Spending Family Time with Multiple Generations

The distinct perspectives of different generations add value, both at work and play. HTG Investment Advisors benefits from the range of more than four decades between our youngest and oldest employees. Jeanne and I also believe that our family benefits when all three generations find an environment which stimulates each age group. We have found cruises and visits to the mountains are wonderful, but perhaps the best so far has been the week we just spent with our children and grandchildren at Chautauqua.

Chautauqua is a multi-faceted center for lifelong learning and inter-generational experiences, located in western New York State. It offers a rare mix of recreation, education and culture that pleases all ages. Younger and older attendees share learning experiences in an open, friendly atmosphere. Children from pre-school through junior high are provided with their own special programs.

The summer is structured in nine consecutive one-week programs, each with a primary theme. The theme for our week was The Changing Nature of Work. Other weekly themes have included American Identity, The Art of Play and The Forgotten: History and Memory in the 21st Century. Each theme provides informed perspectives meant to spur open, honest and respectful dialogue among the generations.

Chautauqua is especially well suited for our family situation: three generations consisting of grandparents (that’s us), children and spouses in their late 40s/early 50s, and grandchildren ranging from elementary school through early high school.

Activities include water sports on Lake Chautauqua and a variety of other physical activities and enrichment programs. With the kids occupied with their own activities, the adults have ample time to attend their choice of a wide array of outstanding programs: lectures on the weekly theme topic and classes including art, business, computers, dance, handicrafts, literature, and music. Guest speakers and performers range from the likes of David Brooks to Yo-Yo Ma. Everyone comes home at the end of the day ready for rest, board games and family discussions. It reminded us of how important it is for us to “unplug” and spend valuable time exchanging ideas with younger family members.

While we have enjoyed many great family vacations, Chautauqua was the easiest to plan and each of us enjoyed the great combination of family time, entertainment, and intellectual stimulation. Now that many of our client families span generations, we thought that a similar holiday may appeal to some of you. If you are interested to learn more, visit the Chautauqua Institution web site.