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Travel opportunities abound at Brooksby

Calendar chock-full of adventures

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

One look at the monthly calendar at Brooksby, the Erickson Living community in Peabody, Mass., explains why the community s trip coordinator, Kim Whitworth, doesn t have time to attend each excursion she plans. Nearly every day, trips depart Brooksby bound for museums, historical and nature sites, shops, theaters, and other areas of interest. For more than two years, Whitworth has organized these overnight and day trips, often in response to requests from people who live at the community.

Infinite variety

I try to vary each month what is presented so that there is a little bit of everything, Whitworth says. I take a lot of what the residents ask me. When they have a trip idea, I try very hard to make it work. Don Fields has taken numerous trips since moving to Brooksby almost six years ago. A photographer who gravitates toward trips with a nature element, Don has ventured to New Hampshire, Vermont, and seaside Massachusetts towns with Whitworth, taking photographs that he shares with his Brooksby neighbors. They were things that were on my bucket list that I had never done before, he says of journeys like the trip to Provincetown, Mass. Though he had visited the town many times before, he experienced it in a new way. I d never been on the dunes, Don says. With the Brooksby group, he rode in a four-wheeled dune buggy over dunes, passing former artist cottages. With Whitworth, Don has also gone to a Lowell Spinners minor-league baseball game and visited Wolf Hollow, a site where visitors can view wolves in a natural setting. He has enjoyed a ferry ride from Salem to Boston and a double-decker bus tour of Boston, among other outings. I think she has done a fabulous job in setting up the trips, and she is continually asking people to give her ideas of trips to take, Don says of Whitworth. She ll go out of her way to find out if pictures can be taken or not, for his benefit, he adds.

Accessible trips

In between receiving requests and questions from people who live at Brooksby, Whitworth also talks frequently with vendors, ensuring her travelers get discounted group rates and keeping trip prices accessible. Prices vary, ranging from $15 for a day trip to a local library to $115 for a trip to see a production of Les Miserables in Boston from orchestra seats. Whitworth also works with a couple of trusted travel operators, who for years have accompanied Brooksby travelers to faraway destinations. Trips are open to family members and friends of people who live at Brooksby, and Whitworth also welcomes additional Brooksby staff to join the trips. Brooksby s fitness club staff members join monthly beach walks during the summer months, often leading power walks or tai chi during the excursions. Residents can experience the staff outside the office, Whitworth says. They re outside and interacting in a whole new way. Whitworth considers herself fortunate to work as part of Brooksby s talented activities team, which includes the television, community resources, volunteer, communications, and philanthropy departments. All of the A-team they re just great, she says. The best part of Whitworth s job? The people; it has to be the people, she says, adding of those who live at Brooksby, The people are so nice; I love their enthusiasm. They re so lively and so full of energy, and it just amazes me. To join the mailing list for Brooksby trips, email Kim Whitworth