By Patty Janes, Ph.D.
In 55 years of life, the only experience that remotely prepares me
for what is happening with the Coronavirus pandemic was two months of
bed rest during a difficult pregnancy. I was unable to support those I
was used to caring for and scared something bad would happen to my
beautiful baby. Doctor’s orders were to stay put, lay on my left side,
and do everything I could to keep us both safe. Day one was
survivable, day two was not.
Communities around the world are facing this test, magnified on an
is affecting the world in more complex ways than I experienced those
eight weeks, I feel a similar concern today.
As I sit at home, preparing to teach university students online, I’m
reflecting on how my bed rest became a gift. I kept both my daughter
and myself safe by doing what I was supposed to. Twenty-two years
later she is about to graduate from the University of Michigan and we
are facing a different kind of bed rest.
We all need to do our part to keep people safe. While I worry about
small business surviving, families staying afloat financially with
reduced hours, etc. I try my best to do what I did many years ago: to
not be all consumed by the negative, and control what I could, doing
my part to keep us safe. I had to do what was needed, and then I had
What can you do to reframe?
Think of all the things we can do during this time to safely
care for others (e.g. a neighbor in need). Think of all the things we
always want to do but never find the time (e.g. clean out closets or
the garage). Then, think of all the things we can do to have unique
fun. Finding ways to enhance your life during this stressful time will
be vital. American’s spend so much time on the television (US Bureau
of Labor Statistics states near 3 hours –
½ of available leisure time), don’t let that get the best of you.
So many organizations have released ways to stay connected remotely,
and many are mentioned in my top ten list below. We’ve put this on
the fridge to find new things to explore and stay connected.
Play. Board games at home or tech games with others.
Keep being social. We broke out Clue last night (thanks USA
Today article), and set the goal to play everything in the game
cabinet at least once. Our other family favorites Telestrations
Learn. To knit, draw (Michigan
native Butch Hartman created Fairly Odd Parents and he teaches you how
to draw Danny Phantom HERE), paint, or play an
instrument etc. Thanks to outlets like YouTube, we can learn so many
things from home. There are a number of sites providing FREE ways for
children to learn including Netflix sources,
companies, and Grand
Valley State University’s Charter School office sharing resources.
Drive. Take a day road trip around Pure Michigan and sight see.
Pack a picnic or go through drive-thrus along the way. Take advantage
of gas prices under $2/gallon. Pick any Lake MI lakeshore - no one is
more than two hours from these natural beauties. Trip
Advisor’s top beaches in Michigan.
Plan. Your next vacation.
You will need a break after this experience and whether a staycation
or travel more than 100 miles from home. Have kids and adults alike
investigate great things to do, see, learn, etc.
Tour. Take a look of interesting
museums or dairy
farms. So many great organizations are pulling together FREE ways
to explore from home including NASA.
Face time or Skype. People you’ve been meaning to
catch up with. Research indicates staying connected with families and
friends is so important. If you don’t believe it, here
are 82M posts in Google about it.
/Exercise. Get fresh air and open windows, walk
around the house. If your environment allows, walk outside, in the
neighborhood, on a trail, in a yard. 6’ of distance is easier outdoors
and fresh air is healing. Organizations from Planet
Fitness to Lulu Lemon
are providing FREE ways to get exercise at home (e.g. yoga).
Cook. Try a new recipe with food items on a
back shelf or in the bottom of the freezer. Share items with neighbors
to try something new and help each other. Create a communal living
environment where everyone helps with meals. It’s social. It’s
helpful. And, someone learns something new. Guaranteed. Thanks to my
InstaPot, I didn’t ruin the
corned beef on St. Patty’s Day for the first time!
Meditate. Download an app to start or end your day in
peaceful, contemplative thought. It works. Great FREE App: WakingUp
Live. Don’t let this situation keep you from
learning, growing, and building relationships. Life doesn’t stop, use
calling services to have regular large family chats, club or
hobby meetings, or continue your volunteer work. Keep moving forward.
We need each other more than ever.
Which of these will you do or have you done? What would you add to
By Olivia Rau
Organized in 1981, Circle
Michigan pioneered the very first organization in the country
focusing on the promotion of group travel. Since then, numerous other
states have followed their lead. Circle Michigan is
dedicated exclusively to helping professional tour planners and Circle
Michigan member suppliers meet the challenges unique to the group
During the late 1990s, Circle Michigan lost two members to death from
car accidents: Katherine Schmidt in 1997, who was with the Traverse City Convention &
Visitors Bureau, and Scott Brazil in 1998, who was with Kewadin
Casino of Sault Ste. Marie. Money in the form of memorials was given
in their honor, which was placed into a Michigan scholarship held by
the National Tour Association (NTA), located in Lexington, Kentucky.
Over the next 15 years, the fund grew to over $20,000.00. NTA no
longer desired to retain the monies it was holding so turned the funds
over to Circle Michigan. With this, the Circle Michigan Foundation was
formed on March 23, 2012.
Circle Michigan members volunteer their time to serve on the Circle
Michigan Foundation to oversee two programs (listed below) and plan fundraisers.
Circle Michigan Scholarship.
Michigan Foundation awards an annual college scholarship to a
student attending a Michigan higher education institution, who is
enrolled in a Hospitality and Tourism program. Full or part-time
students may apply. Since 2013, the Circle Michigan Foundation has
awarded $3,500 in scholarships.
Circle Michigan Field Trip Transportation Grant.
Michigan Foundation also awards a transportation grant to any
K through 12 educational institution within the State of Michigan.
This grant is to be used for transportation for field trips. Any
attraction being visited by the school group must be a Circle
Michigan member attraction. Since 2013, the Circle Michigan
Foundation has awarded 20 Michigan schools Field Trip Transportation
Grants totaling $4,253.
One of the 2018 Field Trip Transportation Grant recipients was CLK
Elementary in Calumet. With the grant, 92 second grade students
visited Fort Wilkins State Park as second grade social studies
curriculum focuses on the local community. On this trip, the students
learned why Fort Wilkins was built and what it was like to live there.
Joan Darnell, second grade teacher at CLK Elementary, reported “the
second graders learn and remember a lot better by actually being able
to be at Fort Wilkins. As the school year continues, there are many
times I am reading a book, showing a picture, or discussing our area’s
history and now I am able to bring up something we saw on our trip to
- This year’s Field Trip Transportation Grant Application period is
April 1 – June 20.
- Since 2013, the Circle Michigan Foundation has awarded field trip
transportation grants to 20 Michigan schools.
By Aubrey Sochacki
Lansing is often known for being the capital of Michigan, the home of
the Spartans, and a growing community. The city strives to be
supportive of all members of the community, including local businesses
and those who call the city home.
The Greater Lansing Convention and
Visitors Bureau (CVB) encourages each of their staff members to
serve on local boards and committees. Through this encouragement, they
have made it possible for CVB members to work with these boards and
committees to organize local events. One of the events that many staff
members help with is planting flowers on the capital lawn each year.
This event brings the community together and helps promote Lansing as
a tourist destination.
One of the major initiatives that the Greater Lansing CVB is working
on is promoting attractions with sensory activities for individuals
with disabilities. At these sensory attractions, the CVB provides each
volunteer with training to help them provide better services for
individuals with disabilities. Each attraction has a CVB staff member
that works directly with it, in order to best serve the community.
Another part of this initiative is Lansing’s annual event, “Be a Tourist in
Your Own Town.” This event started 25 years ago and has created
a way for community members to interact with over 100 attractions.
This event “opens” the community each year and encourages Lansing
citizens and others to visit the area and support the state’s capital.
Lansing is not just the home of Michigan’s government; it is also
home to an inclusive community.
By Aubrey Sochacki
A couple of years ago, the Detroit Metro Convention and
Visitors Bureau (CVB) created an engagement committee to better
equip themselves to be involved in the local communities they serve.
Within this committee is the volunteer committee.
The volunteer committee has created endless opportunities for the
Detroit Metro CVB staff members to participate in. Through the
committee, the CVB has been able to give each staff member volunteer
time off up to eight hours per year to volunteer.
A few of the volunteerism activities that the Detroit Metro CVB
participates in are collecting mittens for Detroit, a cereal drive, a
collection drive for school supplies, and donating food to those in
need for Thanksgiving. This past year, the Detroit Metro CVB collected
over 300 pairs of gloves and mittens for the Detroit area. This drive
was done internally with members and clients of the CVB. The CVB also
partners with local charities to provide food and other needs to those
in the community.
The Detroit Metro Convention and
Visitors Bureau is not just focused on bringing tourists to the
area, but also on caring for those who call the community home.