Encore programs are designed with the active aging adult in mind. Now is the time for you to reignite the excitement of years past and try something you've always wanted to do! Whether it is diving into a lecture series or trying your hand at a new art form, we strive to offer opportunities that will inspire and delight you. If you don't see something offered here that you would like to try, let us know! We are always looking for new ideas on how to better serve the community. For more information or to provide a suggestion, please contact Ruth Coleman at rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov or 410-313-7311. 



For more information about any of the programs below, please contact Curtis Gore at 410-313-7281 or cgore@howardcountymd.gov

All Things Glass 2

Come explore an assortment of techniques: fusing, slumping, layering, and painting glass. Delve into the field of glass more extensively than in the All Things Glass 1. (Beginners are welcome!) Instructor Tara Holl provides materials and fires projects. She has worked in the field of glass for over 30 years.

Artful Journaling Club

Express yourself in an art journal! In this weekly club, create journal pages that combine creative writing and decorative art using a variety of media. No art experience necessary. You are invited to suggest and lead activities on a voluntary basis. Supplies discussed at first meeting. This is a participant-run club; no instructors present. 

Basic Zentangle Workshop with Arlene Mindus, CZT

Explore this popular art form that is an easy-to-learn and relaxing method of drawing structured patterns. Certified Zentangle teacher Arlene Mindus guides you in techniques and hand-drawn patterns. Develop focus and creativity, hand-eye coordination, manual dexterity, and problem-solving techniques. A mini Zentangle box may be purchased for $5.00 that includes an apprentice tile, black micron pen, Zentangle pencil, pencil sharpener, and tortillion or stump for shading. 

Creating Visual Stories with Mixed Media

Learn how to use everyday and found objects, types of paint, paper, fiber, and other materials to create one wall mount mixed media piece and one 3-D mixed media piece. If time permits, create a third piece of your choice. Come focus on telling a visual story. Gain painting techniques to use with the materials. Instructor provides some materials and make recommendations for materials to bring.


Drawing & Painting with Zina

Find your inner-artist in this user-friendly setting! Drawing and painting are teachable techniques. Beginners start with a foundations program using demos and assignments on drawing, design and color theory leading to readiness to create simple paintings. Advanced students enjoy demos, slide presentations, and projects that inspire. Create original work.

Fused Glass Workshop with Tara Holl

Learn the art of fusing glass! Join glass artist Tara Holl to make fused glass objects such as jewelry, an ornament, or other small items. Learn about different types of glass and how they can fire together. Whether you are experienced in working with glass or would like to try it for the first time, you are welcome! $30 materials fee.

Stained Glass Workshop: Geode Hanging

Come learn to make a stained-glass window hanging that is beautiful in the day (back lit) and night (front lit). Join us as we make a 10” diameter stained glass hanging using the copper foil technique. The hanging contains a geode surrounded by glass nuggets and pieces of stained glass. Learn to cut, foil, position, and solder stained glass, and
to finish and gram the piece with lead cane. No experience necessary; tools and materials are provided. 


Watercolor Basics for the Very Beginner with Carol Zika

This mini-course has been created as a prerequisite for Watercolors with Carol Zika. Learn the basic techniques of painting with transparent watercolors; and about paper, brushes and paint. Brush calisthenics, washes, glazing, color mixing, plus tricks of the trade are covered. Recommended supplies discussed at the first class. $10 materials fee due at first class. 

Watercolors with Carol Zika

This painting class is for students who have completed Watercolor Basics for the Very Beginner and those with previous watercolor experience. Instructor provides guided lessons, building technique and confidence. Bring materials to the first class.

You Can Draw & Paint with Carol Zika

Let your artistic expression soar in this congenial, fun and supportive open studio atmosphere. Bring watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels or other materials. Explore your creative potential. Instructor provides direction/instruction in drawing and painting for beginners and experienced dabblers. Bring your own or discuss materials (purchased
separately) at the first class. 


Beginner Ballet for Active Adults

Enjoy basic ballet while building strength, flexibility and grace. Class begins at the ballet barre and progresses to center. Learn basic terminology and technique with modifications offered. Leotard and tights recommended; form-fitting, comfortable clothing allowed. Pull back long hair. Wear ballet shoes and bring a water bottle.

Dance on Broadway – or Feel Like You Can!

5, 6, 7, 8! If dancing on Broadway is on your bucket list, join a class of like-minded adults for fun and fitness. Instructor leads you through dance routines to current and long-time Broadway favorites. Enjoy musical theater choreography appropriate for all levels. Wear dance or athletic shoes and comfortable clothes you can move in. Bring water and a towel. 10% off when 2 or more people register by phone together.

Learn to Swing Dance

Learn to swing dance! Be sure to sign up separately for the Swing Dance Socials to try out your latest moves. (No class 2/7.) 

Senior Tap Classics

Ever dream of dancing like Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire? It’s never too late to start! This beginning-level tap class progresses slowly and is designed for adults. Wear comfortable clothing, grab some tap shoes and join us! 

Social Square Dancing

Grab your partner and join our accredited square dance caller to show off your best do-si-do! All levels welcome. Instruction provided for those who are new to square dancing. Partners not required, we can pair you up when you arrive! 10% off when 2 or more people register by phone together. (No class 3/5.) 

NEW! Square & Round Dances

Grab your partner and join us for an evening of square and round dancing. These dances are for experienced square and round dancers featuring mainstream dance moves. Dances are led by certified callers and cuers. Please wear shoes appropriate for dancing. No advanced registration. Please pay when you arrive.  All dances will be held at North Laurel Community Center from 7pm-9pm. The cost is $10.
Square and Round Dance Dates:
Jun 18
Jun 25
Jul 2
Jul 9
Jul 16
Jul 23
Jul 30
Aug 6
Aug 13
Aug 20



It's a "roll of the dice" game. Bunco is gaining in popularity and now you can get in on the fun! Join us for an hour of this exciting dice game. No experience necessary. Free!

Bain 50+ Center 10:30-11:30am Last Fri of the month

Drop-In Social Bridge

Stop by for some social bridge. Beginners welcome! Coffee, tea and light refreshments available. We gladly accept donations to t he snack fund. Free!

Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 9am-noon Wed.

Duplicate Bridge

Enjoy a few hours of drop-in duplicate bridge. Bring a bag lunch; coffee, tea and light refreshments available. We accept donations to the snack fund. Free!

Kiwanis-Wallas Hall Noon-3:30pm Wed.

Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 9:15am-12:45pm Fri.


Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 1-3:30pm Wed. Free


Kiwanis-Wallas Hall 9:30am-3:30pm Fri. Free

Toss Across

Who says, "close only counts in horseshoes?" In Toss Across, it counts! Try the latest backyard and tailgating craze. have fun and get a little exercise too. Meet in the Bain 50+ Center lobby. Free!

Bain 50+ Center 10:30-11:30am Fri.

Trivia Time

Come show us what you know during this entertaining hour of group trivia! Fire up those brain cells while you help your team compete. Meet in the lobby. Free!

Bain 50+ Center 9:30-10:30am Last Fri. of the month

Wii Bowling Club

Why let the kids  have all the fun? Bowl in a virtual alley without leaving the building. You improve hand-eye coordination and get some exercise while competing against your peers. Free!

Elkridge 50+ Center 10-11am Wed.

Bain 50+ Center 9:30-11:30am Thu.

Go 50+ Members, ask about upcoming drop-in opportunities for fitness classes and more at Gary J. Arthur Community Center, North Laurel Community Center and Roger Carter Community Center!

NEW! Encore Adventures

This is your opportunity to dabble in a variety of outdoor skills!  Try your hand at paddling in a kayak or paddleboat, learn the basics of archery or go fishing around Centennial Lake.  Earn a certificate and patch for completing at least five Encore Adventure activities within a two-year period!  No experience necessary - equipment provided for use during the program.  Detailed information emailed to participants in the week prior to the program.

More information? Contact Dawn Thomas, 410-313-1754 or Matt Medicus, 410-313-1769.  Programs take place at Centennial Park; exact details and directions emailed to registrants in the week prior to the program.  Complete Adventure & Outdoor program information available at howardcountymd.gov/adventure.

Intro to Fishing
New angler?  Coming back to the sport?  Want to fish but no longer have your gear?  Learn or review how to cast, identify fish, rig a pole, tie knots and much more.
RP9171.301   May 9      9:30am-Noon   Th     $25

Guided Walk Exploring the Spring Migration  CANCELLED
Join us for a guided walk around Centennial Lake to observe warblers, waterfowl and maybe catch a glimpse of an Oriole as the birds return.  Receive a field guide to help start your own birdwatching checklist.
RP9171.302   May 16     9:30-11am    Th     $25

Paddling Basics
Try your hand at kayaking!  Learn paddling techniques, safety and gear selection.  This is an American Canoe Association instructional program.
RP9171.303   May 30    9:30-11:30am   Th    $30

Intro to Target Archery
Learn the basics of target archery including equipment, safety and elements of shooting with an USA Archery-certified instructor.
RP9171.304    June 6     9:30-11:30am   Th    $35

Call 410-313-7275 to register or click the RP number above to sign up online!


For more information about fitness programs, please contact Curtis Gore at (410) 313-7281 or cgore@howardcountymd.gov.

Balance, Strength & Fitness with Lori Nowicki

With the use of the BOSU stability ball, light weights and resistance bands, the active adult will learn exercises which involve training the body for the activities performed in daily life. No class 5/6, 5/27.


Beginner Mat Pilates with Debbie Flynn, ACE, ACSM, RYT-200

Improve your flexibility and strengthen your core, thereby protecting your back and improving your posture. Beginner Mat Pilates is a combination of exercises on the floor. Reap the benefits with stability in the hips and spine
while building core muscles and flexibility.

Exercise with Ease with Debbie Flynn, ACE, ACSM, RYT-200

This well-rounded hour of fitness for active seniors includes low-impact aerobics, stretching, muscle tone, and strength activities aimed at improving endurance, body alignment, balance, and proper breathing. Listen to upbeat
music while learning choreography.

Fitness for Life with Lori Nowicki, ACE, AFPA

Enjoy a class designed for active adults using easy-to-follow aerobics, weights, and cardio training. (No class 2/1.)

Gentle Yoga/Yoga 1 with Kathy Whelan, RYT-200

This yoga class is suitable for both new and continuing students preferring a less vigorous version of a Yoga 1 class. Move through poses to increase flexibility, strength and balance while emphasizing mindfulness and breath awareness. Yoga props used. Modifications offered so that you may receive the benefits of each pose. Must be able to get up and down from floor. Bring a yoga mat.

Self Defense for Active Adults

Former Howard County Police Officer Derek Johnson presents this course in a relaxed environment that teaches you awareness and personal safety. Class incorporates a positive attitude with basic precautions to allow you to
avoid a potentially dangerous situation. Learn techniques to defend yourself against problems unique to older adults. A fitness waiver must be complete prior to participation.

Lifelong Learning

For more information about Lifelong Learning programs, please contact Ruth Coleman at 410-313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov


• In order of level.

Bridge Basics

Bridge is an enjoyable card game! It challenges your mind while making new friends. This class is for both those who have never played bridge and for those who would like a refresher.

Advanced Bridge Basics

This class is for those people who have taken Beginner Bridge or for those who would like to improve their bidding techniques, as well as declaring and defensive skills. Enjoy discussion of modern bidding. There is considerable time for participants to play hands with the advice of a mentor.

Intermediate Bridge

Begin with a review of the Standard American Bidding System including 1-level openings, weak & pre-emptive bids, strong bids, and slam bidding. Hand play and opening leads are discussed. Several of the commonly used conventions are presented, including Stayman, Jacoby Transfers, Bergen Raises, Jacoby 2NT, and Roman Key Card Blackwood. Bidding guides (rules of 9, 15, and 17) for specific situations are provided. In addition, approaches to opening light and doubling are examined. All material is supported by examples and play of hands during class; additional practice hands are provided for home study. Hand bidding and play analysis is provided for all hands.

Bridge Seminar: Two Over One Game Force Bidding Approach

Join us for a two-day seminar! Two Over One (2/1) Game Force is a straightforward adaptation of the Standard American bidding system that offers more bidding room and greater ease in getting to a game contract and investigating slam. Once the domain of only advanced players, today 2/1 is employed by players at all skill levels. 2/1 is compatible and easily integrated with the bidding approach you use today; NT openings, Stayman, transfers, weak 2s, pre-emptive bids, Gerber & Blackwood, and nearly all other conventions do not change. Conventions that fit well with 2/1, such as Bergen Raises, Drury, 4th
Suit Forcing, and New Minor Forcing, are discussed on Day 2. Lunch is on your own. Discussion is supported with handout material, hand play during the seminar, and supplementary material for after seminar practice. Bring your partner or come and meet a potential new partner.

Bridge Handplay: Making Contracts & Other Neglected Topics

Once the auction is complete and the contract determined, the partnership lines are drawn. Declarer’s job is to make a plan that satisfies the contract and squeezes out an overtrick or two; defender's job is to keep that from happening and grab as many undertricks as possible. Discussion is supported with handout material, hand play during the seminar, and supplementary material for after seminar practice. Bring your partner or come and meet a potential new partner.

Senior Adult Summer Institute (SASI)

Come enjoy topics such as art, culture, literature and history. You may pick up registration packets at the Bain 50+ Center or Recreation & Parks Headquarters starting April 1. This is co-sponsored with Howard Community College. To complete registration, download SASI packet (forthcoming) and return to Ruth Coleman at rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov.

All SASI sections are held at Howard Community College from 9:30am-3pm. The cost is $22 per section.

June 3- Joan of Arc     Presenter: Cynthia Cupples

Explore the captivating life and legend of the fifteenth-century peasant girl who led French armies and became a Catholic saint.  From her role in the 100 Years’ War to the royal court of Charles VII, you will learn about and discuss Joan’s military exploits and the prevailing ideas about women’s roles then. You will also examine medieval ideas of kingship and the transformation of Joan’s image over time, from witch or heretic to Catholic saint and national symbol.

June 4- Broadway Divas      Presenter: Steven Friedman

Be introduced (or re-introduced) to the actresses who became Broadway musical stars because of their role in a particular play or whose acclaim made the show a hit. The lives and careers of Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Carol Channing, Angela Lansbury and other glamorous and not-so-glamorous ladies will be discussed. Explore their lives, musical roles and a few of their big secrets that may or may not surprise you!

June 5- Deconstructing Frankenstein      Presenter: Ryna Mae

Come along on a deep dive into Mary Shelley’s eponymous text to examine its romantic foundations, explore its ethical questions, and embrace its modern resonance. It is suggested that you read (or re-read) the selection (full or abridged version) to get the most from this session.

June 6- The Parthenon, Glory of Athens      Presenter: Bill McGowan 

Dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Parthenon was built to celebrate the triumph of Athens against the Persian invasions of Greece in the mid-5th century B.C. For over 2,500 years, it has stood on the Acropolis of Athens as a proud symbol of the enduring legacy of Classical Greek civilization. Explore the art, architecture and history of this magnificent temple through the ages as it remains a sentinel over the city of Athens, a testament to the triumph of Athenian democracy.


For more information about photography programs, please contact Ruth Coleman at (410) 313-7311 or rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov.

Digital Photography 102

If you’re comfortable with your camera and are ready take your photography to the next level, this is the class for you! Come pick up where Digital Photography 101 left off, as we learn and practice intermediate photography techniques relating to lighting, action, composition, and more. Digital camera required (DSLR or point-andshoot with manual controls).


For more information about these sport programs, please contact Curtis Gore at 410-313-7281 or cgore@howardcountymd.gov.

50+ Co-Rec Volleyball

Join senior men and women of various volleyball skill levels for competitive and fun volleyball play. Previous volleyball experience helpful. Prior to registration, visit the Meadowbrook Athletic Complex and see if this program is for you. The program meets twice a week. The fee is based on when you register and is good through the end of the calendar year. 

50+ Tennis

Advanced beginners through intermediate players, pair up to play doubles or singles through October 31. 


TBD... details forthcoming!


Fundamentals of Modern Table Tennis with Jeff Smart 

Through the lessons of ITTF Level 2 Certified Coach Jeff Smart, beginner students learn the proper techniques to execute the forehand (FH) and backhand (BH) topspin drive, FH&BH underspin push, basic footwork, and topspin. Also work on underspin, sidespin serves and how to return each one. 


Encore Volunteer Program

Are you looking for a way to give back to your community? Sign up to be an Encore Volunteer! You will participate in industry-level trainings, have opportunities to socialize with other volunteers and share your time and/or skills with others in a Recreation & Parks program. Visit our volunteer website to sign up today!

HoCo Volunteers 

Did you know...

we also offer Trips & Tours! Visit our website to see where we are going next. 


SASI Packets are here!

SASI: Senior Adult Summer Institute

The 2019 registration packet is available for download. Click on the link below to download the full descriptions of each course and the required registration forms. Please return completed registration forms to Ruth Coleman via email at rucoleman@howardcountymd.gov or mail at 7120 Oakland Mills Rd. Columbia, MD 21046. 

Click here to download packet.

Click here to register online.



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