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Newcomers Club of Grand Traverse

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Activity Groups

This is a list of interest categories and the interests within each category. Click on an interest to learn more about that item. If you are logged in, you will also see the members who have declared that interest, with a link to their member directory entry. Click the "More Info" link info to view additional information about the interest group.

New Club Members

This group is only for the Newest Members (12 months or less) to the Traverse City area to meet other Newer Members.
181 Members
The Newest Newcomer Group is made up of people who are the “newest” to the Traverse City area. If you have been a member of the Newcomers Group for 12 months or less, you are welcome to participate in our activities. The goal of this group is to provide a variety of opportunities for newer members to meet people and make new friends in a fun, relaxed environment.
Coordinator: Susan Lockwood

Single Club Members

161 Members
Are you single or is your spouse not interested in socializing? This group is for these “solo” members to meet other newcomers to form social connections with others with similar interests who want to do things and have fun. Several outings will be planned each month based on the group members’ interests. These may include, but are not limited to, dining, festivals, farmer’s markets, day trips, sporting events, etc. Events may be scheduled on evenings, weekends and around holidays throughout the year. Participants will meet at the designated venue, arrange for their own transportation to/from each location, and pay their own fees, as required. Interested members should sign up but can participate on an event-by-event basis. Note: This is not a dating group.
Coordinator: Deborah S Thompson

Out-of-Doors & Sports

Many of these activities will resume when weather is agreeable. Become a member of any or all of these activity groups to receive emailings for future gatherings.
258 Members
The biking group meets on a monthly basis to ride trails in and around Traverse City. The group seeks out manageable bike trails for all skill levels and frequently meets after the ride for refreshments once the ride is done. Riders need to have appropriate safety equipment and bikes in good working order.
Coordinator: Rich Hoag
51 Members
The Mountain Biking Activity Group meets at least twice per month to ride single track bike trails in our area and consists of a beginner friendly group and an advanced group for more experienced riders. The beginner-friendly group ride will focus on rides where participants can easily stop after a 3-4 mile ride. These rides will be "no-drop" rides and will typically start at the VASA Single Track (VST) Supply Road trailhead. Experienced riders are encouraged to join these rides to help those with less experience gain more confidence on the trail. The advanced group is for more experienced riders that wish to do longer rides. The VST provides rides from three to twenty miles even without venturing onto the unmarked trails. We may also explore other trails of varying difficulty. The group will agree on the length of the ride each time we meet. We will often meet for refreshments after the rides. For more details please click the "More Info" link below.
Coordinator: Margarete L Chalker
235 Members
Two to three times per month from June through September a group kayaks area rivers and lakes. A variety of trips are scheduled to address different skill levels. The lakes are normally appropriate for beginners but most rivers are only safe for the more experienced kayaker. Trips start at 10:00 a.m. and last up to 2 hours with lunch afterwards. Participants are required to wear personal flotation devices and must provide their own kayak, paddle, and PFD. The number of participants is limited each trip based on safety concerns and parking capacity. Before each paddle the leader sends an email message out to those signed up for the group sharing details about the trip, skill set required, information on lunch plans, and directions. Last minute communication is also often required if weather is questionable. Those interested are asked to sign up before the season begins to allow for orientation and planning.
Coordinator: Linda K Dann
150 Members
Newcomers Men’s Golf meets every Monday starting in early May until mid-October. We golf on about 22 different courses in the surrounding area with our longest drive being Charlevoix. You are able to pick and choose the courses you want to attend and there is no pressure to attend. Your partners for the day are picked completely arbitrary so you will be meeting new guys every week. The rates we get are second to none…..sometimes 1/3 of the normal rate. The guys (about 40 normally) tee off around 10am with a shotgun start so everyone finishes at roughly the same time. The average score of our members is 101, so don’t think you won’t fit in. You will.
Coordinator: Mark Stephens
342 Members
We cannot always predict when there will be enough snow to snowshoe, but if we can't snowshoe, we can always walk in the winter. This activity will normally meet on the second Friday of each month, November through April. Hikes/ Snowshoeing will be held at wineries, golf courses, lakes, or in the woods. After the hike/snowshoe we hope to enjoy food, wine, beer and social interaction together.
Coordinator: Ted Wendling
47 Members
Tennis for All (aka Wimbledon Wannabes) This healthy and fun social activity meets on Tuesdays, twice a month, from June – August (3 mos.) at 10:30 am-12:30 pm. Play is doubles; mixed, female and/or male. We will play at East Middle School on 3 Mile Road. Anyone with experience playing tennis is welcome. A minimum of 4 to a maximum of 12 players can register for each date. Appropriate tennis attire is required. Please bring a new can of hardcourt balls, racquet, water/Gatorade for hydrating, and a willingness to meet new people who enjoy playing this wonderful and challenging recreational sport. Check the event calendar to register for each play date. Looking forward to seeing any interested members!
Coordinator: Tim Zabel
417 Members
The Walk In The Woods group meets on the second Tuesday of each month, from May through October. Occasionally, we will schedule an additional walk that will feature what the Japanese refer to as shinrin-yoku, or "forest bathing"--allowing hikers to immerse, or "bathe", their senses in nature. We will hike trails throughout the Grand Traverse region. The hikes are easy to moderate and vary from 2 to 6 miles. Whenever possible, the hikes will feature a shorter, slower- paced trek and a longer, faster- paced hike. Expect moderate exercise, good conversation and scenic views of forests, rivers and lakes. Forest bathing hikes will be at a more leisurely pace, with frequent stops to allow participants to fully appreciate the woods. After the hike, the group will either participate in a tailgate picnic lunch or have lunch at a restaurant near the trailhead.
Coordinator: Ted Wendling
103 Members
If you're looking for an opportunity to golf without the competitive edge, this may be the group for you! The group focuses on having fun and socializing while playing nine holes, regardless of your skill level and recent golf experience. Play will begin at 9:30 am. We will golf once a week at Bay Meadows Family Golf Center in Traverse City.
Coordinator: Brenda Smith
88 Members
Fishing generally only occurs in small groups. The goal of this group is to provide information to its members that allows them to create small popup activities on their own. Do you need four people to complete a charter trip, a couple people to tie flies or maybe want to try ice fishing but don’t have a shanty set up? Send an email to the activity coordinator and she will send it out to the rest of the group explaining what you want and others that are interested will contact you. The idea is that if you are interested in something there are at least a couple others in the group that share your interests, and this connects the new popup group.
Coordinator: Michelle p Zastawny

Culinary and Spirits

Newcomers love to eat and mingle. One of the many perks of living in a resort area is the abundance of options that are available to us. Many of our Culinary and Spirit groups are currently open. Please sign up to receive notifications of future activities
303 Members
This group meets periodically throughout the year at members’ homes to enjoy drinks and lively conversations. The purpose is to provide for members the opportunity to meet new people, socialize with old friends, and to get to know each other in a relaxed social setting. The goal is to meet friends you will have for years. The host(s) will set the number of participants for the event. It might be less than twenty or more than forty depending on house size and comfort level of the host. The host does not necessarily need to provide seating for all guests. The idea is to stand, mix, and talk with new friends. They will provide plasticware, ice and wine openers. The participants will bring their favorite drinks and appetizers.
Coordinator: Kurt Creager
77 Members
Four meals are scheduled from October thru May at the home of rotating hosts and guests. Six people join two hosts at their home and each “pair” of people will provide part of the meal. Hosts pick the theme and provides the entrée and a couple of sides, plus beverages with up to two glasses of wine per person. The hosts will assign the courses – appetizers, salad and bread, dessert. Courses can be simple to fancy – all good and homemade.
Coordinator: Denise Nedeau
293 Members
Calling all food aficionados! Do you enjoy good food and good company? The Dining Out crowd would love to have you join us once a month (October/November/January/February/March and April) usually on Sunday evenings at local restaurants. The TC area is fortunate in its many exceptional restaurants and we look forward to old and new friends joining.
Coordinator: Shawn Grady
65 Members
This fun group of guys meets on the third Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. at the Omelette Shoppe on Front Street in Traverse City. Join us for some good food and great conversation.
Coordinator: Steven Lett
278 Members
Of course the Grand Traverse area is widely recognized for its wines, but is also satisfying beer drinkers with its exploding micro-brewery scene. It seems the number of breweries is growing monthly. Currently, there are 20 micro-breweries in the area. It is the mission of the Microbrew Tasting Group to visit each of these breweries. The Group attends one location each month. The sessions sometime include a tour of the facilities, but the focus is on trying the different beers made in the area. Also, there is priority placed on socializing with others who enjoy beer. Many times the group will find themselves having dinner together following the tasting.
Coordinator: Marcy Etienne
238 Members
A friendly and adventurous group that meets for lunch once a month at different restaurants in and around Traverse City. The Out to Lunch group is a great way to experience the fabulous food scene in Traverse and make new friends. Find the foodie in you. Come join us for food, lively conversation and camaraderie. Group meets the first Wednesday of the month – September through May.
Coordinator: Linda C Fischer
328 Members
Our Newcomers wine tasting group meets monthly, generally on the second Tuesday, September through June. We arrange a visit to the different wineries in the Grand Traverse region or we may have special events, all with the intent to expand upon our knowledge of wine with a group of friends with similar interest.
Coordinator: Melanie Stieber

Cards and Games

Due to their popularity, we currently have several bridge and euchre groups that meet regularly, but we can always add more. We are always looking for ideas on fun things to do, so if you don’t see something of interest to you, maybe you would like to form another small group. For specific dates and detailed information, refer to our Event Calendar.
28 Members
The group meets on the fourth Wednesday afternoon of each month. The date may change due to holiday schedules. Play begins at 1:00 p.m. Newcomers social bridge is just that – social and not seriously competitive. We enjoy getting to know each other. If you haven’t played for a while, you can come for a brush-up, watch over our shoulders, or take your place at the table and ask any questions you have. We will happily help you along.
Coordinator: Jeanie Hoholik
148 Members
Euchre groups meet once a month in member’s homes. Each group is made up of one, two, three, or four tables. Group members generally change tables and partners throughout the evening. Of course, food and drink is involved, and each member brings a dollar for the winners (and losers!) pool. Newcomers euchre is a social, non-competitive event. Our goal is to accommodate as many fun-loving players as possible. If you would like to join a group, contact the coordinator/leader by email, who will acknowledge this by return email. Once an opening occurs within an established group, or if enough members can create a new group, participants are notified. Often, substitutes are asked to become permanent group members (though not required) so be sure to include your name in the “Euchre Substitutes Activity Group.” too. The “Euchre” group merely indicates members who play or have an interest in euchre and share their member bios. “Substitutes” are solicited for filling in for missing members.
Coordinator: Michael Rollert
115 Members
Euchre groups are often looking for subs. If you enjoy playing euchre but don’t want the commitment of monthly play, the substitute group is a fun way to play with different groups. A euchre group will send an email to this sub activity group requesting a sub for a particular date and time. The first to reply will receive a confirmation from the requester that they are scheduled.
Coordinator: Michael Rollert
38 Members
The poker group meets the 1st Tuesday of the month, with winter hours of 1:00 – 4:00PM and summer hours of 6:00 – 9:00 PM. The group meets on a rotating basis at each member’s home. The game is small stakes, (5c, 10c, 25c), to keep the game and conversation fun and friendly. The group plays dealer’s choice, which sometimes evokes a response, “Did you just make that up?”. But we all like a new games we haven’t played before. The host merely has to provide the home and setup, while members bring snacks and drinks.
Coordinator: Mike Huffman
21 Members
The group meets at members’ houses on a rotating basis. We will have a couple of learning and practice sessions ahead of time to learn what to do and how to play. We will have 3 to 4 tables of four that will play four hands and rotate to new partners and opponents. You will carry your score through the night to be the big winner at the end. Everyone will contribute a dollar, and the high and low scores split the pot. Bring an appetizer to pass and your favorite drink. The host is responsible for setup only. We meet from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. on the last Thursday of the month.
Coordinator: Glenn M Murray
26 Members
Get ready to bluff, bet, laugh, and smile. We will have a couple of practice sessions so that we know what to do and how to play. This group will meet on a monthly basis at rotating members’ houses. It will be the dealer’s choice on what game is played and what is wild. Bring your pocketbook of change because the betting will be nickels, dimes, and quarters with a maximum of two raises per round. The players should bring an appetizer to pass and their drink of choice. The host should supply setups only.
Coordinator: Linda K Dann
28 Members
Join us playing Mahjong on the second Thursday of every month at the West YMCA. All levels of players are welcome, and we will have a refresher if needed the first time we meet. In general, we will self-select for our level of play. We will meet from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the meeting area to the left of the front desk. You do not have to be a member of the YMCA to play. Please bring a 2023 Mahjong card and a game if you have one. Bring a beverage if you want something to drink.
Coordinator: Denise D Farhat

Book Clubs

Our groups are available for sign up through our Event Calendar.
37 Members
We meet the 4th Monday of each month at 10:00 a.m., unless there is a holiday conflict. We meet during good weather at the gazebo on the Grand Traverse Commons and via ZOOM during poor weather. We read fiction, biographies and just about anything else that catches our fancy. We have a different discussion leader for each book, but each person shares their opinion. Join us; surprising comments of personal experiences related to the books come up more often than not. You can come even if you have not read it! New members are welcome.
Coordinator: David E Amos
72 Members
We meet on the third Wednesday of the month at 10am. Weather permitting, we will meet at the Botanic Garden, otherwise we will meet via Zoom. We read recent books that have some social relevance, both fiction and nonfiction. We are not a couples club, although couples are welcome. We welcome individuals of all genders.
Coordinator: Ted Wagenaar
117 Members
The afternoon group meets on the first Tuesday of the month from September until June at 1 pm. Meeting place varies. Check event calendar for up to date information.
Coordinator: Jean Sarasin

Arts and Culture

Please check the Event Calendar for details.
170 Members
The National Writers Series is a highly popular group of author events held at the City Opera House. Nationally acclaimed, best-selling authors visit Traverse City and are interviewed in a conversational setting on stage. Past authors have included Tom Brokaw, Rita Mae Brown, Kelly Corrigan and Harlan Coben. Join in the literary fun by attending the NWS event, then meet up with other Newcomers for drinks and/or dessert afterwards to discuss the presentation. Newcomers should purchase their own tickets. We are currently in need of a leader for this group. If you would like to volunteer please contact our VP of Activities, Glenn Murray at vpactivities@gtnewcomers.org.
75 Members
The Newcomers Needlers meet twice a month for a couple of hours of uninterrupted knitting or stitching or rug hooking or needlepoint or whatever strikes your fancy. Show off your finished projects. Bring something to work on (or not!) and enjoy a relaxing afternoon. We also help beginners. We meet on the first and third Thursdays, 1-3pm, at the Aroma’s Coffee Shop at the intersection of M-22 and M-72, across from Tom’s West Bay. We will be meeting in the conference room.
Coordinator: Sue Rollert
203 Members
Ever wonder how theater sets are designed and built? What happens at auditions? How do directors decide how they want actors to act?  Would you like to see how characters develop at rehearsals?  Join our Theater group and get an appreciation for The Old Town Playhouse. We will explore the process of theatre production by following selected play(s) presented each year by the Old Town Playhouse. We get to see the first Saturday of each production at a reduced rate. OTP will reserve a limited number of seats for each play. PLEASE REGISTER ON THE NEWCOMERS WEBSITE IF YOU PLAN ON ATTENDING THE PLAY. If I can get dinner reservation, I’ll make that announcement. Once you have registered on the Newcomers website, please contact Old Town Playhouse to order your tickets. Detailed instructions will be sent to all on how to register for a specific play. On the night of the play, we will meet for dinner before the play (if possible). I will announce the details as the play draws near.
Coordinator: Carla Brisbois-Gribbs
204 Members
Be sure to watch for this group to be active in the Spring, of 2023! Have you ever wondered about the history of downtown Traverse City, The Commons, formally the State Hospital Grounds or the Old Mission region? We will explore the greater Grand Traverse region in walking tours and tours of significant historic structures. The group will be active from the middle of spring to about the middle of fall. Generally, we will meet monthly, but the actual day will depend on when tours are available.
Coordinator: Missy Knebel
55 Members
If you like to paint or draw but miss being with others of similar inclinations, this group is for you! This is not a class but is meant for a time we can work on a given common project. In this group, we bring a personal interpretation to it or work on our own project. Finally, the group will decide on the path taken. The goal is to meet monthly for 3 hours and make art in a friendly, nonjudgmental environment where we can learn from each other. We will meet at the Crooked Tree Art Center or a similar venue during the Spring, Fall, and Winter. Participants should bring their own supplies. It is meant for any ability level; however, if you have never painted but want to start, please get in touch with the group leader.

Volunteering

Looking to share some of your self with others? Caring Connections volunteers continue to offer help and assistance, especially now. The new Nature Stewards Group will begin events in April, and is looking for new members. Click the view members arrow to view current members and add your name to receive future communications.
92 Members
Volunteer to be part of the Newcomers Club Caring Connections. As a member of this group, you may be asked to help out a fellow club member in need of assistance, meals, transportation and/or as an encouraging visitor. The club also receives occasional requests from local non-profit organizations needing volunteer assistance for special one-time events. These requests will be shared with the Caring Connections members when these needs arise with information on how to help if a member is interested. If you're a caring, empathetic person who likes to help others, this group is for you!
Coordinator: Tyne Hyslop
144 Members
Nature Stewards Group will meet once a month at 10:00 a.m. on the second Friday of the month, April through November. The purpose of the group is to get outside and learn about the many natural areas that surround us while performing stewardship tasks to benefit the natural areas and the organizations that support them. Each month project descriptions will be posted on the event calendar that will detail preserve location and stewardship opportunities. Projects might include litter cleanup, clearing trails, planting trees/grasses/forbs, removing invasive species, trail maintenance, trail construction or native seed harvesting. You will be required to bring gloves and wear appropriate clothing for working outside. All other tools will be provided. Time for your own tailgate or picnic lunch will follow the stewardship activity. After lunch we will hike, take a guided tour or embark in an educational activity to further highlight and explore the area.
Coordinator: Richard Hager

All-Club and One Time Events

All-Club Events are open to every member and all members receive email notification about them. Examples of recent all-club events include a Discovery Cruise ride, reserved space at a Pit Spitters game, curling, Traverse Symphony Orchestra rehearsal, and Dennos Art Museum tours. If you have an idea for an entertaining or educational all-club event, contact the All-Club Event coordinator. Newcomers events may not have political or religious content nor direct solicitations for product or service sales.