All great adventures require a great leader. For those seeking adventure as part of the Trumbull County Travel Club, that leader is club coordinator Peggy Boyd.
"I'm astounded with how many trips I've gone on," said Meribeth Feher of Howland. "If it wasn't for Peggy, I wouldn't have gone on all these trips. She has the same people going all the time. There's a reason we all go."
When she was the director of Howland SCOPE, Peggy Boyd planned trips for the SCOPE members. In 2006, after she retired and her husband had passed away, she received requests to continue organizing trips, and the Trumbull County Travel Club was born.
Seated from left are Ray Derda of Brookfield and Jan Hartman of Cortland. Standing are Jim Feher and Meribeth Feher of Howland.
Boyd acts as the travel club coordinator / official escort.
Boyd received her love of visiting destinations away from home through her mother who became an avid traveler after her retirement. Her mother said that there were so many places in the world to see.
Trumbull County Travel Club is open to adults 21 and older. The group has been on day trips and to longer destinations, traveling by bus, plane, train and cruise ship. So far, they have visited destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.
Jim Feher, Meribeth Feher's husband, said that the attraction of the club trips for him is that he doesn't have to drive or park his car when he reaches his destination. He also enjoys the variety of events and being chauffeured, especially when they visited New York City.
"The bus would drop you off wherever you wanted to go, a play or Macy's, and when you were done, you just called the bus, and it would pick you up."
Meribeth Feher enjoys visiting with friends while they travel, and meeting new ones.
"I'm very proud of the friendships that have been created on the trips," Boyd said. "A couple of the women became friends after meeting on a day trip, and now travel together to destinations as old friends."
One of the reasons that Jan Hartman of Cortland participates is is the appeal of visiting somewhere new.
Age is not a deterrent for Trumbull County residents wishing to take a trip with the group. Tina Gladd of Howland is in her early 90s, and over the years has participated in numerous trips, but not as many excursions lately.
But the oldest couple, Billie Withers and Neal McBride, who regularly take part in the trips, are 93 years old.
Elaine Smith of Cortland sums up the sentiment of the group when she says that she sees herself taking trips of her choosing as long as she can.
Raised in a military household, travel club member Virginia Popovich of Howland has traveled throughout her life. Being a new resident of Trumbull County, Popovich said she especially enjoys the day trips which help her get acquainted with the sites, cultural events and scenic areas close to home.
One of the memorable longer trips was to the western United States including a stop at Yellowstone National Park.
Brookfield residents Ray Derda and his wife, Pam, went on that trip. Ray Derda, a former television cameraman, enjoys the opportunities the excursions give him to continue being behind the camera, but it is now still photography that he is taking.
"It was a thrill for me to see Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, all those things that you see in a book," Hartman said. "It never occurred to me that I would be able to do all this. I feel so fortunate."
Some destinations that Boyd doesn't plan for the Trumbull County Travel Club to visit are any of the area casinos.
"I don't plan a casino trip unless it is part of the travel package because Niles SCOPE does a very, very good job planning the casino trips."
Many of the travelers have been with the group since its inception, but the club is always looking for new members or travel destination suggestions. They meet at Panera Bread on Elm Road two to three times a year to plan excursions. There are no dues or participation requirements. Presently, there are 238 members, though not everyone goes on every trip.
Some of the upcoming trips are day trips to the Ohio Dutch Tulip area on May 2 and Chillicothe for high tea at Atwood House and a tour of Adena House and gardens on May 16.
The major trip this year occurs Oct. 8 to 13 for the New Mexico Balloon Fiesta with a chance to experience American Indian culture in the area.