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April 2012  
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Start Socializing in Illinois and Indiana
Join a local club today and you’ll be inspired by all the new things to learn and do.

Indiana and Illinois offer clubs for every interest and hobby. Whether you love to explore the great outdoors, share gardening tips with friends or just want to learn more about your area’s history, there’s a club near you where you can expand your knowledge and make new friends.
 
The Forest Trails Hiking Club group has been hiking around the Chicago area, as well as beyond the Illinois borders into Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana since 1942. Hikes are almost always on Sunday mornings, covering distances of 10 to 12 miles. Occasionally, the club enjoys a Saturday hike or a two-day overnight weekend adventure. The hikes scheduled for April and May will take hikers into Chain O’ Lakes State Park, Indiana Dunes State Park and Waterfall Glen Nature Preserve, among others. Learn more about the club’s history and find other information at www.foresttrailshc.com.
 
If you’re more at home on the water, join the Saukenuk Paddlers Canoe & Kayak Club, based in northwestern Illinois in the Quad Cities area. Paddling adventures with the club can be as close as the Mississippi River or as far away as Colorado or North Carolina. The club itself was formed in 1977 by two canoe and kayak enthusiasts, taking the name “Saukenuk” from the area’s local Native American history. Meetings are scheduled for the last Wednesday of the month. To join the Saukenuk Paddlers, simply download the membership application form on the club’s website, www.rivers-end.org/saukenuk/index.htm.
 
The Garden Club of Indiana, Inc. has been active since 1930, and today, has nearly 2,000 members. The club’s mission is to stimulate interest in and knowledge of gardening while also promoting civic beautification and aiding in the protection of trees, plants and birds in the area. On April 21, you can enjoy seeing the Krider Gardens in Middlebury, which were originally part of the 1933 World’s Fair. Also coming up on the club’s calendar is the annual convention on April 23 and 24, 2012 – a celebration of the club’s 81st anniversary. There will be a variety of workshops to choose from on topics like flower arranging, quilts and more. Learn more about the Garden Club of Indiana, Inc. at www.gardenclubofindiana.org.
 
Dig deeper into Indiana’s history with the Indiana Historical Society (IHS), a group dedicated to connecting people to the past by sharing, collecting and preserving the state’s history. The IHS maintains the William H. Smith Memorial Library, one of the country’s top research libraries, as well as extensive archives on the state’s history and the Old Northwest. Established in 1830, the IHS is one of the largest and oldest historical societies in the nation. Members enjoy many benefits including free admission to the Indiana Experience exhibits at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, discounted purchases at the Basile History Market, free and discounted subscriptions to Traces, TGH: Connections and the Indiana Magazine of History, invitations to member events and more. Upcoming events on the IHS calendarinclude a performance by the Artemis String Quartet in the History Center’s Frank and Katrina Basile Theater on May 2, 2012. Find more events and other information about the IHS at www.indianahistory.org.
 
Get more out of your favorite hobbies and activities by joining a local club or group. With spring weather right around the corner, now is the perfect time to fill your calendar with exciting events.

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