After nearly 10 years, calendars for Chesapeake Voyagers, Inc. (CVI) no longer have a blank spot in the middle of the week!
Original days of operation for CVI, a peer-run wellness and recovery center were Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Thursdays and the weekend were closed days for the nonprofit organization that offers individual peer support, support groups, activities, trips, and resource assistance to those dealing with mental health and/or addiction issues.
“There never was enough funding to cover costs to be open more than 4 days a week, so we closed on Thursdays to have the least amount of consecutive days where we were unavailable to people,” says Executive Director Diane Lane, who has been at the helm of CVI since it open in July of 2009.
“The Thursday gap really made it difficult to maintain a consistent place of support. And if a major holiday landed on a Friday, we were often closed 4 days straight. For those with whom isolation is a daily struggle, due to anxiety, no family connections, or lack of transportation, that can make for a very long weekend.”
That has changed thanks in part to Mid-Shore Behavioral Health, a nonprofit agency who advocated on behalf of CVI to the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration for additional funding.
Chesapeake Voyagers, Inc. is now open Monday-Friday 11am-6pm and Saturdays 9am to 4pm. This officially started December 1st and they are already seeing a positive effect from the expansion.
“This has vastly increased our ability to reach those looking for support, expand the types of groups and activities we offer, as well as getting more education into the community about what peer support really is,” says Lane.
Peer support is a way for people from diverse backgrounds who share experiences in common to come together to build relationships in which they share their strengths and support each other’s healing and growth. It does not focus on diagnoses or deficits, but is rooted in compassion for oneself and others.
Through peer support, we can challenge ourselves and each other to grow beyond our current circumstances and build the lives we want and deserve. Peer support promotes healing through taking action and by building relationships among a community of equals. It is not about “helping” others in a hierarchical way, but about learning from one another and building connections
A “peer” is an equal, someone who has faced similar circumstances. In peer support, the people involved have had some sort of similar experience, such as being given a psychiatric and/or addiction diagnosis and receiving behavioral health services. “Support” is another way of expressing the kind of understanding and encouragement toward growth that people who struggle with similar issues can offer one another.
Groups that they have been offered at CVI include a Depression and Anxiety group, Social Life Skills, Emotions Anonymous and a newly formed Adult Children of Alcoholics group. They also offer activities such as Bingo, crafts, movie and game night, coffee hour, pets on wheels, monthly educational forums, and social outings. They recently took a trip to the Madame Toussauds wax museum in Washington D.C. and do an annual trip each year to Ocean City and a Shorebirds baseball game.
One of the best things about Chesapeake Voyagers is they are open to anyone and are completely free.
“You do not need a referral, and there are no insurance requirements as everything we offer is free. Groups and activities are all voluntary and we do not need any information you are not comfortable disclosing, including diagnosis. You come here as a person, and that is how you are treated. “There is no hierarchy, as everyone here is on a similar journey”, explains Peer Support Specialist Maria Jenkins.
With the expanded days, CVI has been able to add several additional programs and groups.
“We are excited to be able to offer more wellness groups, such as guided journaling, arts and crafts, meditation, as well as support groups that will address grief, how to establish healthy relationships and a Co-occurring group that looks at the relationships between addiction and mental health. We will also be having a Saturday morning breakfast which we really hope will be an added benefit to the community,” explains Program Coordinator Avra Sullivan
Simply being able to have the additional hours available that people can come for support, resources, and socialize with others in a nonjudgmental environment is a huge step for the mission of CVI which emphasizes reducing isolation.
“Many who come here see us as an extended family, or in some cases, their only family.” says Lane.
That has proved true thus far, as the new Thursday and Saturday hours and activities have been well received.
In addition to the center here in Easton, CVI offers support groups throughout the other 4 counties of the Mid Shore. They partner with Dri-Dock Recovery Center in Cambridge and Recovery In Motion in Chestertown to provide weekly support groups for people in those counties. Recently CVI began a group that focuses on building healthy relationships which meets at St. Pauls’ Episcopal Church in Centreville on Tuesdays. They are currently working with the Caroline County Health Department to begin a support group there as well.
Chesapeake Voyagers is located at 342 N. Aurora street in Easton. They are opened Monday- Friday 11am-6pm and Saturdays 9am-4pm. They can be reached at 410-822-1601 or through their website at www.chesapeakevoyagers.org. Transportation to and from the center is available several days a week. Please call for details and conditions. Information and daily activities calendars can also be found on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/chesapeakevoyagers.
Pictured is speaker Don McPherson, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, activist and feminist who spoke at
For All Seasons Donor Reception on the topic, “You Throw Like a Girl: A Conversation to End Sexual Violence.”
Don McPherson, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, activist and feminist, spoke at For All Seasons’ recent Donor Reception on the topic, “You Throw Like a Girl: A Conversation to End Sexual Violence.” His presentation focused on men and women having a conversation nurturing positive language and a healthy understanding of masculinity. For All Seasons will continue working with Don McPherson to create a community-based program to address men’s violence again women. McPherson will be engaging men to address the culture of unhealthy masculinity at the core of all forms of men’s violence against women. He will work with For All Seasons’ trauma-certified staff to create healthy relationship groups to support victims of crime, while deconstructing rape culture to enable points of engagement with men and women across the Mid Shore.
For All Seasons offers individual and group therapy, general, child and adolescent therapy, marriage and couples’ counseling, grief counseling, school-based mental health therapy, urgent care services, Rape Crisis Response, Rape Crisis Counseling and Support, 24-Hour English and Spanish Hotlines, and education and outreach programming. For further information about For All Seasons, call 410-822-1018 or visit forallseasonsinc.org.
Five Talbot County Champion Trees were recently identified on the Londonderry on the Tred Avon campus by the Maryland Big Tree Program.
Five trees on the Londonderry on the Tred Avon campus have been recognized by the Maryland Big Tree Program as Talbot County Champion Trees. Champion trees are identified at the County and State level as being the largest identified members of their species. They are measured and scored based on their circumference, height and average crown width.
The trees were identified as Londonderry was taking care of routine forestry work around its campus and were nominated for recognition by Agnes Kedmenecz of the University of Maryland Extension Service. The trees were later measured by members of the Londonderry Community, University of Maryland Extension Service and the Maryland Big Tree Program, which is a volunteer-coordinated effort sponsored by the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Service.
The five trees are in various areas of the campus with several near the Manor which was constructed at the close of the American Civil War.
The five trees identified as “Champion Trees” are the following:
- Japanese Maple measuring 5’ 8” in circumference, 33’ high and a 44.5’ average crown width
- Bitternut Hickory measuring 9’8” in circumference, 144’ high and a 68.5’ average crown width
- Nordmann Fir measuring 7’8” in circumference, 73’ high and a 34.5’ average crown width
- American Beech measuring 12’4” in circumference, 104’ high and a 80’ average crown width
- Southern Red Oak measuring 20’3’ in circumference, 107 feet high and a 107.5’average crown width
“Our community is beyond thrilled to have five champion trees on our campus,” said Londonderry CEO, Irma Toce. “These trees are part of our rich history and it is wonderful that they can now be recognized by our residents and our neighbors throughout Talbot County. I’d like to thank our community members who worked so hard on this project.”
Londonderry on the Tred Avon was originally part of a 600-acre land grant known as Westmoreland which was granted to Irish Quaker immigrant Francis Armstrong in 1667. A portion of the land grant was sold to Talbot County upon which the first Talbot County Court House was built. As the property changed hands over the next 100 years, it became known as London Derry, and eventually Londonderry, as it is called today.
About Londonderry on the Tred Avon
Londonderry on the Tred Avon is an intimate residential cooperative community for adults ages 62 and over, offering a variety of housing options from convenient apartments to spacious cottages among 29 acres, including 1500 feet of waterfront shoreline. For more information, visit www.londonderrytredavon.com.
Open Mic Nights at the Academy of Arts,106 South St.,Easton will now be held on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Makers and appreciators of music, dance, comedy, poetry and theater are encouraged to attend. The suggested theme for January 9th is:
“Resolutions/Revolutions”. Sign up starts at 7p.m. Snacks provided; nominal charge for beverages. Contact: RayRemesch@gmail.com for more information.
Tidewater Camera Club February Speaker- Steve Dembo
“Blur: One blurred image is a mistake, more is a style.”
The Tidewater Camera Club will be hosting seminar speaker, Steve Dembo, on Monday, February 4, from 7 to 9 PM in the Talbot County Community Center’s Wye Oak Room. Steve’s presentation is entitled “Blur: One blurred image is a mistake, more is a style.”. Steve is a native of Baltimore, MD and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. He received his B.A. from Towson University and an M.F.A. and College Teaching of Art Certificate from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). He is an adjunct professor of photography at the Community College of Baltimore County and has been teaching college level courses going on ten years. In addition, he is a competition judge, lecturer, workshop facilitator, tutor and mentor. His photographic work has been critically acclaimed and has garnered numerous competitive awards and accolades, having appeared in national publications, juried exhibitions, and recognized by National Geographic. Most recently, his work was selected for Black & White magazine’s 2016 Annual Single Image Contest. His publications include The Two Faces of a Fair and (UN)LIMITED Access. He was the owner of The Easton Gallery of Photographic Arts, which he closed at the end of 2014 to better pursue his photography and teaching endeavors. During his presentation, Steve will delve into the process of capturing motion discussing techniques such as freezing, blurring and panning. It’s all in the shutter! Members are invited to bring their cameras for a hands-on demo. To see Steve’s work, visit https://www.dembosphotos.com.
Founded in 1963, the Tidewater Camera Club strives to promote interest and participation in photography for all skill levels and ages. For more information, go to www.tidewatercameraclub.org. The public is encouraged to attend.