way to New Jersey. Learn how to recognize them, how they got here, and what we can do to help diminish their spread.
Spotted lanternfly, emerald ash borer, Japanese beetle, Hemlock wooly adelgid, gypsy moth, and brown marmorated stink bug will be highlighted.
Virtual Geology Tour of Main Street – Mt. Holly, NJ
Join in to experience a virtual guided geology tour of the historic buildings found along Main Street in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Presented by Pierre Lacombe, a retired USGS geologist. Pierre will discuss the local rock used to construct the Historic Prison Museum and other early buildings in Mount Holly, as well as the bricks and other local building materials. Learn why there is a Mount in Mount Holly and many other interesting geologic facts pertaining to this area.
Thanks to our friends at the Burlington County Parks System for collaborating with us to share this program. For additional programs, visit: https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/1885/Virtual-Programs
Danielle Boyd and the Music of Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert Sinatra has been heralded as one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. Undoubtedly, he is one of the best-selling music artists of all times, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.
American music critics have called Sinatra “the greatest singer of the 20th century”, and he continues to be seen as an iconic figure.
Thanks to the talents of Danielle Boyd, Medford Leas Music Therapist, this program will offer you a selection of Sinatra’s best known hits.
We know that many of these songs will bring back memories of good times and we hope you enjoy this program.
December Special Video Program
A Special “Happy New Year” Program to Our Medford Leas Residents & Pathways Participants
This program features Dr. James D’Amico, Medical Director, Medford Leas Health and Wellness, as he shares his knowledge and expertise about champagne, helping us to welcome in the New Year.
The Benefits of Walking
This program features Dr. Jeff Ranalli, a member of our Medford Leas Health and Wellness Team—as he is out and about on our Medford Campus on our Woodlands Trails.
Dr. Jeff will share information for all of us to enjoy, with the goal of encouraging viewers to begin a walking program of their own.
We all know the importance of exercise, but in this program, you will learn the specific benefits of walking and how you can begin your own program.
A Visit with Ulysses S. Grant
Join in this visit which takes us back in time and enjoy a personal visit with Ulysses S. Grant, as he shares an up close view into his life. General Grant was asked once in an interview what he felt his major weaknesses were. It can be understood that the questioner was hoping for a military answer, but instead he was surprised to hear a dry, but honest reply from the commanding general of Lincoln’s armies. When asked, “General, what would you say are your weaknesses?”, without any thought, Grant simply replied, “My horses and my children.”
In this program, you’ll learn why he feels this way. You’ll hear about the many war horses of the civil war, and even some before that, as Grant’s career as a stellar horseman stretched back into his childhood, even before his tenth birthday. He is always happy to talk horseflesh, as well as the antics and habits of his four children before the war, and even at times during the war as well.
You may find this a fascinating view of a man many erroneously project as simply a man of war, but come to find a man filled with compassion and love for his family and his horses as well.
Kenneth J. Serfass, Gunnery Sgt USMC, retired, portrays Ulysses S. Grant in this program. Ken was a civil war reenactor but now is a first-person impressionist with nearly fifty years of study of his childhood hero, US Grant.
Ken’s work has generated a great following of supporters and others who share his love of American history and the attributes of positive role models throughout our national past. His passion for the subject is evident in his presentation, and it is hard not to be affected by his enthusiasm for his subject and believe that you’ve met US Grant in living history.
MECHA Chocolates—Give in to that Craving and Enjoy
Chocolate is one of the most popular sweets of all time. Some people crave it, others hoard it and Aztec kings were said to have been the first to eat it. Join in this program to explore the basics of chocolate and learn of some of the benefits associated with this delectable treat.
Remember—moderation is key as you enjoy chocolate, but why not learn about this treat so you can appreciate it even that much more.
In this video, we visit Melissa Crandley, Owner/Chocolatier, of MECHA, to learn the ins and outs of chocolate. Melissa has taken what was a passion for chocolate and developed it into a business with a store front in Haddonfield, NJ. MECHA marries her background in culinary arts along with her interest in chocolate to bring together a variety of chocolates—some are sweet and salty, and others offer a savory note. No matter which you sample, you are sure to enjoy the finest ingredients which are used to create natural and individually crafted chocolates.
The Tocks Island Dam Story- Death of a Small NJ Town & Way of Life
In 1955, major hurricanes caused massive damaging flooding of the Delaware River.
In response, the Army Corps of Engineers proposed to build a dam at Tocks Island, above the Delaware Water Gap, to control flooding, provide improved water supplies, and promote recreational opportunities. The Corps acquired 72,000 acres of property, making use of eminent domain, and some 15,000 residents were forced out of their homes. Bitter lawsuits and political battles ensued. The issue provided a major impetus for the early environmental movement.
The dam was not built, a number of small towns and historical ways of life were disrupted forever. This presentation focuses on the impact of the project on Pahaquarry, NJ, the town that would have been mostly inundated — a place rich in pre-colonial history and mysteries. Ultimately, the town was forced to abandon its municipal existence.
The story is told through public documents, extensive newspaper reports, and the words of the last remaining residents of the town. It completes with an unexpected ending concerning the last Mayor of Pahaquarry and the current state of the land as an underfunded National Recreation Area.
James Alexander Jr. is a resident of Medford Leas and lives on the Lumberton Campus. An accomplished researcher and presenter on historical topics, Alexander has recently presented on the topic of trains in our local area. He earned his BA from Middlebury College and his Masters of Governmental Administration from the Wharton School. His successful career involved state and local government management, and brings a unique perspective to this program.
October 2020 Video Schedule
Lumberton Campus Meadow Walk
Enjoy this walk to experience the Meadow on the Medford Leas at Lumberton Campus. Meadows provide habitat for butterflies, insects, birds, and small mammals and delightful vistas for all.
Without annual mowing, our meadows, would give way to pioneer trees — cedar, sweetgum, sassafras, winged sumac — and in time, become forested once again. The Fall is an especially good time to enjoy the colors of the season. You are invited to view this walk and be inspired by the seasonal beauty of the Barton Arboretum and Nature Preserve.
The Lumberton Campus is an extension of the Barton Arboretum and Nature Preserve. In the summer of 2014, a project was begun to renovate the Lumberton Meadow, which had been taken over by invasive plants. That summer, the existing vegetation was killed and removed. The entire meadow was then seeded and live plants and plugs were planted in selected areas. The plan included native grasses and wildflowers to provide a wonderful and diverse landscape for both residents and wildlife.
We are certain you will enjoy this walk with our Lumberton Campus resident Miriam Swartz. Miriam works with a number of residents as they conduct socially distanced walks for others to enjoy as they learn more about the benefits of the Meadow.
Electoral College- Everything You Always Wanted To Know
We decide our Presidential elections not by popular vote, but by the Electoral College. The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.
Who are these electors and what if they don’t vote for who they are supposed to? Can’t we just abandon this “archaic system” and move to a popular vote? This timely talk will provide you with just about everything you want to know about our Electoral College System.
Dr. Kelly Jackson is a long-term faculty member at Camden County College and has chaired their faculty governance body for 20 years. Jackson, a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Community College Education from Rowan University and her Master’s Degree in Statistics from the University of Delaware. In 2013, Dr. Jackson received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from Rowan University.
Danielle Boyd and the Music of Henry Mancini
Henry Mancini, is considered to be one of the most versatile talents in contemporary music. His name is synonymous with great motion pictures, television music, and fine recordings. During his lifetime among his many achievements he won 20 Grammy Awards, and 4 Academy awards.
Thanks to the talents of Danielle Boyd, Medford Leas Music Therapist, this program will offer you a selection of Mancini’s best known hits.
We know that many of these songs will bring back memories of good times.
September 2020 Video Schedule
POLST Form: Making Your Wishes Known
Making your wishes known is important for individuals of all ages. These wishes are often deeply personal and based upon your particular values and beliefs.
You will gain valuable insight on this topic from Dr. James D’Amico, Medford Leas Medical Director. In particular, Dr. D’Amico will focus on POLST—Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.
POLST is a healthcare planning tool that empowers individuals to work closely with their medical team to detail their wishes in terms of their personal goals and medical preferences when facing a serious illness. Unlike other documents, such as an advance directive, a completed POLST form is an actual medical order that becomes a part of an individual’s medical record. It is valid in all healthcare settings.
View this program to gain constructive knowledge on this important topic. The goal of this session is to share information and to encourage participants to then engage in discussion with loved ones, family members, and healthcare professionals so that your wishes will be known and honored.
Dr. James D’Amico
Dr. D’Amico, DO, FACOI, Medford Leas Medical Director, is a graduate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He offers Medford Leas residents a strong and comprehensive background in internal medicine, geriatrics, rehabilitation and long-term and hospice care. Dr. D’Amico works collaboratively with our health and wellness professionals and is proud to be the leader of the Medford Leas Health and Wellness Team.
The Morris Family: New Jersey’s Founding Family
Morristown, Morris Plains, and Morris County are just the most obvious reminders of this influential and ubiquitous New Jersey family. From Governor Lewis Morris, our first Colonial head of the state in 1738, to his grandson, Gouverneur Morris, who wrote the Preamble to the United States Constitution, the family’s legacy in New Jersey and New York is rivaled by no others. The presentation and discussion will explore where the Morris family came from, their original settlement in Tinton Falls in Monmouth County, what they did, and interestingly, why they are so little remembered today. Rick Geffken, a popular speaker on historical topics, lives on land once owned by the Morris family and reveals little-known facts about the Morris Family and their New Jersey connections. Special thanks to our Medford Leas Residents Association Leas Forum Committee for organizing this talk.